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PhD Researcher in Statistics (MSCA Doctoral Networks)

JobRef: 20444
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PhD Researcher in Statistics (MSCA Doctoral Networks)

POSTED:February 28, 2023
LOCATION:Trinity College Dublin
Duration:3 years
Reports to:Prof Caroline Brophy
Salary:€55,956 - €61,896
Closing Date:March 30, 2023

Post highlights

  • Highly paid PhD Researcher in Statistics
  • Gross salary will be between €55,956 and €61,896 per annum for three
  • Employed as a Researcher (for three years) and registered as a PhD student (typically a four- year duration) at Trinity College
  • Part of the European LegumeLegacy project, that includes 15 partnering institutions and a cohort of 11 PhD Researchers; the project will investigate innovative farm-scale solutions to promote sustainable farming

This post is suited to someone with qualifications in Statistics or closely related quantitative discipline. 

Job Summary

This post is a PhD Researcher in Statistics position as part of the LegumeLegacy Doctoral Network. The PhD Researcher will develop and apply statistical models to the multi-site experimental data that will be generated across partner sites in LegumeLegacy. The multi-site experiment, implemented by other project partners, will investigate the role of species diversity within crop rotation systems as a means to reduce nitrogen fertiliser inputs. The statistical models developed by the PhD Researcher will take account of the complex nature of the multi-site data that will be generated by other project partners, including the multivariate, spatial and temporal aspects. The PhD Researcher will rigorously test the statistical properties of the various components of the models developed. In a collaborative approach, the PhD Researcher will develop interpretations for the statistical modelling outputs in the context of improving the sustainability of crop rotation systems. A key component for the PhD researcher will be to develop modelling approaches to assess the relative importance of species diversity manipulations with respect to management factors and environmental stresses for the outputs of crop rotation systems. This project provides the PhD Researcher with the opportunity to use and develop their statistical knowledge to contribute to finding solutions to increasing food security in the face of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The PhD Researcher will work closely with the other ten Doctoral Researchers hired on the LegumeLegacy project. A second LegumeLegacy PhD Researcher in Statistics will be located in Teagasc, Ireland and the two PhD Researchers in Statistics will collaborate closely. The PhD Researcher will also undertake two mobility secondments, one at a research institute and one in industry to gain insight into the broader implications of their statistical work and to develop their research and industry networks. There will be opportunities for the PhD Researcher to present their work at national and international conferences.

The PhD Researcher will be based in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and supervised by Professor Caroline Brophy. They will also be a member of the ADAPT SFI Research Centre, led by Trinity College Dublin. The PhD project will be titled ‘Analysing multi-site biodiversity experiments to assess the relative importance of species diversity, management decisions and environmental stresses across spatial and temporal gradients’.

LegumeLegacy Project Description

LegumeLegacy is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network titled ‘LegumeLegacy – Optimising multiple benefits of grass, legume and herb mixtures in crop rotations: modelling mechanisms and legacy effects’. It is funded under the Horizon-MSCA-DN-2021 programme. This project brings together Principal Investigators and collaborators from 14 academic and industry partners from across Europe and one Canadian partner. LegumeLegacy will hire and train 11 Doctoral Researchers and will implement a research programme aimed at improving the sustainability of farm-scale crop rotations. The role of multi-species grassland mixtures within crop rotations will be investigated in the search for solutions to develop lower nitrogen farming systems that will promote sustainable farming practices. The Doctoral Researchers will be located across Europe at partner institutions. The coordinating partner is Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). The hiring partners are Teagasc (Ireland), Devenish Research and Innovation Development Ltd. (Ireland), University of Reading (United Kingdom), the Louis Bolk Institute (the Netherlands), University of Aarhus (Denmark), University of Hohenheim (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Agroscope (Switzerland) and Poznan University of Life Sciences (Poland). Other partners Goldcrop Ltd. (Ireland), Cotswold Seeds (United Kingdom), Wageningen University (the Netherlands), Danko (Poland) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Canada) will contribute to the research and training programme.

LegumeLegacy is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration bringing together experts in ecology, agronomy, plant breeding, animal nutrition and statistics. The LegumeLegacy Doctoral Researchers will carry out their own individual research projects and collaborate on a multi-site experiment conducted across the network. The Doctoral Researchers will undertake a world-class training programme developed and implemented by the LegumeLegacy collaborating experts and will meet twice per year to participate in joint training events. Each Doctoral Researcher will be expected to undertake two mobility secondments during their PhD facilitating them to develop a deep collaborative network during their PhD.

LegumeLegacy aims to lead the way in transforming productive agricultural crop rotation systems and the 11 Doctoral Researchers will be trained to emerge as the next generation of leading researchers in this field. Further information at:

Eligibility, qualifications and skills for the position



  • The PhD Researcher must be an ‘early-stage researcher’ i.e., at the time of recruitment have not already been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • The PhD Researcher is required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) to take up this appointment
  • The PhD Researcher must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to their recruitment. Compulsory national service and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Qualifications and skills

  • At least a 1 grade (or equivalent) in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Statistics, Mathematics or closely related discipline. An undergraduate degree is essential, and a masters degree is highly desirable.
  • Strong programming skills using statistical
  • Knowledge of working with real world data, ideally in an experiment
  • Strong communication skills with an ability to collaborate within a multi-disciplinary and international research
  • The Trinity College Dublin English language requirements for non-native speakers of English are available here:

Application process

 Please adhere to the following guidelines to apply for this position. Each application should consist of only two documents

  • Document 1 should include

    • A maximum 1-page cover letter outlining your suitability for the post, with reference to relevant qualifications or experience;
    • Detailed curriculum vitae, including qualifications and experience, publications (if applicable) and the name and email contacts of two academic referees;
    • Transcripts of degrees;
    • A maximum 1-page statement outlining your research project experience to date (this can be related to undergraduate or postgraduate research projects and/or research work experience etc).

All four items above should be compiled into a single pdf document.

  • Document 2

    • Please complete the LegumeLegacy eligibility form available here and convert to pdf before submission.

The two documents should be sent by email to Professor Caroline Brophy at Do not include additional documents other than the two that have been requested. Do not include substantive information in the body of the email.

For the subject of your email, please use: LegumeLegacy TCD application – [your surname] The deadline for applications is 30th March 2023.

Please note that applicants that do not follow these guidelines may not be considered for shortlisting.

Conditions of employment

The salary for the post corresponds to the 2021 MSCA Doctoral Network funding model. The salary includes (all figures are gross pay per year before taxes and other deductions are made):

  • Living allowance of €48,756
  • Mobility allowance of €7,200
  • Family allowance (if eligible to receive) of €5,940

Thus the gross salary will range from €55,956 to €61,896 (depending on eligible for the family allowance) per annum for three years; this is gross pay per year before taxes and other deductions are made. A special needs allowance is also available under certain conditions.

The PhD Researcher will be employed for three years as a Researcher and is required to register for a PhD. The PhD programme in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, is typically a four year programme. Financial support will be available for year 4, however, such support would be at a lower level than years 1-3. Please note that the salary attached to this PhD Research position in years 1-3 is considerably higher than what PhD students are usually paid in Ireland.

Benefits of working at Trinity College Dublin include

●      Competitive salary ●      Bike to Work Scheme
●      Flexible working arrangements ●      Sports Facilities
●      Pension ●      Paid Sick Leave
●      Day Nursery ●      Travel Pass Scheme


Contact information

Informal queries can be emailed to Professor Caroline Brophy (


The School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin is a proud recipient of a Bronze Athena Swan award, attained in 2021. As part of the School’s on-going actions in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, it welcomes all applications that meet the eligibility and qualifications criteria and particularly those from under-represented groups.



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