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Social Behaviour, Cognition and Communication in Domestic Goats

  • Supervisor: Dr Alan McElligott
  • Deadline for CONACYT: None
  • Deadline for Ciência sem Fronteiras funding: None
  • Deadline for China Scholarship funding: Applications for 2015 entry have now closed. To express your interest in this project for 2016 please contact the project supervisor
  • Funding: China Scholarship Council, CONACYT and Ciência sem Fronteiras

Background

My research group is focussed on developing goats as model species for comparative cognition studies. In doing so, we hope to further an appreciation of the need for excellent animal welfare practices in this, and other livestock species.

Traditionally, animal welfare research focussed on identifying and preventing poor welfare. However, preventing poor welfare is not the same as providing animals with opportunities to experience positive welfare. Therefore gaining a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of goats and other livestock is critical for progress.

I have potential comparative cognition and behaviour PhD research projects, using goats as the model species. The topics are open to discussion, but may include: emotions, social networks, long-term memory and recognition, social learning, individual temperament, physical and social cognition, and vocal communication.

Training

The projects will potentially combine behavioural observations, cognition experiments, as well as playback experiments and bioacoustics. All data collection will be carried at an animal sanctuary, using a large number of habituated animals. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, as well as working as part of a team. It is extremely important that the successful candidate can maintain our excellent working relationship with the host animal sanctuary.

You will receive appropriate training for your research, e.g. bioacoustics and other technology for studying behaviour and physiological responses (e.g. heart rates). For the vocal communication research, it is very important that you have an interest in, or experience of, bioacoustics technology. Additional training in project management will be provided.

Informal enquiries about the project can be made by email to Dr. Alan McElligott.

Eligibility and applying

Funding through China Scholarship Council

  • Eligibility

Applicants should be Chinese nationals and are required to have at least an upper second class degree and a masters degree in a related discipline (e.g. zoology, psychology) from a top university anywhere in the world.

International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. See our entry requirements page for more information.

  • Applying

Applications for 2015 entry have now closed. To express your interest in this project for 2016 please contact the project supervisor Dr McElligott by e-mail (a.g.mcelligott@qmul.ac.uk).

Potential candidates will then be asked to submit their CV (including details of two referees) and a cover letter explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.

If you are successful with your application we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from the China Scholarship Council. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to the China Scholarship Council.

Funding through CONACYT

  • Eligibility

Applicant requirements are listed on the CONACYT foreign scholarship pages.

International students must provide evidence of proficient English language skills, see our entry requirements page for more information.

  • Applying

Potential candidates should contact Dr McElligott by e-mail (a.g.mcelligott@qmul.ac.uk) and submit their CV (including details of two referees) and a cover letter explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.

Applications to Queen Mary are accepted all year round but we encourage you to contact Dr McElligott as soon as possible. If he agrees to take your application further you will be required to submit an online application.

If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from CONACYT.

When you have received a conditional offer from us, you should apply directly to CONACYT.

Funding through Ciência sem Fronteiras

  • Eligibility

Applicants must be Brazilian nationals and are required to have at least an upper second class degree and a masters degree in a related discipline (e.g. zoology, psychology) from a top university anywhere in the world. For more information visit the Ciência sem Fronteiras eligibility pages.

International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. See our entry requirements page for more information.

  • Applying

Potential candidates should contact Dr McElligott by e-mail (a.g.mcelligott@qmul.ac.uk) and submit their CV (including details of two referees) and a cover letter explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.

Applications to Queen Mary and Ciência sem Fronteiras are accepted all year round but we encourage you to contact Dr. McElligott as soon as possible.

If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from Ciência sem Fronteiras. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to Ciência sem Fronteiras.

Self-funding

If you are interested in self-funding please contact Dr McElligott by e-mail (a.g.mcelligott@qmul.ac.uk) to discuss your eligibility for this project.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they can cover the cost of living expenses and tuition fees for a minimum of 3.5 years.

References:

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