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Postgraduate research is a lifeblood for the future - Gildernew

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA recently announced the eight successful students awarded DARD Postgraduate Agriculture and Food Research Studentships for 2009.

The students, selected by open competition, will be supported in a three year programme of postgraduate research study, leading to a PhD qualification. At an inaugural seminar on 22 September 2009, seven final year students presented their findings to technical and policy staff in DARD. These students have spent the last three years in full-time research and are currently writing up their theses as part of their PhD programme.

Minister Gildernew commended these students and welcomed the new students starting their research in October. She said: "I am very proud that we have been able to fund these studentships and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Post-graduate research is a key area of support within our agri-food industry and is a life-blood for the future. These students have made an important contribution across our agriculture, food and rural sectors. I wish the outgoing students every success in their future careers.

"Our commitment to research is long established, with 24 students currently funded by us to undertake postgraduate research studies. My announcement of the new research topics for 2009 will helps us secure a sound evidence base for future policy and delivery activities. It also helps my Department to develop innovation within our sector, which underpins its competitiveness."

Looking forward to next year, she added: "I can now confirm that the Postgraduate Awards Scheme will open for new applications in early 2010. We will publish our priority research areas towards the end of 2009 and I am confident that once again, we will receive an excellent range of high quality applications."

Further details on the Postgraduate Agriculture and Student Awards are available on our website at

Notes to Editors:

1. Further information on projects funded can be found on our website at

2. All media enquiries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.