CONSUS: Ph.D. Studentships


PhD Positions in Data Analytics, Data Mining and Machine Learning for Data-Driven Agriculture

University College Dublin, Ireland

About the Role

Growth in food production is not matching growth in global population – the world needs new ways of producing more food to meet this massive demand. More efficient and intensive production systems are needed, but so too is a decrease in the environmental impact of such systems. This challenge presents a huge opportunity for Ireland to position itself as a global leader in ‘data-driven’ agriculture, while also delivering a highly competitive and sustainable agri-food industry.

University College Dublin (UCD), together with Origin Enterprises Plc are establishing a new research programme, CONSUS, focussed on the application of precision agriculture to crop production with a particular emphasis on optimisation of agri-food production systems leading to more efficient food production with lower environmental impacts. CONSUS is a collaborative programme including the Schools of Computer Science, Agriculture & Food Science, Biology & Environmental Science, Biosystems & Food Engineering and Industry Partner, Origin Enterprises. CONSUS is supported through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Partnership Programme.

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowships in the UCD School of Computer Science, to work with the vast quantities of rich agricultural data to which Origin Enterprises provides access. A number of fellowships are available across a range of data-focussed activities. Research themes include large-scale data mining, data warehousing, ontological knowledge maps, knowledge discovery, deep learning and predictive analytics with temporal and spatial aspects.

This research will be a core part of the project, leading to integration with other streams of interdisciplinary research to deliver intelligent decision-making for the optimisation of the agri-food production process.

Applicants should have experience and interest in data science, machine learning, software engineering, artificial intelligence, knowledge discovery in databases, advanced information systems, and/or data analytics.

Eligibility Criteria

  • First or upper second class honours Bachelor’s Degree and/or Master’s Degree in Computer Science or a relevant subject.
    • Applicants who are expected to finish their relevant degree in the summer of 2018 are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must satisfy the UCD Minimum Language Requirements (as outlined at

Duration and Salary

The scholarship is for a four-year period, and offers a tax-free stipend of €18,000 per annum, plus an annual contribution to tuition fees of €5,500 per annum.

About University College Dublin

University College Dublin (UCD) is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities. It is Ireland's largest and most diverse university with over 30,000 students, drawn from approximately 124 countries. It actively promotes university life as a journey of intellectual and personal discovery through its highly innovative and flexible UCD Horizons undergraduate curriculum and is the most popular destination for Irish school-leavers.

UCD is Ireland's leader in graduate education with over 8,000 graduate students, with almost a quarter being graduate research students. It is home to over 6,000 international students and delivers degrees to over 5,000 students on overseas campuses. In addition, the University places great emphasis on the internationalisation of the Irish student experience – preparing all UCD students for future employment and life that crosses borders, boundaries and cultures.

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquiries about these positions may be made to Dr. David Lillis, School of Computer Science, University College Dublin (

Submission Process

Please send your CV (maximum length 5 pages including names and contact details of three referees), a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role (maximum 2 pages), and an example of your writing (publication, thesis, report, dissertation, etc.). Applications should be sent by email to Grainne Ní Nualláin ( and include the following text in the subject line: “CONSUS PhD Application”.

Application End Date

Friday March 23rd 2018