PHD position available at HenTrack (Switzerland)

Published on May 29, 2024

PHD position available at HenTrack (Switzerland)

Pioneering Research in Laying Hen Individuality at the Division of Animal Welfare at the University of Bern.

Are you passionate about advancing animal welfare and genetics? The University of Bern invites motivated PhD candidates to join our groundbreaking research into the individuality of laying hens. Conducted at the University of Bern’s Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits (Switzerland), led by Dr. Michael Toscano, this project explores the development of movement and location patterns in hens, their relationship to health metrics, and their implications for breeding in cage-free housing systems.

About HenTrack

The HenTrack consortium is at the forefront of avian research, uniting top-tier universities, research institutions, and industry partners across the globe. Our mission is to advance the understanding of genetic markers and health traits in poultry, driving innovations that enhance productivity, disease resistance, and overall animal welfare.

About the Project

As a PhD candidate, you will:

- Investigate the emergence of movement patterns in young hens and their persistence into the laying period.

- Identify factors driving the differentiation of these patterns.

- Utilize this knowledge to enhance breeding practices in cage-free environments.

You will be actively involved in all project aspects, including experimental design, project coordination, data analysis, and the dissemination of findings through conferences and peer-reviewed publications.

Why Choose a PhD with HenTrack?

  1. Innovative Research: Engage in cutting-edge research that combines animal behavior, welfare, and genetics to address critical challenges in the poultry industry.
  2. Comprehensive Training: Develop extensive skills in experimental design, data analysis, and scientific communication.
  3. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Work alongside leading scientists and experts within the University of Bern and the global HenTrack consortium.
  4. Professional Development: Benefit from opportunities for career advancement through active participation in conferences and high-impact publications.
  5. Funding and Support: Enjoy a three-year funded program, with the possibility of extension, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Candidate Profile

At the University of Bern they are looking for candidates who are:

- Qualified: Holding an MSc degree (or equivalent) in biology, animal science, veterinary science, psychology, or related fields.

- Experienced: Demonstrated experience in research, including data analysis, presentation of findings, and concept development.

- Proficient in English: Strong written and spoken English skills.

Highly Valued Qualifications:

- Experience in ethology and/or animal welfare.

- Proficiency in statistics and software programming (especially R).

- Experience with large datasets.

- Active involvement in relevant scientific societies and conferences.

- Knowledge of German and/or French is a plus.

How to Apply

Take the first step towards an exciting PhD journey with the HenTrack consortium. Submit:

- A 1-2 page cover letter highlighting your background, skills, and interest in the position.

- A CV detailing your education and research experience (without a photograph).

- Contact information for at least two references.

Application Deadline: August 1, 2024.

Interview Period: August/September 2024 (via teleconference or in person).

Start Date: November 2024 (negotiable).

Questions: Direct inquiries to Dr. Matthew Petelle

Application Submission: Send materials to Ms. Masha

Join HenTrack

Embark on a transformative PhD journey with HenTrack. Contribute to research that will enhance the understanding of avian behavior and welfare, leading to significant improvements in poultry breeding practices. Visit our project page [here]( for more information and apply today to be part of a global initiative that is redefining the standards of animal health and genetics.


Related articles

, by
HenTrack, using individual movement and location patterns to bring genetic selection for cage-free laying hens to the next level

Public attention to the welfare of laying hens over the previous decades/years in Europe/USA has been fostering a transition away from conventional cage housing systems. This has resulted in the shif…

, by
HenTrack 2.0 receives major funding award to enhance the breeding of laying hens

Open Philanthropy, a foundation based in California, USA, will support animal welfare scientist Michael J Toscano of the University of Bern and industrial collaborators. The funding of $2.7 million w…

, by
Latest update on HenTrack 1.0

HenTrack is a research project that focuses on the identification of laying hen behavior related to laying hen welfare in cage-free housing systems. The goal is to improve the current breeding method…