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Research Officer, Teagasc

Deirdre Hennessy

Job title
Research Officer
Company
Teagasc
Industry
Agriculture
Experience
13 years
Education
  1. B. Agr. Sc from UCD, 2001
  2. Research PhD from Queen's University Belfast, 2005
Favourite subjects in school
I really enjoyed chemistry and maths in school
The best thing about my job
I love working with students! And participating in open days, sharing knowledge with farmers that can help improve their business

To work in research you need to be curious, ask lots of questions. Get work experience in the area you are interested in!

Be open minded and follow your interests

My main tasks

My main tasks are designing and managing grassland experiments. These could involve dairy cows grazing different treatments such as grass only or grass and clover, or plot experiments. I collect data, manage it and analyse it statistically. I write reports, articles, and scientific papers. I supervise PhD students – I currently have three PhD students. I write applications for funding. I am involved in many research projects. I present my research results at conferences in Ireland and internationally. I participate in farm walks and open days, sharing research results with farmers and telling them how the research can help their farm business. I also lecture to university students

Challenges

Administration! But it has to be done

Who influenced me

I always had an interest in agriculture. My career guidance teacher helped me to get information about Agricultural Science in UCD when I was in Leaving Cert. Then I did work experience at Moorepark and the grassland researchers there really influenced my decision to pursue a PhD, and subsequently a career in agricultural research

Work/life balance

My job is very busy. I would like a bit more free time for leisure activities

Most useful aspects of my education

Definitely my work experience at Teagasc Moorepark during third year of my Agricultural Science degree course. It introduced me to research, the career I have subsequently pursued

Useful work experience

Try to get some work experience in a research centre, and if you are not from a farm, get some experience on one

Top tip!

Be open minded and follow your interests!