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Senior Research Officer, Teagasc

Karen Daly

Job title
Senior research Officer
Agriculture and Food Science
  1. Honours degree in chemistry from Trinity College Dublin
  2. M.Sc. by Research from Trinity College Dublin
  3. Ph.D in Bio geochemistry
Favourite subjects in school
All three science subject
The best thing about my job
My favourite thing is coming up with new ideas for research and seeing them funded and become part of someones Ph.D. or post-doctorate, and ultimately, see ing the results published in journals for everyone to read.

Be prepared to multi-task. They are often days when I am doing several different things and trying to meet converging deadlines. It can be very busy, but I like being busy, and prefer to have a lot of things on the go.

My Main Tasks

My main responsibility is to grow my programme of work. This means developing ideas and concepts that I can seek funding for from both Teagasc and other funding streams.  When a proposal for funding is successful, my responsibility then moves to hiring students and post-docs and get the project started. I am also responsible for making sure students finish their Ph.D and help them write papers and a thesis.  Other responsibilities include looking after laboratory instrumentation that we use and keeping our equipment working. 


The main challenge is not enough time in the day!! I have a lot of students, new ideas, grant applications, meetings with colleagues and papers to deliver at conferences and finding the time to do all of this is very challenging.

Work/Life Balance

Yes, Teagasc offers a shorter working scheme which allows parents and carers to choose a part-time working week. This has been great for our family, and I have taken time out to raise three children and part-time hours also allowed me to keep my research going whilst dealing with the challenges of a busy family life also.

Most Useful Aspect of my Education

My analytical skills that I learned in my degree and M.Sc. training are still used today, and I transfer this skill onto my students because it’s an important one to have for both lab work and for data analysis.

Useful Work Experience

My advice would be to get as much varied experience as possible. If you like lab work, try and get experience in many different types of lab environments. If you like data analysis, try and ask for experience working with different types of data and software packages.

Top Tips!

Be flexible in the way you work and and always think outside of the box