Junior Research Scientist on feeding behavior of small ruminants in agro-pastoral systems


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The Mediterranean and Tropical Livestock System (SELMET) joint research unit is an international group that produces research, teaching and expertise to support sustainable transitions in livestock farming in Mediterranean and tropical areas. The unit is located at several sites and includes staff from INRAE, CIRAD and Institut Agro Montpellier.
At SELMET in Montpellier, you will join the 'Animals, Resources, Environment' (ARE) team, composed of around twenty permanent staff; you will work directly with several scientists.
The aim of your research project will be to generate knowledge assessing the benefits and impact of different feeding methods for small ruminants on the performance of agro-pastoral farming systems (APFS) in the context of global and local changes (global warming, socio-economic conditions, changes in specifications). The aim of the project is to integrate temporal scales with changes in spatial scales (animal, herd, farm), in order to understand the interactions and trade-offs between resilience and efficiency issues at different levels of APFS. Initially, in dairy ewes, you will analyse the mechanisms involved in the interfaces between the acquisition of food resources (exploration, sorting, ingestion), the efficiency with which these resources are used (digestibility, metabolism) and the allocation of nutrients between physiological functions in relation to the dynamics of body reserves.
Secondly, you will develop new feeding approaches for animals and herds, compatible with a wide range of peri-Mediterranean farm structures. You will make use of the digital tools available for phenotyping animals and INRAE's new ruminant feeding system. You will develop collaborations to analyse the diversity of individual responses that you will have highlighted previously, taking into account the capacity of APFS to make the most of feed resources whose availability fluctuates in time and space, and their performance, including environmental performance.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD level or equivalent.

Initial training as an agronomist or veterinary surgeon is desirable. Skills in nutrition and animal feed are essential. If you do not already have experience in animal experimentation, you will need to be trained to enable you to conduct animal experiments. Ability to work in a team and interact with agronomists and modelers will be appreciated.
Fluency in written and spoken English is highly desirable, as is long-term international experience: successful candidates who have not already had such experience will be required to spend time abroad at the end of the internship year.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2024-PHASE-6
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 12
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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