Postdoctoral position OT-19207

Improving pig robustness


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The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Work environment, missions and activities


  • You will be welcomed in the GenPhySE unit located near Toulouse, France.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research position as part of the Cobreeding flagship project (PEPR Agroécologie et numérique), entitled "Co-design of animal and plant breeding schemes with multi-performance objectives (economic, social and environmental) to develop agroecological production”. Cobreeding aims to explore new ways of mobilizing animal and plant genetic diversity to respond better and faster to the challenges of the agroecological transition, climate change (adaptation, mitigation), global health and animal welfare, environmentally friendly plant cultivation practices, and consumer expectations. Within this framework, our aim is to propose new animal robustness phenotypes that can be recorded routinely and new selection schemes to improve this trait in the pig industry. Pure-bred pigs in nucleus farms (candidates for selection) are reared in extremely controlled environments in which the expression of animal robustness is therefore tenuous. One way of obtaining a robustness phenotype for these animals is to study deviations in the evolutionary dynamics of phenotypes recorded continuously on these animals using automatic feed dispensers (consumption, feeding behaviour, individual weight). The Up&Down method (David et al. 2023) has been developed for this purpose. It is also possible to improve prediction of the genetic potential for robustness in purebred animals by using information from their crossbred progeny bred under less controlled conditions.

You will be in charge of:

  •  Assessing whether other methods than the one proposed in the Up&Down method for detecting deviations in phenotype trajectories can improve the measurement of robustness.
  • Assess the benefit of a selection combining robustness and disturbance-corrected production in a synthetic index of that currently carried out on the basis of potentially disturbed production phenotypes.
  • Evaluate, using data collected or simulated how to use health information from crossbred animals to improve selection of purebred animals (i.e. genetic breeding values prediction and best selection scheme).
  • Perform (FAIR) data management and submission
  • Closely interact with other members of the Cobreeding consortium

Teleworking possible

Training and skills

  • Recommended training: PhD in quantitative genetic/ statistics
  •  Knowledge required: knowledge of how a selection scheme is organised. Good programming skills with a good knowledge of scientific software (R, Python, Fortran, etc.).
  •  Appreciated experience: large scale data analysis.
  •  Skills sought: Documented skills in verbal and written communication in English, Enthusiasm and team player attitude, Independent thinking. Fluency in French is not required, but appreciated.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer 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.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Beginning: 01/09/2024
  • Remuneration: from 2 643,53 € to 3 342,57 € gross monthly (depending on your experience)
  • Reference: OT-19207
  • Deadline: 31/05/2024


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