Food research scholarships available at UCC

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Food Research at University College Cork, Ireland
Lauritzson Research Scholarships

UCC invites applications for the first Lauritzson Research Scholarships which have been established in honour of the late Dr Lauritzson to promote research in food science and food-related disciplines.  These scholarships aim to support students and integrate them into the academic, social and cultural aspects of University College Cork. The scholarships are targeted at high performing students proposing to undertake impactful research, possibly of an inter-disciplinary nature, at the highest level in the broad area of food science under a supervisor or supervision team with significant experience in the area.


Students who have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree are eligible to apply for a PhD or MSc Research degree at UCC.   The scholarship consists of student stipend of €16,000 and €12,000 towards tuition fees and laboratory consumables. The scholarship is tenable for two or four years, depending on the course of study (i.e. MSc or PhD).

Applications should be inspired by the values/ethos of the sponsorship programme, which in turn reflect those of Dr Torre Lauritzson whose interest was in food research that had an impact on industry. He was passionate in his desire to increase educational standards and to see research applied for the betterment of society. Please see biography of Dr Lauritzson below. His name is synonymous with innovation and he took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it and successfully bringing it to the market. These successes were evident in areas of high technical demands as well as those with strong marketing requirements.

Prospective applicants are advised to consult with the Head of relevant School/Department and with the proposed supervisor to discuss their area of research prior to making an application to the Lauritzson Food Research Scholarship programme. Students should also apply for their PhD/MSc via the online Postgraduate Application Centre ( prior to applying for this scholarship, as this forms part of the selection criteria.

Terms & Conditions:

Students must have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree, and be pursuing a research programme in a food related discipline.

The Lauritzson Research Scholarships will have a value of €28,000 per annum, tenable for two or four academic years (depending on whether the successful applicant is pursuing a MSc or PhD) and includes a student bursary of €16,000 per annum, tuition fees and a budget for laboratory consumables to support the student’s research.

Prospective scholars must have applied for their research programme via the online Postgraduate Application Centre ( prior to applying for this scholarship and are advised to do so at least 2 months in advance of the desired start date of 1st October. Students must also provide written confirmation of support from a proposed supervisor.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of their PAC and scholarship applications in the first instance, and may be called to interview, if required.  Two references, at least one academic, are also required.

Students may not be in receipt of any other scholarship funding.

For more detailed information on the regulations for UCC research degrees, please refer to:


The Lauritzson Scholarship Application Form is available here.

The student selection will be at the discretion of the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Selection Committee to be established at UCC. The Committee will be comprise

  • the Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science or his/her nominee
  • a representative from the Lauritzson Foundation
  • a representative from the UCC Development Office
  • two members of the Food Strategy Group to be rotated on an annual basis and to include at least one Head of School

The committee will meet at least once a year and as deemed necessary.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the Scholarship within ten days of notification and if necessary, arrange visa requirements via the International Education Office, UCC.

Academic staff can only supervise or co-supervise one student funded under this scheme at any one time.

University College Cork will endeavour to provide teaching/demonstrating opportunities for the research student when appropriate. Should a teaching/demonstrating opportunity be arranged by the University, the recipient will provide teaching and examining (if required) in an area reasonably compatible with his/her expertise, and for a number of hours (to a maximum of three per week) as agreed by the University, the recipient and the recipient’s Supervisor at UCC.

Evaluation of applications

Evaluation of applications will take into account (a) the details provided through the PAC application and (b) the merits of the applicant with particular focus on the impact, quality, feasibility and relevance of the proposed project.

Selection of successful applicants for shortlisting on the basis of the materials supplied will be made by the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Committee. This Committee (or a subset of the Committee) will conduct interviews if required.

The award of the Lauritzson Research Scholarship will take place only if the Committee is satisfied that there is a candidate of sufficient merit.


Recipients of the Lauritzson Scholarship and his/her supervisor at the UCC must submit reports as outlined below to the Lauritzson Research Scholarship Committee. If the progress reports are deemed unsatisfactory, the scholarship may be terminated:

MSc programme: Two reports, one after 12 months, and a second at the end of the programme

PhD programme: Four reports, at the end of each year (1-3) and on completion of PhD


Applicants are required to submit two references along with the application form and personal statement. If you graduated within the last five years, at least one of these references should be from a lecturer or tutor. Applicants who have graduated more than five years ago or who may be coming from a non-academic background should provide references from an employer or another appropriate individual who can comment on academic ability. References from relatives or friends will not be accepted.

Dr Torre Lauritzson 1913-1984

Torre Lauritzson was a man of many parts, a man with many hats. Throughout his life he donned and doffed his many hats and played his many parts as the technical need arose, as his vision dictated, as a business opportunity presented itself. The one part he never relinquished, the drive that never diminished throughout his life was his entrepreneurial core. Torre took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it, taking it to the market and earning profit from it. He achieved success in areas with high technical demands and in areas with strong marketing requirements both with equal facility.

Torre Lauritzson graduated from Stockholm University in 1936 with an MSc in Chemical Engineering. He joined the Swedish Sugar Co. that same year, and there donned his inventor’s hat, developing and patenting new methods for improving sugar yields. In 1941 he left the sugar industry to join Findus AB which later became part of the Nestle Group. There he donned his food chemist and innovator’s hat and developed for Findus a wide range of convenience food dishes. The need to improve quality and extend shelf life became paramount so in 1946/47 Torre went to the US on a 6 month study tour. While on that tour Torre met with Clarence Birdseye, the father of the modern frozen food industry.

During his visit to the US Torre became convinced of the essential role of the refrigerated warehouse/freezing facility in the future growth of the convenience/frozen food industry. He returned to Sweden and in 1948 left Findus, donned his pioneer’s hat and founded a company that in time became Frigoscandia AB a worldwide refrigerated warehousing group. Allied to the development of the warehousing network Torre, putting on his chemical engineering hat, founded Frigoscandia Contracting AB which became perhaps the most significant refrigeration engineering company in the world. Located in Helsingborg, Sweden the company developed many of the in-line freezers used in modern frozen food production lines all over the globe. Among the freezers developed were the FloFreeze, GyroFreeze, CartoFreeze and PelloFreeze. Frigoscandia Contracting also developed the FrigoPanel used in the building of refrigerated warehouses worldwide.

In the research laboratories in Helsingborg, with Torre’s help and guidance, was developed a comprehensive data base dealing with the chilling, freezing, thawing, conditioning, handling and storage of a wide range of food products ranging from prime raw materials to consumer ready prepared dishes.

In the 1970’s Torre again donned his innovation hat and drove the design and development of the “Mobile Freezer” concept. This enabled a freezing source to be taken directly to the point of harvesting, the field, the quayside, the orchard. Torre firmly believed that “catching” the product as early as possible was the key to reducing the yield losses, slowing down the deterioration process, improving the quality of the raw material going to the production line and thereby improving the final product going to the consumer. A mobile freezing service helped in the search for that quality.

The hat that Torre donned most often was his entrepreneur’s one. Torre was first and foremost a businessman, an ideas man. He relished the process of taking an idea, developing it through the technical phases and then successfully to market. Apart altogether from his worldwide success in the refrigeration warehousing and contracting business Torre Lauritzson owned the biggest egg producer in Sweden. He developed an apparatus to make lawn fertilizer pellets from poultry manure. He was a fruit farmer, a restaurateur, a pub owner, a meat plant owner. He developed a successful hamburger business.

Torre Lauritzson visited Ireland in the early 1960’s. He was impressed with the potential of the agri-sector and believed Ireland could develop into the “Food Larder” of Europe. In 1967 he built his first refrigerated warehouse in Midleton, Co. Cork which became the nucleus of the NCS Group. Torre died in 1984 and bequeathed his Irish assets to the Lauritzson Foundation to be used for the benefit of Ireland and in particular the improvement in job opportunities through education.

Torre Lauritzson’s contribution to the development of food freezing, handling and storage know how was remarkable. He saw the industry as a vital link in getting harvested product, vegetable, animal or marine from the point of production to the final consumer in as optimum a condition as possible. He believed in, supported and funded research which had innovative and practical applications as this brief account of his achievements demonstrates. He was truly the founding father of the modern European Temperature Controlled industry. Indeed a remarkable man.



It’s time to take a shortcut

By Anthony Kiely, PhD, UCC

Picture the scene. You’re in the pub with your friends and you’ve gotten a drink from the bar. You’re eager to get back to them but also very conscious of spilling your drink. You want to go at a goldilocks speed. Not too fast, not too slow. You don’t want to spill your drink, but you don’t want to walk at a snail’s pace and miss all the fun either.

So what do you do? You realise you could tilt the glass back and forth as you walk to counteract for the sloshing motion the liquid gets as you walk. You might look like you’ve drank more than you have, but you’ll get there much faster than a snail and won’t spill anything.

As you might have already guessed, moving drinks around isn’t exactly what I research. I work in theoretical quantum physics which describes objects at very small scales such as atoms and molecules. We find that things like atoms often behave much more like waves (like the sloshing water in the glass), than solid particles. Recently there has been a lot of interest in controlling individual atoms, which has been part of what I work on.

So what would be the most basic thing you could do with an atom? You could confine it (i.e. put it in a “glass”) and move it from one place to another. Ideally this would be done without it spilling out of the “glass” or taking a long time to get to its destination.

There are two options to achieve this. You could either move the atom very slowly (or adiabatically) so you don’t “spill” it. Alternatively you could do an analogous complicated tilting back and forth of the “glass” known as a shortcut to adiabaticity. These shortcuts were the topic of my Ph.D. research.

I used these shortcut methods to design a fast way to create an array of cold atoms which behave like vortices. In our water analogy, a vortex is a lot like the whirlpool you get when you pull the plug in a bathtub. These were created by shaking the “glass” the atoms were in back and forth in just the right way to create the circular motion of a vortex. This arrangement of atoms is useful for simulating complicated materials, such as transition metal oxides. This is because the behaviour of the atoms in an egg crate shaped “glass” can be shown to be very similar to how bound electrons in solids behave. However cold atoms are much easier to control and image.

It is predicted that many technologies which exploit the wavelike behaviour of atoms will emerge in the near future. The European Union will launch a flagship program in quantum technologies worth 1 billion euros in 2018. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are also getting in on the act, so expect to hear much more quantum physics in the news!

Link to journal article.

PhD student poster competition


Prize: Win a funded workshop place (travel and accommodation).

Workshop: The Worldwide Universities Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop from 11 to 13 September 2017 in Sheffield. Enter the poster competition to win a funded place.

Deadline: Friday 28th April 2017.

Eligibility: Open to all Irish postgraduate PhD students.

Enter: Send entry as a pdf file to

The World University Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop 11th – 13th September 2017.

This three-day event will bring together the network partners who are International experts in the fields of migration, childhood and family studies and health services research.

We are holding a ‘poster competition’ for postgraduate researchers worldwide to showcase their work at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. The competition winner will be provided with a fully funded place at the workshop (travel and accommodation).

To enter you need to design a research poster that showcases work that you have undertaken or are currently undertaking at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. Your poster should be submitted as a PDF to by Friday 28th April 2017.

All entries will be included in a virtual poster display on the network website and the winning entry will be announced on Friday 12th May 2017.

Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students January 2017

Guest Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students

January 23rd and 24th 2017

The Graduate Studies Office is delighted to offer a series of workshops for research students facilitated by Hugh Kearns of Flinders University, Australia. Hugh regularly lectures at universities across the world and will join us in Cork for two days before delivering workshops at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

Details for the five workshops below along and early sign-up is advised as places are limited. You are encouraged to attend one or more workshops.

Monday 23rd January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Student
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

What do research students do to finish on time, to overcome isolation, doubt and writer’s block, and to enjoy the process? And just as importantly what do they do in order to spend guilt-free time with their family and friends and perhaps even have holidays? If this sounds appealing, then this session will be of particular use to you. This workshop describes the key habits that our research and experience with thousands of students shows will make a difference to how quickly and easily you complete your thesis. Just as importantly, these habits can greatly reduce the stress and increase the pleasure involved in completing a research programme. The workshop helps you to understand how to increase your effectiveness and outcomes in the following key areas:

  • Dealing with your Supervisor
  • Structuring your study time
  • Dealing with writer’s block or having difficulty writing
  • Getting the help you need when you are stuck

To sign up to the Seven Secrets Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
1pm to 2pm   

The Imposter Syndrome – Why successful people often feel like frauds
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

How can it be that so many clever, competent and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat”. The session will explain why high performing people often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and over-commitment. At the end of the session you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about the imposter syndrome is and how it operates
  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why highly successful people can feel like frauds
  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

To sign up to The Imposter Syndrome Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
2.30pm to 5pm
Creative Tools You can Use
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

This workshop will explain how you can use a range of creative thinking tools in your research. It will cover brainstorming, idea mapping, six thinking hats, lateral thinking and more. These tools will allow you to look at problems differently, seek creative solutions and have fun. This workshop will be hands-on so you will have the chance to try out these tools and see how you could apply them in your role.

To sign up to The Creative Tools Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Balanced Researcher
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.22

So you’re a researcher. Chances are then that you are pretty busy. Firstly there’s your research. Writing proposals. Getting ethics approval. Dealing with the paperwork. Meetings. Applying for grants. Getting grants and then managing the money and the people. Writing reports. And that’s all before you even get to the actual research. Then there’s papers to write, rejection letters to deal with and conferences to attend. And for most people research is just one of the things you do. You might teach or tutor, run demonstrations, or manage a unit or even have another completely different job. And that’s just work. No matter how much you enjoy your research it’s a fair bet that there are other parts to your life too. For example you probably have a family or friends, you may have social commitments and you may even have some personal interests. This workshop will describe the most useful strategies that thousands of researchers have found helpful in balancing the many demands on their time.

To sign up to The Balanced Researcher Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
2pm to 5pm
Turbocharge Your Writing
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room G.02

Would you like to know the secret to high output, low stress scholarly writing? In academia it is often assumed that writing comes naturally. However, an overwhelming body of research shows that there are very clear and practical strategies that can greatly increase your writing productivity. This workshop will help you to understand:

  • why it is hard to get started
  • how we deliberately use distractions to slow down writing
  • the principles of quick starting
  • how to deal with destructive internal beliefs
  • how to set a writing plan and stick to it
  • how to set achievable goals by writing in a silo
  • how to greatly increase the number of actual words you produce
  • how to clarify your thinking, and improve the quality of your work

To sign up to The Turbocharge Your Writing Workshop click here


UCC wins FIVE awards at gradireland Higher Education Awards


UCC is delighted to announce it received five awards at the gradireland Higher Education Awards held last night in Dublin. A huge congratulations to all staff involved In this massive success for UCC. Winners listed below with comments from the judges.


Masters in Youth Work with Community Arts and Sports Studies
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Arts & Humanities award
“Clear evidence of the effectiveness and impact of this programme on career development. Excellent interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as innovative tie-ins with relevant external communities. Creative use of music as a medium to develop key skills including communication, all backed up with good stats.”

MSc Corporate Finance
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Business, Finance & Management award
100% employment rate – very strong. The consultancy project is an excellent way to build industry relationships and get real work experience. Equally the mentor week is invaluable to get industry insights and build networks.”

MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP)
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Computer Science & IT award
“This course has remarkable career progression statistics and an enviable track record in securing national and international funding for research. The high demand for graduates of the course from industry makes it a compelling offering!”

MEngSc Information technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction Postgraduate Course of the Year – Engineering award
“The strong national and international reputation of this course among both students and employers is striking. Over 10 years the course has developed numerous innovative characteristics, particularly in teaching and learning methodologies.”

MSc in Clinical Pharmacy
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Health Sciences award
“This is a very well designed course with strong feedback, clear outputs and an excellent employment record. Good to see innovation in course design to acknowledge the need for work/life balance, providing training in time-management and stress management.”


UCC Graduate, Saba Loftus, Director Head of International Policy & Stockholm Food Forum speaks at UCC

Image copyright

Image copyright

What: MSc International Public policy and Diplomacy lecture series

When: 13:00-15:00 on Monday, the 28th of November 2016

Who: Ms Saba Loftus  (Director Head of International Policy & Stockholm Food Forum)

Where: C_CONN_C (Connolly Building UCC – campus map)

Saba started her career working for the private sector ( before moving to Guyana as ONF International’s Chargée de Mission for a REDD+ technical cooperation project in the Guiana Shield EcoRegion. After her time with ONF International, as an Associate Programme Officer for the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) facilitating civil society engagement with the UN and a Programme Officer for Global Policy Watch. Her achievements include contributing to publications such as “Fit for whose purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations” and editing UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook 5 for Youth.

In parallel with her career, Saba also held a number of youth leadership roles including as Communications Director for the International Youth Council (elected) and Rio+Twenties (Belgium based NGO). She also served as Organising Partner for the UN Major Group of Children and Youth constituency, coordinating policy advocacy capacity building and engagement with Rio+20 / & the Post-2015 negotiation processes leading to Agenda 2030.


The College of Medicine and Health Postgraduate Student Committee has organised three new events:

pg society

  1. The ‘SPEAK’ Workshop

Open to all postgraduate students at UCC.

A Monthly Meeting ‘Our aim is to improve public speaking skills.’ The meeting will run for two hours on a Tuesday Evening.

DATE: Tuesday 9th February 2016
VENUE AND TIME: Room 2.25 in Brookfield Health & Science Complex from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.


Workshop involves:
Short presentations, giving positive feedback and thinking on your feet
Tea and Coffee Provided

2. Writing a Good Research Paper

Open to all College of Medicine and Health postgraduate students at UCC.

Workshop presented by Professor Ivan Perry.

DATE: Wednesday 17th February 2016
VENUE AND TIME: 3.04 Western Gateway Building, 12 noon to 2.00 pm

3. Social Media for Academics & Researchers

Open to all College of Medicine and Health postgraduate students at UCC.

Workshop presented by Dr Darren Dahly.

DATE: Wednesday 4th May 2016
VENUE AND TIME: G04 – Western Gateway Building, 11.00 am

The ‘SPEAK’ Workshop for Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate Student Committee, Graduate School of Medicine & Healthpg society


The ‘SPEAK’ Workshop

A Monthly Meeting

‘Our aim is to improve public speaking skills.’

The meeting will run for two hours on a Tuesday Evening

Third meeting is Tuesday January 12th

Room 2.25 in Brookfield Health & Science Complex from 19:30-21:30



Workshop involves:

Short presentations, giving positive feedback and thinking on your feet

Tea and Coffee Provided

Postgraduate Architecture Students Win European Architectural Medal



UCC/CIT Architecture (MA) students Kieran Cremin and Eoghan Horgan’s project “Entangled City” was awarded a European Architectural Medal in Architecture (Prize for Innovation) in December 2015.

“This prize is a fitting and well deserved acknowledgement of our student talent and their incredible work ethic; all of which, well hidden behind modest exteriors” (Jason O’Shaughnessy, Master of Architecture Course Director).

The project addresses the cultural dissonance between Prague’s history and present day tourist industry. You can view the full project and the Jury comments at this link.

Well done also to our student Aisling Byrne who was also shortlisted for the European Architectural Medals ‘Best Diploma Project’. You can view Aisling’s project here.

Find out more about the UCC Postgraduate Architecture (MArch) here.

European Architectural Medals – Best Diploma Projects is an annual European competition that awards excellence in crossing the threshold from education to profession. The competition is organised by:

  • University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu (UAUIM)
  • European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE)
  • The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE)

Find out more here


UCC RESEARCH: Development of InAlN/GaN high electron mobility transistors for space applications

phd student research university college cork

By Dr Matt Smith, Researcher, Tyndall National Institute

In recent years the discovery of hundreds of extra-solar planets has led to the consideration of Jupiter as a gas-giant archetype, and the emerging field of astrobiology has refocused the search for extra-terrestrial life on its larger moons.

Proper investigation of the Jovian system is currently limited by the stability and reliability of the electrical components used to process experimental data aboard unmanned probes and transmit back to Earth. In this work I investigate InAlN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) as a candidate for future missions, such as the European Space Agency’s upcoming Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, based on the recent successes of the established AlGaN/GaN HEMT technology. InAlN HEMTs showed good suitability for space applications through electrical characterization after exposure to high temperatures and gamma radiation and by extended bias stressing. A comparison between InAlN and AlGaN HEMTs, both in various stages of development, highlighted the great potential of the material system to provide space-ready electronics. The physics behind HEMT operation was explored, leading to optimisation of device performance and reliability and culminating in the realization of InAlN HEMTs manufactured in a typical AlGaN HEMT production environment. The success of the project sets the stage for wide-scale implementation of GaN-based electronics in the space industry, which is expected to occur in the years to come, and circumvents the major obstacle of electrical failure from mankind’s route to exploring and understanding the universe at large.