Pounds 400,000 Food for Thought Grants at Queen's; Safety Research Boost Will Aid Cross-Border Exchanges

Article excerpt

FIVE research grants worth over pounds 400,000 have been awarded to Queen's University School of Agriculture and Food Science.

The Food Microbiology section of the school's Food Science department received the substantial awards from the Food Safety Promotion Board, an all-Ireland implementation body set up under the Belfast Agreement.

Won by open competition, the grants are to support collaborative food safety research amongst organisations on both sides of the border. The outcome of the projects, the university says, will not only significantly increase food safety knowledge but will also encourage technology transfer and co-operation amongst research organisations throughout Ireland.

Professor Arthur Gilmour, head of Food Microbiology, said: "The award of these grants recognises the excellence of food safety research carried out at Queen's. The wide-ranging nature of these projects indicates the breadth of expertise available within the School's Food Science Department.

"They represent a substantial addition to the range of projects currently being pursued by Food Microbiology which includes food spoilage, food processing, biotechnology as well as food safety."

Dr Karen King, Assistant Head of School, said: "We offer first-class teaching in our degree programmes, which is delivered by staff who are prominent in research both nationally and internationally. This means that the school provides its students with research-led teaching by experts who are at the forefront of their research areas."

The School of Agriculture and Food Science currently offers three food- related undergraduate honours degree courses: Food Science, Food & Nutrition and Microbiology.

With food manufacturers currently facing a serious skills shortage, employment opportunities are plentiful for graduates. Working in quality control, distribution, marketing, product development, research or production, graduates find employment with major food manufacturer/retailers, small to medium-sized food companies or research/government institutions. …