The Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council (T/A AgriSearch), is a charitable organisation whose mission is to drive innovation and sustainability in ruminant livestock farming, as a trusted, valued conduit of knowledge and innovation based on sound science, and widely applied research.

The Role: Placement Student

AgriSearch is recruiting a placement student for a fixed period of no more than 12 months to assist with the delivery of research projects and with knowledge exchange and communications activities. AgriSearch has recently launched and recruited for the Beacon Farm Network. It is a structured, intentional and semi-permanent network which can be used for research and will be implementing a range of activity across the three themes of people, planet and profit for the next 5 years. 51 farms from across the dairy, beef and sheep sectors have been appointed and will be contributing to a range of on-farm activity.

In addition, AgriSearch has recently been successful in obtaining European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funding for 3 farmer groups looking at the topics of Leatherjacket Mitigation in Grassland, Multi-species Swards for Beef and Sheep and Targeted, Selective Treatment of Anthelmintics. AgriSearch is also providing dissemination support for a fourth EIP project, ARCZero, which is looking at activity to accelerate the road to net zero carbon in farming.

AgriSearch is committed to partnership working and regularly collaborates with a wide range of partners across research, education, industry and government throughout UK & Ireland as well as being involved in various European projects and networks. It is anticipated that the placement student will support the delivery of the Beacon Farm Network and EIP projects, Tasks will include farmer liaison, data collection, organisation of events, media communication and general administration.

In addition, the placement student will assist the General Manager and Research Manager with a range of tasks to support the wider operation of the organisation. It is expected that this will include assisting in the organisation of knowledge exchange events (including online events), management of the AgriSearch website and social media accounts, design of reports and farmer resources and general administration tasks.

Purpose of Role:

  • To assist in the delivery of Beacon Farm Network activity
  • To support the delivery of EIP project objectives
  • To collect and collate data
  • To prepare and maintain databases
  • To work in partnership with research delivery partners
  • To assist as required with the implementation of AgriSearch’s research portfolio
  • To assist with the organisation of knowledge exchange events and activities
  • To enhance AgriSearch’s digital offering and communications activities

Person Specification


  • Currently engaged in a third level course on agriculture or related subject
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills – the ability to interact confidently with and gain the trust of a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Knowledge of the ruminant livestock sector
  • Understanding of the range of ecosystem services provided by agriculture and land use
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Strong IT ability including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office (especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • As travel throughout Northern Ireland is essential the successful candidate must have a full valid driving licence and access to a form of transport that will permit them to meet the requirements of the post in full.


Working knowledge of Adobe software (e.g. InDesign, Premiere Pro etc.)


Working hours: 37.5 hours per week (some evening working may be required with time in lieu)

Based at: Large Park, Hillsborough with occasional travel throughout Northern Ireland

Salary: Minimum wage / living wage (as appropriate to age) + mileage for required travel

Start Date: It is anticipated that the placement student will start on 1st July 2021 and finish on 30th June 2022


An Information Pack can be downloaded here.

An Application Form can be downloaded here.

Completed forms should be submitted by 12 noon on Wednesday 7th April 2021.