MANNA - project 05
05de gb

Assessment of the effects of increased intakes of the amino acid methionine (Met) during the first weeks of lactation and during early pregnancy in dairy cows

Prof. Helga Sauerwein
Dr. Karl Burgess
University of Glasgow
Dr. Claudia Parys
Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH (Germany)
Porto Conte Ricerche (Italy)
MetLabs (Slovak Republic)

TAGS: OMICs; miRNA; methyl-proteome;



The aim of the project is to evaluate the effects of increased Met intakes on metabolism and fertility in dairy cows during the first 140 d of lactation via characterizing the metabolome, the proteome and the microRNA-ome in blood serum.

Description of the project

The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) linked to the project will be involved in a large animal study with more than 1000 Holstein cows receiving a standard diet with or without Met supplementation from week 4 – 20 of lactation, and undergoing regular blood sampling. The ESR will use the performance (milk yield and composition), health and fertility data for identifying cows that are positively or negatively outstanding in terms of health, fertility and performance, to form 4 subgroups from which samples will be used. The analytical part comprises serum OMICS to characterize the metabolome, the phospho and the methyl-proteome and to assess miRNAs related to metabolic health and reproductive performance in blood serum from cows throughout the first 140 d of lactation. Besides, “classical” variables to describe the metabolic status and ovarian activity of the cows will be applied.

The ESR will be enrolled by the University of Bonn ( under the supervision of Prof. Helga Sauerwein and will be awarded a Double Doctorate degree in co-tutelle with the University of Glasgow ( under the supervision of Dr Karl Burgess. The supervision team is completed by a non academic supervisor, Dr. Claudia Parys from Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH (, Germany.

The research will involve secondments to Porto Conte Ricerche (, Italy, and MetLabs ( located in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

The selected candidate will participate in the network’s training activities and work placements in the laboratories of the participating academic and industrial partners.

Eligibility criteria are indicated at admission rules page

For the specific ESR 5 position, it will be considered advantageous if the candidate has:

  • Experience in modern molecular biological (mainly qPCR), protein chemical and/or immunological laboratory techniques
  • Profound knowledge of ruminant physiology including metabolism
  • Skills in statistics and interest to develop expertise for evaluating “omics” data

English language proficiency certificate

Not required for admission at University of Bonn. For co-tutelle with the University of Glasgow, applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English language proficiency level, listed at In certain circumstances a previous degree from an English speaking university may be accepted.

The University of Bonn requires the following additional documents at the moment of enrolment

  • Declaration on criminal proceedings
  • Declaration on health insurance valid abroad
  • Proof of periods of employment spent in the public services
  • school-leaving certificate
  • birth certificate
  • for married persons: copy of the marriage certificate, where relevant of children’s birth certificates
  • proof of membership of a health insurance agency
  • pension scheme number
  • income tax card – Type “O“ police conduct certificate (of the Residents’ Registration Office responsible at the place of residence)

Proof of evidence for degree titles:

  • In the case of foreign academic qualifications (non-EU member states) the equivalence with German academic qualifications must be confirmed by the Central Bureau for Foreign Educational Qualifications in Bonn.
  • certificate proving completion of compulsory military service period or equivalent alternative, or proof of employment in the public services or with a different employer (in Germany or abroad) by submitting the job contract, where necessary with a certified translation


Salary and other benefits for the ESR enrolled at the University of Bonn are according to EU-standards for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and national regulations. The living allowance will be €3072.68 per month (gross amount-subject to employers costs, as well as employees tax and insurance) and appointed ESR will be eligible to pay local tax and insurance. Additional benefits are possible in the case of family allowances which will be €500 per month.

Each ESR will also have a Research and Training allowance which will be managed through the University of Bonn. This will cover the participation of researchers in training activities;

  • expenses related to research costs;
  • tuition fees (where applicable).
  • Visa, residency card for the recruited researcher and their family (where applicable)

A mobility allowance is also available. This will contribute to mobility related expenses of the ESR. The amount of the mobility allowance is specified in Table 1 of the MSCA Work Programme and for calls 2018-2020 and will amount to €600 per month.

Required documentation

Please refer to the general required documentation at

Application process

The deadline for application is 21st May 2018 through the completion of the form under the section ‘send your application‘.