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University LINKs Scheme

University of Edinburgh (UK)

Dr Vincent Bombail
Email: Vincent.Bombail@sruc.ac.uk




UFAW LINK funds supported the 2015 ‘Walks and Talks’ training and networking event for postgraduate students conducting research on behaviour and welfare, hosted this year by Royal Veterinary College. Special thanks to Natalie Chancellor who was the main organiser of the event held 28th – 30th September 2015 at YHA Hartington Hall, Peak District. It was attended by students from Royal Veterinary College, University of Bristol, SRUC Edinburgh and University of Lincoln. They presented and discussed their research and exchanged ideas in a friendly peer environment facilitated by a few research and academic staff members. The species covered were diverse and included pigs, chickens, dogs, goats, ducks, mice and guinea-fowl, and research methods were multi-disciplinary ranging from social sciences to biomechanics. The presentations were complemented by a walk in the surrounding hills, an animal-themed quiz, and communal cooking of meals. Students found this event enjoyable and very helpful in developing their research ideas and their professional networks in supportive environment.



Students studying for on the MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare course at the University of Edinburgh, organised a conference on ‘The Future of Animal Welfare’ in February 2013, and with the support of the LINK scheme were able to invite a range of guest speakers, including Professor Christopher Wathes (RVC), Professor Jonathan Cooper (University of Lincoln) and Professor Xavier Manteca (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

UFAW students

The students found the event ‘…. was interesting and informative for all who attended, and filled us with thoughtful questions and debates.’

The UFAW Links at Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities joined forces and agreed to use some of their link monies to support an away ‘Walk and Talk’ weekend for their post-graduate students. During this weekend they will present their animal welfare work to their peers and discuss issues arising from it, get to know each other better and develop new contacts and collaborations. UFAW was happy to support this initiative because a trial last year, organised by the University of Bristol, had proved to be very successful and resulted in a fruitful exchange of ideas and techniques.