The search for an assistant research fellow to project manage a study on the impacts of Mycoplasma bovis on farmers and their communities has attracted a high level of interest.

In January, it was announced the University of Otago would undertake a study on the emotional, social and psychological impacts of the bacterial cattle disease on southern farmers and farming communities.

The two-year study, due to start this month, will look at the impact of the eradication programme on farmers specifically and the wider community more generally.

Read more: Listen: Study hopes to show how M. bovis affects farmers


It is being funded by a $120,000 grant from the Lottery Grants Board and will be co-ordinated by Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble, a senior research fellow in the rural health section of the department of general practice and rural health, VetSouth director and veterinarian Mark Bryan and Associate Prof Chrys Jaye, a medical anthropologist in the department of general practice and rural health.

Dr Doolan-Noble said the applicants were being reviewed and those shortlisted would be interviewed within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, she had been doing some background work and had visited South Canterbury to talk to people about their experiences.

While the district was out of the project's area of interest, it enabled her to achieve a better understanding of the impact on an individual, family and community scale, she said.