Postdoc - Identifying recommendation domains for agroecology in Europe

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Wageningen University & Research


In this position you will contribute to the development of agroecology on farms in Europe by bringing together scientific and experiential knowledge.

You will get involved in shaping and analyzing projects that aim to support actors in landscapes that employ agroecology in their efforts to overcome barriers and lock-ins. You will act in a vibrant European network with a focus on addressing climate change, biodiversity, and socio-economic sustainability.

Your position
You will contribute to spatial analysis of landscapes in Europe where agroecological transitions have been successful. You will develop algorithms to extrapolate the possibilities for deployment of agroecological practices to other landscapes with similar socio-economic and biophysical contexts. These algorithms are derived from Multi-Variate Analysis (MVA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and operate on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Intensive collaboration is foreseen with the sibling work package on multicriteria assessment, as well as with the other work packages that work on co-innovation and the development of the agroecology conceptual basis.

This is what you are going to do:
  • Collect and process GIS maps of socio-economic and biophysical features
  • Develop and test algorithms to identify recommendation domains
  • Synthesize data from other work packages to inform algorithm development
  • Supervise MSc thesis students
  • Participate in project workshops
  • Write scientific papers
The project
The "Trans-disciplinary approaches for systemic economic, ecological and climate change transitions" (Agroecology-TRANSECT) Horizon Europe research and innovation project aims to contribute to releasing the full potential of agroecology for European agriculture by strengthening the knowledge base for farmers and advisors and supporting decision makers. It aims to deliver robust evidence of the benefits of agroecology on climate change mitigation, biodiversity and farm socio-economic resilience. To achieve these objectives, Agroecology-TRANSECT supports the transition to agroecology through co-innovation methodology including a transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and stakeholders. The project operates in European landscapes with a diverse range of crop, animal and integrated crop-livestock systems, and strongly contrasting biogeographical and socio-economic contexts.

The project analyses and supports the transition dynamics towards agroecology in eleven farming landscapes in detail using a co-innovation approach. In addition, it creates an inventory of successful initiatives for agroecological transition in landscapes across Europe. Based on the resulting overview and the socio-economic and biophysical conditions in the various landscapes, other areas where similar agroecological initiatives might be successful will be identified.


  • A PhD degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, geography, natural resource management, landscape ecology, or similar.
  • Knowledge of / clear interest in agroecological systems.
  • Proven experience with a range of algorithms from operations research, multi-criteria analyses and artificial intelligence.
  • Solid experience in R statistical package or a programming language (like C# or Java) and familiarity with geographical information systems and software packages to analyze spatial data.
  • Proven performance in scientific writing and a strong ambition to publish future work.
  • An ambition to work in inter- and transdisciplinary settings.
  • An interest to supervise MSc thesis students working on the same topic.
For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.


Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialized research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future collaegues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, we offer a competitive salary depending on education and experience of minimum € 2.960,- to maximum € 4.670,- gross for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Additionally, a contract for 0.8 FTE can be discussed. We offer a contract for 12 months which will be extended for the duration of the project (24 months) if you perform well.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Meer informatie

For more information about this function, please contact Dr Jeroen Groot, Associate Professor (ius promovendi), e-mail: jeroen.groot@wur.nl

For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 19 December 2022.
The first job interviews will take place in the first half of January 2023.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.