We are looking for a PhD candidate to study the practice of applying organic waste as a soil-quality improving technique by farmers. This practice has many advantages: for farmers it can lead to savings on fertilizer and an improved water holding capacity of the soil; for the producers of the waste (e.g. municipalities, nature conservation organizations) it is a relatively cheap way of getting rid of the material; and for the regional governments it will contribute to their aims of closing nutrient cycles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, in spite of these advantages, the uptake of the practice by farmers is poor. Apparently, a combination of socio-psychological, economic, and legislation-related factors prevent farmers from a wide-scale adoption of the practice.
The PhD candidate will investigate and unravel these mechanisms by using a wide range of methods including in-depth interviews accompanied by agent-based modelling). Because the studied system is a socio-ecological system, the PhD candidate will closely cooperate with another PhD candidate who studies the ecological system, i.e. the processes that take place in the soil. Eventually, the two PhD students will create an integrated model, in which the interactions between the soil system and the social system are captured. Meanwhile, collaboration with societal stakeholders (e.g. the Province of Gelderland, Natuurmonumenten, and farmers collectives) is also part of the work.
The research will be part of an NWO-funded research, within the program Closed Cycles.
We are searching for a highly motivated and skilled PhD candidate who is able to work independently as well as in our research team. The candidate should have:
- A master degree in social sciences, and a clear affinity with environmental (spatial) sciences, agricultural topics in particular
- Affinity with and experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including programming and GIS
- Excellent English and Dutch writing and communication skills
- Affinity with working in an interdisciplinary team and with stakeholders
- A strong interest in a scientific career
We offer you a full time (38 hours/week) temporary position for a period of 4 years. The appointment will be initially for 18 months. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. Successful candidates are expected to register for a programme of study that leads to a PhD. Finalization of the PhD is expected in the beginning of 2022. The salary will increase from € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.840,- in the fourth year based on a full-time employment.
Application process candidates should provide the following information in one file for their application:
- A detailed CV with covering letter which explains your suitability, competence and motivation for scientific research and the fellowship;
- All undergraduate level certificates including university grades;
- Applicants who do not have Dutch as mother tongue should include a certificate (preferably CNaVT) proving the language ability in Dutch language at C1 level;
- A list of publications and/or presentations at meetings, if applicable;
- Contact information of two referees.
Applications for this position should be submitted before 28 November 2017.
For more information about this position, please contact Dr Martha Bakker (Martha.Bakker@wur.nl). Website:www.lup.wur.nl
Please do not send your application directly to Dr Martha Bakker.
Wageningen University is an international oriented University which cooperates with partners from all over the world in education and research on the theme 'healthy food and living environment'. Wageningen University's hosts students from over 100 countries. Our mission is: To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life.
The Land Use Planning Group is part of the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University. We aim to improve our understanding of landscapes as social -ecological systems, thus providing the basis for sustainable land use and spatial planning. The group currently hosts about 8 PhDs that work on a variety in subjects.