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Postdoc Agroecosystem modelling - from soils to society

Are you looking for an exciting position as postdoc to analyze agricultural systems from soils to society? Do you want to develop and apply your knowledge of …

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Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


Are you looking for an exciting position as postdoc to analyze agricultural systems from soils to society? Do you want to develop and apply your knowledge of soils, crops and farms to address global challenges and find promising solutions to problems? Then please read this job opportunity carefully and apply if you are enthusiastic!

We are looking for:
A postdoc to contribute to modelling of agroecosystems in two projects aiming to:

  1. Bring together soil models with big datasets and to formulate an integrative module to quantify soil functioning. From a selected and established soil model you will derive a module that can be used in quantitative assessments of field and farm functioning in and farm-household models and to derive heuristics for soil management. The integration into farm models allows linking soil processes to farm productivity, food security, environmental impact and socio-economic performance.
  2. Develop and apply tools and approaches that link actor-oriented system redesign with quantitative analyses across different levels: global/national with societies, landscapes with communities, farms with households. This flexible, modular modelling platform will allow for tracing non-linear effects across scales and complex interactions between biophysical and socio-economic spheres.
Soils are crucial for agroecosystem functioning and it is vital to properly manage soils in constrained environments where demands for agricultural production are large for food security and livelihoods. This project makes soil science operational when employed in e.g. multi-objective farm models and allows large scale deployment of knowledge. Simplifying data collection for farm level assessment through the use of big data will ease upscaling to landscape and regional scales.

The most important strength of the portfolio modelling for systems analysis is that it allows visualization of potential trade-offs and synergies among various agroecosystem performance indicators, with implications for various actors. Thereby it allows to assess gendered implications for the different household members, community groups and institutional entities, thus fostering an analysis of justice, equity and fairness in resource use and outcomes. Moreover, it provides a framework to ex-ante assessment of the potential to mitigate climate change through scaling of emerging technologies and innovations.

The project is conducted in a collaborative effort between the 'Farming Systems Ecology' (FSE) group of Wageningen University, the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.


The successful candidate holds a PhD degree in agricultural sciences, ecosystem modelling, computer science, or a related field. The candidate should have a strong quantitative background and experience in design and application of agricultural systems analysis tools and models, and a clear understanding of data processing. Proven experience with model development and programming in a scientific setting is required. We expect a very good level of English, strong communication skills and ability to work in a team. Ability to travel to Asia and Africa. The candidate should have flexibility and willingness to work at different offices when in The Netherlands.

This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 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, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive salary of between €2.790,= and € 4.402,= 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 32 hours per week can be discussed. We start with a temporary contract of 1 year, which might be extended with another year.

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 16th 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.

Additional information

For more information about this function, please contact Dr. ir. Jeroen Groot +31(0)317-485924. jeroen.groot@wur.nl

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

Addtional information:
Research group FSE (www.wur.eu/fse/), IBED (https://ibed.uva.nl), Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (https://www.bioversityinternational.org/alliance/)

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 March 31, 2021

We hope to schedule the first job interviews on April 8, 2021.

In this first round please only send your resume and motivation letter. Any other documents will not be taken into consideration at this stage.