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Tenure Track position: Integrative modelling of complex farming systems and foodscapes

The Farming Systems Ecology group focuses on the analysis and design of exemplar sustainable farming systems and foodscapes, that deliver multiple benefits to …

11 dagen geleden


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


The Farming Systems Ecology group focuses on the analysis and design of exemplar sustainable farming systems and foodscapes, that deliver multiple benefits to humankind, using natural processes as building blocks. We uniquely combine a strong platform of simulation models with hands-on, empirical assessments of outstanding examples of sustainable multifunctional farms and landscapes in all continents. Our multi-disciplinary team includes expertise in systems analysis, modelling, agronomy, agro-ecology, organic farming, permaculture, co-innovation, policy formation and immersive education.

We now seek to strengthen our team with expertise in the integrative modelling for analysis and redesign of complex farm systems and foodscapes. The successful candidate will develop a research and teaching portfolio on quantitative and qualitative models and assessments of novel farm systems and foodscapes based on agroecological principles. These systems are characterised by diversity in farm components (different types of crops, animals, trees, often in polycultures) that provide multiple benefits to humankind. These benefits emerge from complex processes and flows of information, resources, and finances. The surrounding food system is governed by a multitude of actors and institutions that interact at various levels. The successful redesign of these complex farms and foodscapes requires an understanding of trade-offs and synergies among benefits, as well as insights into the knowledge management for successful implementation.

This work will contribute to a coherent methodological portfolio and a modelling platform, being developed by the FSE group, using a variety of modelling tools ranging from conceptual frameworks to simulation models and GIS. The models will be used (by both the successful candidate and colleagues) for the analysis and design of exemplar sustainable foodscapes. Crucially, this includes the linking of the models to empirical examples of outstanding foodscapes around the globe, known as the "Global network of lighthouse farms".

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Develop their own research portfolio on the integrative modelling of complex farming systems and foodscapes.
  • Over time attract external funding to support the associated research activities.
  • Publish their research in high-ranking scientific journals and through technical and popular communication channels.
  • Contribute to both existing and new MSc courses delivered by the FSE group.
  • Supervise Postdocs, PhD candidates, MSc students and internships.
  • Contribute to operational and outreach activities of the FSE group.


IMPORTANT: Applications are expected to meet ALL of the essential requirements, and at least HALF of the desired requirements specified here:

ESSENTIAL (all of the following requirements must be met):


  • A degree and PhD relating to one of the following multi-disciplinary, integrative subjects: farm system analysis, natural resource management, agricultural ecology, food system analysis. Other disciplines may be taken into consideration, provided that the candidate demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to the description of the position applied for.
  • Thorough knowledge (practical, theoretical and contextual) of farming systems in more than one country and/or agro-climatic zone.
  • Knowledge of the quantification of ecosystem services, nutrient dynamics, agronomic processes, planetary boundaries, Sustainable Development Goals. Applicants are invited to provide examples of how these concepts have informed and been used in their research.
  • Proven affinity for quantitative analyses, with hands-on experience with modelling approaches and methodologies.
  • Proven scientific writing skills. Applicants are invited to provide examples of their papers.
  • Proven experience with research funding applications. Applicants are invited to provide examples of their contributions to funding applications.
  • Experience with academic teaching and supervision of students and/or interns.
  • Affinity for the combination of principles that characterise the FSE group:
  1. Diversity of approaches and outcomes, tailored to local conditions;
  2. Redesign of foodscapes based on ecological processes
  3. Equitability and social responsibility;
  4. Fostering multi-functionality and synergies;
  5. Engagement, collaboration and reflection.
Applicants are invited to provide examples where she/he has applied these principles in their academic career.

  • Fluency in English (spoken and written) is essential. This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page
DESIRED (at least half of the following requirements must be met)

  • Two or more years experience as a post-doctoral researcher or equivalent function.
  • Knowledge of farming systems (practical, theoretical, contextual) in more than one continent.
  • Knowledge of interfacing biophysical and social or socio-economic sciences;
  • Knowledge of Functional Land Management, Social Network Analysis.
  • Experience with programming and/or development of model user interfaces.
  • Ability to communicate research outcomes succinctly to a variety of non-scientific audiences; applicants are invited to provide examples.
  • Participation in multi-institutional research consortia; Successful research funding applications (provide details).
  • Has contributed to the design and/or implementation of innovative and/or immersive teaching methodologies.
  • Ability to communicate in one or more other major languages in addition to English.


You will work within the Wageningen tenure-track system, which provides an excellent opportunity for academic development. It offers support for personal growth in research, acquisition, education (University Teaching Qualification), and leadership. It allows to continue to grow into the role of personal professor. As the development of a research and education vision and an independent research line are important in this process, you will receive extensive coaching during. If you want to read more on the Wageningen UR tenure track, please see https://www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Why-choose-Wageningen-University-Research/Your-development-in-focus/Tenure-Track.htm

We offer a challenging position with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of €3.637,= to a maximum of € 4.978,= (scale 11) for a full working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement. The contract will be for 38 hours per week and will initially be temporary, leading to a permanent employment contract if you meet the tenure track criteria.

In addition we offer:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

Additional information

For more information about this function, please contact Rogier.Schulte@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@wur.nl.

General information about Farming Systems Ecology can be found on https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Plant-Sciences/Farming-Systems-Ecology-Group.htm

This vacancy is open until 1 July 2020 (up to and including June 30th).
You can apply via the application button on our website www.wur.eu/career.

The first job interviews will take place in September 2020, either in person or by virtual meeting, depending on the international travel situation.


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