Researcher/Projectleader Post-Harvest Physiology

Researcher/Projectleader Post-Harvest Physiology

Published Deadline Location
6 Feb 28 Feb Wageningen

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Job description

We do post-harvest research that really matters by helping our customers reduce their food waste and increase their ability to provide high quality produce to the market. We understand fresh products. We understand the cold chain. Will you join our growing team?

Our research is motivated by the global challenge to reduce food losses, to make food supply chains climate neutral and to assure delivery of high quality fresh products to consumers worldwide. To strengthen our team and increase our impact, we are looking for an enthusiastic researcher/project leader in the post-harvest domain. As researcher, you will participate in various research projects related to product quality and technology in the fresh supply chain (fruits, vegetables, cut flowers). You will carry out innovative research as part of a project team to answer our customer's questions. For part of the projects you will be the project leader. For this you need good communication skills to lead multidisciplinary research teams and stay in close contact with industrial partners and clients. Your work will be in national and international settings; we have innovative projects all over the world.
Examples of our projects are:
  • Post-harvest quality control of pears for transport: Dutch "conference" pears are transported as high quality products to China, Brazil or Vietnam. To bring these distant markets high quality products with a low carbon footprint, the pears need to be treated, packed and transported in such a way that firmness and colour are maintained. Our experts have studied the optimal conditions for the pears and have developed a novel biobased packaging material for this purpose. (;
  • Volatiles as quality indicator: The objective of this project was to measure the production of volatiles in healthy and rotten (infected) potatoes and as such identify volatiles that may be used as a biomarker for rot development. Results are promising: clear differences in volatile production between infected and non-infected potatoes were found(;
  • Cold chain mango-avocado in Haiti: All relevant factors impacting the possibilities for a successful mango and avocado export from Haiti to the USA have been explored, including logistical, economic and social elements. A first implementation of a block chain system has been realised. This work will result in small-holder farmers to export to the USA and gain an income from their tropical fruit production. (
As organization, we regard impact-driven research, collaboration, and professionalism as the core values of our work. As team, we are supportive to each other, we trust and respect each other and we are proud to work together with our clients and partners towards a more sustainable world.


Wageningen University & Research


  • We are looking for a person with an academic background in agricultural technology, horticulture, biology or a similar field; preferably with a PhD and a specialisation in postharvest physiology or postharvest technology;
  • you are trained as a project leader and have an IPMA C or equivalent certificate;
  • you have experience in or a demonstrable talent for leading multidisciplinary research or other projects and carrying out contract research for the business community;
  • you have knowledge of post-harvest physiology (ripening, aging, quality loss) and technology (cooling technology, CA storage) related to fresh products such as fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants, and the willingness to continue to develop this knowledge;
  • you have strong analytical skills, are results-oriented and have a commercial outlook;
  • you are able to identify new opportunities in the market and develop them independently or with colleagues;
  • you are interested in the latest scientific developments, and know how to translate these to practical applications;
  • you are decisive and good at taking initiative and you are a team player with an affinity for the agrifood sector;
  • you have a good network within the agrifood domain.

Conditions of employment

We offer you a meaningful job with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary and a full working week of 36 hours (minimum 0,8 FTE) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Wageningen Research

In addition, we offer:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of-year bonus of 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;
  • 171 vacation hours, the possibility to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • the possibility to work a maximum of 40 hours per week and in this way build up a maximum of 204 compensation hours per year;
  • a flexible 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;
  • make use of 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.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops insights and technologies that support industries, governments, and research institutes to create innovative solutions for a healthier, more sustainable, and prosperous world. Together with our clients we develop healthy and tasty food, truly-sustainable food chains, and chemicals and materials that use biomass instead of fossil resources. Our in-depth knowledge of the entire chain, from raw materials through processing to end product, drives our approach. Website:

We make smart connections between various disciplines to explore complex issues from different perspectives. Through a combination of intelligent analyses and pragmatic invention, we find solutions for these issues. Grounded in science and business, our researchers bring a no-nonsense attitude to their work. We investigate and develop at all stages: upscaling from lab to pilot and from initial idea to production processes that deliver real products for our customers. We have direct access to the latest scientific findings and have a firm grasp of what modern technology offers. Every day, we work with national and global companies, governments and other research institutes to create innovative solutions; now and in the future.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is one of the Contract Research Organizations of Wageningen University & Research, with the aim to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 members of staff and 10,000 students, we are world leader in its domain. An integral way of working and cooperation between the exact sciences, the technological and social disciplines are key to its approach.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at

Agencies are kindly requested not to respond.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Food
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 594620


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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