Phd on social-cultural perspectives on water retention by farmers

Phd on social-cultural perspectives on water retention by farmers

Published Deadline Location
7 Jan 24 Jan Wageningen

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Job description

Are you an ambitious researcher who wants to investigate how Dutch farmers can contribute to the important challenge of (climate robust) water management? Do you like to collaborate with other researchers and societal stakeholders in a highly interdisciplinary research project, and want to make an impact?

We are looking for A PhD student on social-cultural perspective on water retention by farmers. In the era of increased climate change, water is becoming an increasingly influential factor for agriculture. Droughts, salinity intrusion, limited supply from groundwater or surface water increasingly occur in different agro-ecological regions of the Netherlands. How do farmers and water managers in the Netherlands respond to all this?

In this research project you will investigate the tensions and opportunities in the agriculture-water domain in the context of increased climate change and rezoning of agriculture in the Netherlands. You will specifically focus on (regional) collective choices versus individual (farmer) decisions while distinguishing pro-active and reactive actions. You will combine interviews, questionnaires, and (geo)statistical analyses to answer this questions. In the end your study will lead to clear recommendations for policymakers how to engage farmers in water retention in order to make the country more robust to climate change. Case studies have not yet been defined, we therefore welcome innovative research ideas in the application procedure.

This PhD study will have high academic impact as well as high societal relevance. You will collaborate with stakeholders such as farmers, provincial policymakers, water authorities, and with other PhD students working on similar projects. In addition, you are expected to conduct interviews and organize focus groups with farmers. The project is a collaboration between the Water Resource Management (WRM) Group and the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (LSP) group at Wageningen University. Do you want to know more about our groups? Check out our page with news, recent publications and projects.


Wageningen University & Research


  • A university degree (MSc) in a relevant field (e.g. Spatial Planning, Resource management, Environmental economics or Environmental Sciences) with a broad and interdisciplinary interest;
  • Strong affinity with (sustainable) agriculture and working with farmers;
  • Demonstrated experience with (spatial) statistics;
  • Very good English and Dutch communicative and writing skills (interviews and questionnaires will be conducted in Dutch).
  • A collegial attitude and a clear willingness to collaborate in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Compliance with all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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;
  • 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 receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,- per month rising to € 3.111,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 17th consecutive time.

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.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised 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, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

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


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 846534


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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