Scholarship Sandwich PhD position: The influence of institutional capacity on the impact of agricultural research activities

Scholarship Sandwich PhD position: The influence of institutional capacity on the impact of agricultural research activities

Published Deadline Location
16 May 14 Jun Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 14 Jun 2022).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Are you an enthusiast and ambitious researcher who wants to investigate how practices of agricultural research institutes influence the impact of research on broad societal missions? Do you like to do action-oriented research that stimulates learning in research institutes about how to strengthen the impact of their research activities? Then read on because we are looking for you!

The research
There is an increasing need to show evidence of the beneficial outcomes of national public investments in agricultural research. To date, evaluations predominantly focus on intended results of planned, clearly demarcated interventions, i.e. projects for accountability purposes notwithstanding the longstanding critique regarding their limited value for understanding problems, learning to create potential solutions collectively and system change. To have an impact on complex problems, research institutes need to acknowledge the multitude of influential factors causing an inherent unpredictability of the change process and an attribution problem in the practice of evaluation.

This is an exciting opportunity to carry out the PhD-research with a strong international component. The activities of the scholar's PhD research will include:
  1. Carrying out a comparative case study of research evaluation perspectives, goals, capacity and practices at three agricultural research institutes (Teagasc-Ireland, AgResearch-New Zealand, and INIA-Uruguay).
  2. Implementing an in-depth Teagasc case study of two to three portfolios of research activities to understand the relationships between evaluation capacity, evaluation practices and impact.
  3. Using an action research approach, help researchers of the institutes and other relevant actors to reflect on the intermediate outcomes of the research about standing evaluation practices.
  4. Supporting a learning process to exchange research findings and experiences among the three research institutes and promote institutional learning in their own networks.
  • Develop a PhD-research proposal to be accepted by the Wageningen School of Social Sciences
  • Develop and conduct a Training and Supervision Plan
  • Conduct research on the topic described
  • Write scientific articles about the findings and submit them to relevant international scientific journals
  • Organise learning sessions at Teagasc as well as with other involved research institutes
  • Present findings at seminars and conferences


Wageningen University & Research


  • A university degree (MSc) in a relevant social-scientific field with a broad and interdisciplinary interest;
  • Strong interest in agricultural research, issues related to the agri-food systems and the impact of research
  • Strong knowledge and skills regarding a diversity of qualitative research methods and data analysis approaches
  • Interest in action-oriented research and relevant proven skills of facilitating interaction and realising impact
  • Excellent analytical skills and conceptual understanding
  • Strong communicative, collaboration, networking and writing skills, with a proven track record
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.
  • A full driving licence, valid in Ireland and The Netherlands is desirable.
  • Compliance with all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

Conditions of employment

We offer a so-called PhD-sandwich scholarship position of 4 years at WUR, while being attached to Teagasc in Ireland. The scholarship will provide for 18 months of stay in Wageningen and 30 months in Ireland.

The student will be provided with:
  • A living allowance during your stay at Wageningen University
  • A living allowance for your stay in the project country
  • A budget for the field research
  • Travel costs from your home country to the Netherlands
  • Support to obtain a residence permit for your stay in the Netherlands


Wageningen University & Research

Organisation of the PhD-research project
The position is made possible by a Teagasc Walsh Scholarship (see here). The PhD-candidate will be a member of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) of Wageningen University & Research. The PhD-candidate will be located in the Netherlands for the first and the final 9 months at the group of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation and be based in Ireland at Teagasc (Athenry, Co. Galway or Ashtown, Dublin) for the empirical research in the thirty months in between. She/he will work under the supervision of Dr Barbara van Mierlo, Wageningen University in association with Dr. Kevin Heanue, Teagasc Ireland. Other members of the supervisory team are Cees Leeuwis, Wageningen University, James Turner, AgResearch, Maeve Henchion and Aine Macken Walsh, Teagasc.

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & 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 the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

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


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P896237-7


Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer


Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you