Postdoc Sensory cues and habit formation

Postdoc Sensory cues and habit formation

Published Deadline Location
13 Jul 18 Sep Wageningen

Job description

Are you interested in the role of sensory perception and physiology in habit formation for products that have psycho-physiological effects? Do you have experience in collecting human sensory, physiology and/or behavioral data? We are looking for an excellent and motivated postdoctoral fellow with a background in one (or more) of the following research fields: human behavior, nutrition, psychology, physiology, biomedical or health sciences. Will you be our new colleague?

What are you going to do?
You will join WUR Division of Human Nutrition and Health and RIVM Centre for Health Protection to investigate how product properties influence consumer behaviour for products that contain psycho-physiological active components (PAC)(i.e. caffeine, taurine) to understand their influence on preferences and intake behaviour.

Your tasks as a postdoctoral researcher will include:
  • identification and chemical analysis of the products of interest,
  • setting up and conducting research with human participants,
  • supervision of MSc-level internship or thesis students and
  • developing a funding strategy for continuation of this research (under supervision).
The central theme of your research is to understand the key factors that influence habit formation for products with PACs or biologically active flavorings.

Specifically you will:
  • describe the current market for products containing PACs or flavorings including
    • marketing, sensory and chemical-analytical analysis of these products and
    • characterization of the consumers of the various products;
  • plan and execute a long term follow-up study with human participants to understand the relative contribution of sensory, nutrient (food), package (labelling) and effects on preference and habit formation;
  • set up a study to determine the effect of conditioning on reward-related brain responses (fMRI) and whether this differs between food and non-food products.
You will be positioned at the WUR Sensory science and Eating behavior chair group of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health and at the RIVM Centre for Health Protection, Department for Product Composition.

There are many commercially available food and non-food products that contain different amounts and types of PACs such as caffeine or taurine, but also flavorings (i.e. menthol) and sugar. Yet little is known about how these PACs influence consumer physiology, associative learning, neural reward responses and links to habit formation. Currently not much is known about how preferences and habitual use are influenced by the products characteristics, labeling, packaging and marketing, and their consumption format (i.e. food based or supplements) and intake (oral versus nasal). To gain a better understanding of the process of product preference and habit formation, this three year project will (i) profile the current market for food and non-food products that contain PACs; (ii) determine the relative effects of product characteristic such as sensory, nutrient, package (labelling) and PAC properties on preference and habit formation and (iii) develop a deeper understanding of conditioned psycho-physiological responses and identification of risks of product habit formation.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

You are a pro-active and enthusiastic scientist with a hands-on mentality and with experience in the above-mentioned fields. Further, you have:
  • a PhD degree (<3 years after graduation) related to sensory, human behavior, consumer psychology, consumption behavior, biomedical or health sciences or human physiology;
  • experience in performing studies with human participants;
  • affinity and experience with both literature and laboratory research;
  • excellent writing skills and scientific communication;
  • a structured way of working on your research;
  • a goal-oriented team player that is capable of working independently and also as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • proven ability to combine expertise from different fields and apply this in a pragmatic way to the project. Preference for a multidisciplinary approach to issues;
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Verbal communication in Dutch is appreciated;
  • willingness to commute between two working places (i.e. WUR (Wageningen) and RIVM (Bilthoven).

Conditions of employment

You will receive an employment contract at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, 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;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / 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 gross salary of between €2960,- and €4670,- 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 0,8 FTE can be discussed. Preferred starting date will be November 1st 2022.

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 17th 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.

Employer

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, 7.200 employees and 13.200 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!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Additional information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this function you can contact Marlou Lasschuijt, Assistant-Professor, by email: marlou.lasschuijt@wur.nl or Charlotte Pauwels, scientific researcher RIVM by email: charlotte.pauwels@rivm.nl. For more information about the procedure you can contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, by email: marjolijn.steffens@wur.nl

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 18th of September 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews mid October 2022.

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.

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • Food
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1016305-1

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer

Location

Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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Application procedure

Do you want more information?
For more information about this function you can contact Marlou Lasschuijt, Assistant-Professor, by email: marlou.lasschuijt@wur.nl or Charlotte Pauwels, scientific researcher RIVM by email: charlotte.pauwels@rivm.nl. For more information about the procedure you can contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, by email: marjolijn.steffens@wur.nl

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 18th of September 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews mid October 2022.

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.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Do you want more information?
For more information about this function you can contact Marlou Lasschuijt, Assistant-Professor, by email: marlou.lasschuijt@wur.nl or Charlotte Pauwels, scientific researcher RIVM by email: charlotte.pauwels@rivm.nl. For more information about the procedure you can contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, by email: marjolijn.steffens@wur.nl

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 18th of September 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews mid October 2022.

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.

Make sure to apply no later than 18 Sep 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).