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This post-doc project is part of a large project jointly funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which explores the technical and societal relevance of Vertical Farming. The UNU-MERIT team will focus on the application of digitalisation technologies as well as on the sustainability analysis. Emerging technologies play a crucial role in modern agriculture, which powers the production of fresh food within the urbanized regions. However, due to the intensive energy use in the vertical farming system, a sustainability analysis is essential in order to guarantee a reliable long-term production system. Therefore, the research tasks for the post-doctoral researcher include mainly two parts:
The “GREENFARM” project (2022-2025) is an interdisciplinary research project jointly funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The UNU-MERIT team will work with counterparts at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, the Institute of Botany at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Genetics and Development Biology in China, and the Association for Vertical Farming in the Netherlands.
Vertical farming is a production system for growing fresh vegetables indoors, driven by new technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things. Essentially, plants are grown under LED lights, with strictly controlled environments and nurturing conditions. However, a key challenge for vertical farming is energy use (and associated costs). Vertical farming requires actors from various domains including agriculture, environment, engineering, architecture, economics and other social sciences. The project will therefore use a systematic framework to cover the interrelated economic, technological, environmental and social factors.
We expect the successful candidate to have the following qualifications and competencies:
The employment contract will be for a fixed term of two years.
Successful candidates will be employed as researcher within the Institute for Societal Policy and Innovation Research (INSPIRE) at the School of Business and Economics of Maastricht University.
They will perform their work at the Economics of Innovation and Technology Unit at UNU-MERIT, a leading research group working in the field of innovation studies. The overall research agenda of the institute is based around societally and policy relevant research, with the unit contributing to academic and policy debates on the role of innovation and technology in sustainable socio-economic development.
The gross monthly salary mentioned is based on a fulltime appointment. The salary will depend on your education, qualifications and relevant working experience, based on salary scale 10 or 11 of the Dutch university collective bargaining agreement (UFO profile Researcher level 4 or 3). This implies a gross monthly salary between € 2,960 and € 5,439 per month (based on a fulltime appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM.
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
For more information, visit www.maastrichtuniversity.nl.
The Economics of Innovation and Technology Unit at UNU-MERIT is a leading research group working in the field of innovation studies. The overall research agenda of the institute is based around societally and policy relevant research, with the unit contributing to academic and policy debates on the role of innovation and technology in sustainable socio-economic development.
The unit’s research adopts state of the art methods and diverse theoretical approaches to contribute to debates and the setting of policy agendas around major global agendas and societal challenges, including the UN’s 2030 Agenda, examining how innovation and technological change can be both an important driver of such global challenges as well as providing potential solutions to such challenges. The current research agenda of the unit revolves around the major transformations (e.g., economic, structural, societal, digital, green, global) that economies need to undertake to meet global challenges. Prominent topics in this research agenda include the drivers and consequences of the digital revolution, environmental sustainability and the green transformation, structural transformation and inequalities, technology adoption and diffusion, and the dynamics of (de-)globalisation.
The approach to research is academically rigorous, with the research agenda adopting both heterodox and mainstream approaches. Research is undertaken at various levels of analysis – i.e., at the macro, micro and meso level – and adopts a mixed methods approach. For these specific positions, we are seeking individuals that have strong quantitative skills. The unit is further looking to develop additional expertise in computational methods, including the modelling of complex systems (e.g., agent-based models, network analysis, economic complexity, and advanced econometric methods), with applications from candidates with expertise in these areas being particularly welcome.
For more information, please visit https://www.merit.unu.edu/units/economics-of-innovation-and-technology/
For more information on UNU-MERIT, please visit https://www.merit.unu.edu
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