Postdoc - Multi-criteria analysis of agricultural landscapes in agroecological landscapes

Postdoc - Multi-criteria analysis of agricultural landscapes in agroecological landscapes

Published Deadline Location
24 Nov 19 Dec Wageningen

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Job description

In this postdoc position you will contribute to the development of agroecology on farms in Europe by bringing together scientific and experiential knowledge.

You will get involved in shaping and scientifically analyzing research-in-action projects that aim to support 'innovation hub' actors in their efforts to overcome barriers and lock-ins. You will act in a vibrant European network with a focus on addressing climate change, biodiversity, and socio-economic sustainability.

Your position
You will contribute to i) mapping of the socio-technical systems in the IHs and ii) the development and implementation of the multi-criteria analysis (MCA) framework for the project. Your core focus will be on elaboration of the MCA framework, which will be developed by selecting indicators with stakeholders in diverse landscapes, making the indicators operational, and guiding and joining data collection efforts to quantify indicators. The performance of landscapes and the synergies and trade-offs among indicators will be assessed using a range of statistical methodologies. Intensive collaboration is foreseen with the sibling work package on scaling up and out, as well as with the other work packages that work on co-innovation and development of the agroecology conceptual basis.

This is what you are going to do:
  • Review literature on existing MCA frameworks for agriculture and agroecology
  • Develop and apply the project MCA framework and identify relevant indicators
  • Supervise MSc thesis students
  • Participate in project workshops
  • Write scientific papers
The project
The "Trans-disciplinary approaches for systemic economic, ecological and climate change transitions" (Agroecology-TRANSECT) Horizon Europe research and innovation project aims to contribute to releasing the full potential of agroecology for European agriculture by strengthening the knowledge base for farmers and advisors and supporting decision makers. It aims to deliver robust evidence of the benefits of agroecology on climate change mitigation, biodiversity and farm socio-economic resilience. To achieve these objectives, Agroecology-TRANSECT supports the transition to agroecology through co-innovation methodology including a transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and stakeholders. The project operates in European landscapes with a diverse range of crop, animal and integrated crop-livestock systems, and strongly contrasting biogeographical and socio-economic contexts.

The project develops and applies a multi-criteria analysis (MCA)-based framework for prediction and evaluation of agroecological systems at the farm and value chain levels which will be based on sets of indicators. In addition to this overarching framework, the project will propose or develop indicators specific to the local context of IHs. Methods and tools for monitoring performances should provide generalizable answers to policy makers willing to support the transition towards agroecology, while at the same time being sensitive enough to provide references in a specific context.

This project also includes two other positions that may be of interest to you or your network.

Postdoc - Identifying recommendation domains for agroecology in Europe
Postdoc - Monitoring, evaluation, and learning in agroecological innovation hubs


Wageningen University & Research


  • A PhD degree in agricultural science, environmental science, (human) geography, natural resource management, landscape ecology, or similar.
  • Knowledge of / clear interest in agroecological systems.
  • Proven experience with a range of quantitative systems / multi-criteria analyses methods such as fuzzy cognitive mapping, systems dynamics simulation, trade-off analysis, Pareto-based ranking and multi-objective optimization.
  • Solid experience in R statistical package or a programming language (like C# or Java) and familiarity with geographical information systems and software packages to analyze spatial data.
  • Proven performance in scientific writing and a strong ambition to publish future work.
  • An ambition to work in inter- and transdisciplinary settings.
  • An interest to supervise MSc thesis students working on the same topic.
For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

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, we offer a competitive salary depending on education and experience of minimum € 2.960,- to maximum € 4.670,- gross 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. We offer a contract for 12 months which will be extended for the duration of the project (24 months) if you perform well.

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 18th 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.


Wageningen University & Research

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 specialized 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 (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future collaegues 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.


  • Postdoc
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • P1112208-1


Wageningen University & Research

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