Assistant Professor Modelling plant organ growth in controlled environment agriculture (Tenure Track)

Assistant Professor Modelling plant organ growth in controlled environment agriculture (Tenure Track)

Published Deadline Location
1 May 29 May Wageningen

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Job description

Do you want to develop novel models that simulate plant organ growth, and that will be used for the sustainable production of vegetables? Then the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology of Wageningen University & Research is offering a Tenure Track position which is the opportunity you are looking for.

In the future of controlled environment agriculture (greenhouses and vertical farms) the production process is fully under autonomous control, despite biological variation and changing weather. Multiscale models combining environmental conditions and the genomic and phenotypic crop diversity will predict the crop responses to varying conditions. The model predictions are used for forecasting production and for control systems that ensure the best production at a minimum of environmental costs.

Your work will focus on developing novel simulation models and improving our understanding of physiological processes that determine growth and development of plant organs in relation to the abiotic environment. You are exited about whole plant physiology, including, but not limited to, topics such as sink strength of organs, plant-water relations, or morphogenesis. These models for plant organs are integrated into whole-plant models that can be used for optimizing sustainable crop production. You will also conduct experiments using high-tech instruments for model development, calibration and validation.

As an Assistant Professor, you will have the opportunity to set up your own research and education on the modelling of plant organ growth in relation to the abiotic conditions in greenhouses and vertical farms The job also requires teaching at BSc and MSc level and advising of students, which amounts to approximately 40% of the time.

In this challenging career trajectory:
  • You cooperate with colleagues and set up a personal research portfolio that is embedded in the Horticulture and Product Physiology group
  • You will perform modelling and experimental research on physiology of growth and development of plant organs of horticultural crops grown in greenhouses or vertical farms.
  • You will acquire, lead and implement together with the chair holder and other staff members innovative and creative (inter-)national research projects for our group.
  • You will supervise BSc, MSc, and PhD students. You will also develop and teach courses (lectures, practicals) on modelling and monitoring growth and development of plant organs of crops grown in vertical farms and greenhouses.
  • You undertake research that leads to high quality research output.
  • Your research contributes to improving sustainability and yield of horticultural crops.

Tenure Track is a career path for scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.


Wageningen University & Research


We are looking for a result-driven team player with creative ideas, excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English.
  • You hold a PhD degree in plant science, biological science, or a related field
  • You are a plant physiologist with a proven interest in modelling
  • You have interest in data science and/or sensing of plants
  • You have published research in high-quality journals and are keen to develop your skills in teaching and grant proposal acquisition
  • You are a strong communicator

You can see that there are plenty of challenges ahead of you. These challenges can also be seen as development opportunities. So if you do not yet have the track-record required in the vacancy, but do have solid work experience, we would also like to invite you to apply.

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, you will be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University's Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 3.974,- and € 5.439,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 11). Additionally, a contract for 0.8FTE can be discussed. Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to an open-ended contract if there is mutual enthusiasm. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions. 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.
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. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


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 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 (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.

We are ranked as University as number 1 worldwide in the fields of agriculture, ecology and environment, as well as excellent rankings in other fields.

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 are
You will work at the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology This group conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.

The research focus of the chair group is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contribute to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.

The chair group is an international team consisting of 20 staff members, about 35 PhD candidates and postdocs and guest researchers. Each year approximately 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (6-month research) in our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post-harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.

More info about the chair group can be found at Horticulture and Product Physiology or see this video .

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


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • P1218485-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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