Data scientist for food systems modelling

Data scientist for food systems modelling

Published Deadline Location
25 Sep 16 Oct Wageningen

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Job description

The Farming Systems Ecology group at Wageningen University & Research is looking for a data scientist. Do you enjoy working in a team and are you interested in using and developing large scale models within a research environment. Then this may be your ideal job!

As data scientist you will contribute to research that aims to transition the food system. The circular food systems (CiFoS) team models how to re-design food systems at global, regional and local scales to safeguard human and planetary health.

In your work, you will provide data science support to our team in three main pillars:
  • data management and processing,
  • model management and
  • model development

Your responsibilities per subject will be:

Data management and processing :
  • you will provide assistance to process different types of data that will be used as input data for the CiFoS model. These include spatial data (raster and vector data), crop data (yield, area), nutrition data (food consumption, food-based dietary guidelines, food-composition tables), livestock data (herd structures, livestock productivities).
  • you will assist on data communication and visualization tasks (e.g., R markdown notebooks, dashboards, etc.).

Model management:
  • you will be the responsible person to maintain all the branches of our git repositories.

Model development:
  • you will help in the implementation of new model settings.

In this position you will have the opportunity to co-author scientific publications and develop yourself in the field of food systems modelling.

The team

You will be working in close collaboration with an international and transdisciplinary team (MScs, PhDs, Post-docs and PIs).


Wageningen University & Research


  • a MSc degree and or PhD in Computer Science, Data Science, or a related field;
  • excellent skills with at least two of the following programming languages: GAMS, R and Python.
  • experienced in working with spatial data (vector and raster);
  • experienced with git workflows;
  • the ability to manage multiple projects at the same time;
  • the ability to effectively convey your expertise to and collaborate with researchers outside your field;
  • the ability to work in a team;
  • good English writing and oral communication skills;

This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 2.960,- and € 3.413,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, with the possibility to extend it to four yours if there is mutual enthusiasm. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.

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.. 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.

You will work here
Your position will be based in the Farming Systems Ecology group and embedded in the CiFoS team under the lead of Dr. Hannah van Zanten. You will be closely working together with Dr. Alejandro Parodi and Wolfram Simon.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

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


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1326230-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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