PhD project 'Stress testing future supply chains using analytics'

PhD project 'Stress testing future supply chains using analytics'

Published Deadline Location
28 Sep 23 Oct Wageningen

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Job description

Are you intrigued by the dynamics of supply chain risk management? Are you proficient with quantitative methods, such as (linear) mathematical optimization, and enthusiastic about bridging the gap between theory and real-world applications? If yes, we've got an exciting PhD research opportunity for you!

The Operations Research and Logistics group of Wageningen University is looking for a passionate PhD candidate (4 years, full-time employment) to revolutionize the way we perceive supply chain risks. This project is part of a larger programme, partially funded by the Dutch institute for advanced logistics (Dinalog) together with companies such as Hoogwegt and Nobian.

You will support the development of a new methodology using reverse stress testing methods inspired by risk analysis approaches from the financial world that became common practice after the 2008 financial crisis. In this project, you will further outline and detail this approach using quantitative models and methods. You will collaborate with a variety of food companies that the group has strong ties with, including food processing and retail. Given the novelty and increasing importance of this topic and the application of analytics methodologies employed, this position is a perfect start for a future career in academia but also in industry.

The research is embedded in the Operations Research and Logistics group, which is led by Prof. Dr. ir. Sander de Leeuw. The project supervisor is Dr. Frans de Ruiter.

The group consists of 25 academics (staff and phd candidates) focusing on operations and supply chain issues in supply chains, amongst others in food and bio-based supply chains. Within this scope, the core research areas are:
  • operations and supply chain performance analysis,
  • the strategic configuration of network structures, and
  • the tactical and operational planning of material flows.

The Operations Research and Logistics group aims to improve sustainability, product quality and safety, resilience, as well as health and nutrition, besides the traditional focus on efficiency. Current examples of research are the design and operation of circular supply chains, the management of risks and disruptions in supply chains, the development of sustainable supply chain designs for healthy diets, the operations in omni-channel retail, the management of not-for-profit supply chains, and supply chain planning to minimize waste.


Wageningen University & Research


The ideal candidate should have the following qualities:
  • A university degree (MSc) in a relevant analytic discipline (e.g., operations research, econometrics, (quantitative) supply chain management or operations management, industrial engineering, computer science);
  • Experience with optimization methods (e.g., linear mathematical programming) and related software and programming languages;
  • Knowledge on important challenges of managing risks in supply chains and an interest to combine theory and practice in this context;
  • A collaborative mindset and an interest in working together with people from industry (in multi-disciplinary projects); demonstrable experience in working on research projects with industry is a plus ;
  • Proficient in English.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized 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:
  • 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 receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770,- per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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.. 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.

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.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1329675-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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