Research assistant - Bumblebee conservation

Research assistant - Bumblebee conservation

Published Deadline Location
6 Nov 27 Nov Wageningen

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Job description

Are you committed to advancing our understanding of bumblebee populations and their conservation? Do you thrive in dynamic research environments, both in the field and the lab? If yes, then we have the perfect opportunity for you!

The Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group (PEN) at Wageningen University and Research is looking for an independent and organized Research Assistant that can lead field campaigns and lab work in an exciting new research project.

As part of a new research project, we are studying how mass-migration can influence bumblebee population dynamics in agricultural landscapes. We are going to extensively monitor bumblebee populations throughout the Netherlands using strontium isotope ratios and DNA analyses to see which bumblebee families persist in agricultural landscapes, and which families originate from migrating bumblebee queens.. In this position, your tasks will be (amongst others):
  • Organizing and performing field work campaigns (together with BSc and MSc students);
  • Arranging permission from, and keeping in touch with, land owners;
  • Preparing and running strontium isotope ratio measurements;
  • Preparing DNA samples for family lineage identification;
  • Assisting with practical educational meetings at the BSc and/or MSc level;
  • Data management and, potentially, data analysis.

This is a fixed-term position of 12 months (1.0 fte).


Wageningen University & Research


We are looking for a person that enjoys organizing and performing these tasks, in collaboration with staff, students and other research institutes. Furthermore, we would like to ask candidates to demonstrate in their motivation letter and CV that they have:
  • a BSc or MSc degree in ecology, nature conservation or related fields;
  • interest in contributing to insect biodiversity conservation;
  • a pragmatic view on problem solving, while keeping up scientific standards;
  • good organizational skills in terms of planning and execution of fieldwork, and data management;
  • experience with the isotope/DNA lab work, or demonstrate willingness to learn these methods;
  • interest in and, preferably, experience with working with BSc and MSc-level students (supervision/teaching);
  • good communication skills with a diverse set of people, such as researchers, students, farmers, and nature organizations;
  • fluency in Dutch (or willingness to learn to B2 level) is a must;
  • a valid driving license is a must.

In our international working environment, there is an increasing amount of communication in English. For this position it is about language level - B1. If you do not yet have this level, we will of course help you and you can go to our language center Wageningen in’to Languages.
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 Labor Agreement include:
  • 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, 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 € 3.377,- and € 4.640,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 9).

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.. 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.


  • Technical and laboratory
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1360761-3


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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