Postdoc position on Hybrid Machine Learning for Agricultural Applications and Food Security

Postdoc position on Hybrid Machine Learning for Agricultural Applications and Food Security

Published Deadline Location
16 Nov 6 Dec Wageningen

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Job description

The Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing (GRS) at Wageningen University and Research is looking for an aspiring postdoc to develop modern hybrid deep learning architectures for simulating agricultural systems and contribute to advancing artificial intelligence for agricultural applications and food security questions. Currently established deep learning models often fail unexpectedly when tested with sparce and noisy agricultural data.

As a postdoc, you will research knowledge-guided AI models that encompass the knowledge from empirical agronomic models to estimate how crops grow, working with data from a variety of sources, from agronomic trials to global food security studies.

The successful candidate will build upon recent advancements in knowledge- guided neural networks, design and evaluate alternative model architectures, and develop benchmarks with public and private datasets. By including explicitly known biological and growth processes in hybrid models, you will investigate AI advancements that will further support better-decision making in agriculture.

You will work together with an interdisciplinary and international team of experts in deep learning, artificial intelligence, remote sensing, crop modelling and food security, within the AgrifoodTEF project.


Wageningen University & Research


You have:
  • a PhD degree in artificial intelligence, computer science, environmental
    or agricultural sciences, remote sensing, or a similar relevant field;
  • demonstrated experience in applied machine learning, preferably in crop growth modelling, or remote sensing agricultural applications;
  • proficiency in programming in Python and experience in Pytorch, Scikit-Learn or related modern machine learning libraries;
  • a deep understanding of machine learning principles and concepts;
  • a high motivation, self-driven curiosity alongside enthusiasm to work in a highly dynamic team towards a common objective;
  • excellent communication skills and proficiency in English (both oral and written, similar to CEFR C1 level).

The position is available from February 2024, for a duration of two years. A later start is possible, but not later than Sept 1st, 2024. If you will graduate your PhD later, you are still encouraged to apply, and mention clearly your intended graduation and availability.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour 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;
  • 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 gross salary from a minimum of € 3.226,- to a maximum of € 5.090,- based on a full-time appointment, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). You will be offered a two year contract along with a career development program tailored to your research needs.

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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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 colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

You will work here
The research is hosted within the Laboratory for Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, and Wageningen Data Competence Center. You will be supervised by Prof. dr. Ioannis Athanasiadis.

About GRS
We are the Laboratory of Geo-information science and Remote Sensing (GRS) of Wageningen University. Our fundamental research and education concerns our living environment: nature, landscape, land use, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, water management, and various claims on space. The laboratory is very international in terms of staff and student composition. In Wageningen, we are active in several B.Sc. programs and M.Sc. programs especially the one in Geo-Information Science. We lead fundamental and applied research towards Science for Impact. We do the recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. Please do not contact us for sales purposes.

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


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • P1368912-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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