Postdoc Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice

Published Deadline Location
4 Sep 5 Sep Wageningen

Postdoc Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice

Job description

Main purpose of the job
RRI Practice is a European Commission Horizon 2020 funded project that aims to analyse responsible research and innovation (RRI) related discourses and pathways to implementation in order to identify, understand, disseminate and promote RRI implementation best practices that can be scaled up at European and global levels. The project team has a truly global reach in that it includes 14 academic partners from across Europe as well as from China, India, USA, Brazil and Australia.

The main purpose of the postdoctoral position is to lead Wageningen University's contribution to a project, under supervision.

About the project team
The team leader of the Wageningen University research, Professor Phil Macnaghten has extensive expertise in the governance of science and technology and in the development of frameworks of responsible (research and) innovation. The Wageningen team further includes Dr Barbara van Mierlo (KTI), who specialises on understanding system innovation trajectories of innovation networks aimed at sustainability practices, Dr David Ludwig (KTI), who specialises in the philosophy of RRI, and Dr Vincent Blok, who specialises on sustainable entrepreneurship, business ethics and responsible innovation at the Management Studies Chair Group. Drawing on this expertise, the Wageningen team will draw particularly on the integrative and comparative work packages where Wageningen has a dedicated role. The RRI Practice project is already six months under way. Dr David Ludwig (KTI), who was employed as the RRI Practice postdoc, has now a faculty position at KTI resulting in this vacancy.

Main duties and accountabilities:
To be accountable, under supervision, for the delivery of tasks, workpackages and deliverables as outlined in the project proposal:
  1. To plan, co-ordinate and lead on the successful delivery of the research project within the allocated time frame and within the allocated budget.
  2. To conduct a RRI Review on Wageningen University aimed at understanding the current framing and status of RRI in the organization and to feed the findings into a National RRI Outlook in partnership with Radboud University Nijmegen. Preliminary work has already been undertaken.
  3. To develop a RRI Outlook for Wageningen University that will outline important goals, means and targets for the work related to the EC RRI keys (ethics, societal relevance, gender, open access/ open science and science education) - and RRI more broadly understood - in the organisation.
  4. To lead the RRI Internal Review that will provide a reflexive learning tool for project partners. Using the anticipation-inclusion-reflexivity-responsiveness (AIRR) framework as a reference, activities will be developed aimed at understanding and contextualizing RRI in the project teams' own practices. Preliminary work has already been undertaken in the form of initial interviews with members of the project consortium. Further work will include a next round of interviews and possibly a set of focus groups comparing institutional discourses on RRI with lay understanding.
  5. To lead the comparative analysis of national discourses and practices on RRI to explore why certain keys and dimensions of RRI are developed in some national and local contexts and not others.
  6. To disseminate complex and conceptual ideas arising from the project to stakeholders and peers using high level skills and a range of media and to present the results of the research to academic and policy audiences through the writing of peer-reviewed journal articles and at conferences when opportunities arise.


Competency Essential Desirable Attainments/Qualifications
To have a record of scholarly output in one or more fields of: science and technology studies (STS), sociology, development studies, anthropology, innovation studies, human geography, political science or equivalent.

PhD or equivalent in a related field of study and relevant postdoctoral experience. Skills and Understanding
Possess sufficient specialist knowledge concerning the governance and wider dimensions of science and innovation, evidenced through a track record of research output in peer-reviewed publications.

To have skills in qualitative research. Understanding of university and research council processes.

Understanding of debates in responsible research and innovation.
Skills in focus group research Prior Experience
Have experience of working across disciplines relevant to the wider dimensions of science and innovation. Success in obtaining grant funding.

Behavioural Characteristics
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Experience of communicating complex concepts in a way that are easily understood by stakeholders and the wider public.

Ability to work effectively with project partners and stakeholders and engage in active research with them.

Ability to build relationships for future activities.

Ability to balance the pressures of research and tight deadlines.

Conditions of employment

We offer you an employment contract for 1.0 FTE (38 hours a week) for 24 months. You will start with a one year contract. After a positive evaluation the contract will be extended with the remainder period. The maximum gross salary is € 3,427.00 per month (based on fulltime employment), (scale 11.0 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities with an annual step to 11.1 in the second year).(starting in scale 10 can be applicable for candidates in the last stage of obtaining their Phd title). In addition, we offer a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.


Wageningen University & Research

Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, researchers and students at Wageningen Research and University search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Every day, 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

About the chair group
The Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Chair Group studies processes of socio-technical innovation and transformation. We focus on communicative and socio-political dynamics involved in the production, exchange, integration and use of scientific and other knowledge. We specialize in interdisciplinary research and design.

About the Section
The Communication, Philosophy and Technology (CPT) Section consists of three Chair Groups working closely together: Strategic Communication (COM), Philosophy (PHI) and Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (KTI). CPT is a centre for integrative studies that aims to develop a better understanding of the relations between the life sciences and societal change. Our starting point is that technical issues in agriculture, food, health and ecology are closely connected with social issues, such as human relations, democracy, equity and ethics.


  • Postdoc positions
  • Behaviour and Society
  • max. 38 hours per week, permanent
  • Doctorate
  • 304695


Wageningen University & Research

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