AIO: EdiCitNet - Edible Cities Network

AIO: EdiCitNet - Edible Cities Network

Published Deadline Location
9 Aug 6 Sep Wageningen

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Job description

The Business Management and Organisation-chairgroup at Wageningen University is looking for a PhD researcher on the ERA-NET-project "EdiCitNet - Edible Cities Network. Integrating Edible City Solutions for social resilient and sustainably productive cities".

Over half of the global population lives in urban areas, for good or bad. Cities are vibrant centres for food halls, community gardens, green walls, and urban farming, but cities also show heat islands, food deserts, floods, and obesity. Although taking many forms and names, albeit urban agriculture or greening initiatives, Edible City Solutions (ECS) are a source of environmental, social and health-related benefits, as well as economic development opportunities. What are these resilient, and feasible nature based solutions that contribute to the development of cities?

The use of urban landscapes for food production is a major step towards more sustainable, liveable and healthier cities. One witnesses a multitude of grassroots initiatives around the World. Their joint produce, and inclusive activities empower local communities, creating new green business and jobs, thereby strengthening local economic development while fostering social cohesion.
EdiCitNet will leverage the substantial benefits that ECS have locally, and catalyse their replication EU- and world-wide. Five Front Runner Cities, such as Rotterdam, supported by a highly interdisciplinary consortium, will demonstrate, advance and systematize their unique experiences, and transfer their knowledge and formats to Follower Cities, determined to replicate ECS. Rotterdam listed over 200 nature-based ECS-initiatives. It aims at strengthening these fragmented and often vulnerable ECS, by increasing their self-steering potential, and explicating underlying sustainable business models and facilitating local valorisation and (inter)national replicability.

The PhD will be stationed at the (renamed) Business Management and Organisation chairgroup of Wageningen University. The candidate will take the (social) business perspective to close knowledge gaps on the effectiveness, implementation and replicability of ECS, or wider NBS. The PhD will use triple bottom line Business Model Canvas (3BMC) to specify feasible business formats and methodologies for consolidation and replication of NBS, locally and at city level. Field research will focus on Rotterdam, and related front runner cities. The PhD will support the co-implementation of Living Labs on innovative ECS in Rotterdam.

EdiCitNet is an so-called Innovative Action, funded by the European Union, under the Cross-Cutting activities Work Programme of Horizon 2020 named ERA-NET. The highly interdisciplinary consortium covers a wide range of stakeholder groups, from city authorities, SMEs, NGOs and academia, encompassing 5 European front running cities and 8 follower cities from Africa, China and the Americas. Amongst the 35 partners, lead partner TUB is recognized expert on urban ecosystem services, and NBS solutions for urban water management. See: p=776665


Wageningen University & Research


You can apply for this job if you are an enthusiastic and self-steering social scientific team player, interested in exploring the potential of PPP-business model approaches to consolidate (grass roots) initiatives for social resilient and sustainably nature-based edible city solutions. You participate in an international, interdisciplinary research programme to advance more sustainable, liveable and healthier cities. You will be expected to advance your teaching skills while participating in education yourself.

You should have the following qualifications:
  • A master in management, sociology, spatial sciences, or related social disciplines
  • A clear understanding of pros and cons of business models when exploring grassroots initiatives.
  • Affinity with grassroots approaches to food citizens.
  • Fluency in Dutch and English (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
  • Good communication and writing skills
  • Evident qualitative research skills and eager to grow on academic research
  • Interested to work with a diversity of stakeholders in diverse projects

Conditions of employment

We offer an encouraging work environment at one of the global top universities in life sciences. This research provides an opportunity to work with interesting partners at the frontier of Edible City Solutions, with a direct impact on the quality of life in cities.

In principle is this a 48 month PhD position. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months, which shall be extended with 30 months after a positive evaluation. It concerns a fulltime employment (38 hours per week), starting ideally by October 2018. The gross salary starts at € 2.266 the first year and increases up to € 2.897 in the fourth year, based on a fulltime appointment. In addition, we offer 8% holiday allowance, an 8,3% end-of-year allowance, and pension of the ABP Pension Fund.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University and Research center
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, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.
Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need. For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at

The Business Management and Organisation-chairgroup (BMO) is an ambitious group within the Department of Social Sciences of Wageningen University. BMO focuses on the strategy and organization of business, embedded in networks or value chain. BMO plays a pivotal role in the Bachelor program Business, Consumer and Competence studies (BBC) and the Master program Management, Governance and Economics (MME). Amongst others, it participates in courses and MOOCs on Biobased and Circular Economy, and on (Social) Entrepreneurship. BMO typically uses a mixed methodology. BMO's excellent position in research was acknowledged by the 2015 international peer review committee, that evaluated its research quality as excellent, its viability as excellent; and its societal relevance as very good. More information about the Business Management and Organization Group can be found on


  • PhD positions
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • University Graduate
  • 406837


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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