PhD Identification and exploration of nutrient management practices to optimise agronomic and environmental farming impacts

PhD Identification and exploration of nutrient management practices to optimise agronomic and environmental farming impacts

Published Deadline Location
9 Jun 11 Jul Wageningen

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Job description

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group at Wageningen University and the University of Ghent invites applications for a PhD position (4 years) in a combined project: "Identification and exploration of nutrient management practices to optimise agronomic and environmental farming impacts" starting between September 15th and December 1st 2022.

The Project is funded by the European Commission entitled NUTRIBUDGET Optimisation of nutrient budgets in agriculture under Call ID:HORIZON-CL6-2021-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-02 and the vacancy is part of a Joint / Dual degree 'issued by both universities".
The specific aim of the PhD within NUTRIBUDGET is assess the selection of appropriate soil and nutrient measures, considering agronomic impacts, soil quality and environmentally harmful losses at different scales by co-creating a spatial explicit Mitigation Measures Catalogue. This consists of the following tasks:
  • Co- create a Mitigation Measures Catalogue covering animal production, plant production and agro-processing industries on conventional, organic and agroecological farming systems.
  • Quantify the impact of the selected measures on soil fertility indicators, nutrient budgets and related environmental indicators by deriving empirical (statistical) models by meta-analyses of literature data
  • Predict the response of selected indicators and budgets given the site properties of the farm / region or country and satellite derived indices reflecting crop type, crop yield, and presence of agronomic events
  • Define a roadmap (optimal combinations of mitigation measures) that bridges the gap between the actual and desired nutrient and carbon state.
The Nutribudget project
The main objective of Nutribudget is to develop and implement a prototype of an integrated nutrient management platform, called Nutriplatform, in various regions across Europe, as a decision-support tool (DST) for farmers, advisors, European policy makers and regional authorities. About 17 universities, industrial partners, NGOs and SME companies are collaborating to innovate our knowledge to help agriculture to intensify sustainably in order to meet the demands of optimising yields without compromising environmental integrity or public health.


Wageningen University & Research


  • a successfully completed MSc degree in in environmental sciences or soil science or equivalent education;
  • knowledge and skills in modelling, statistics and data handling, including basic software and modelling languages, such as R, ArcGIS, C++
  • high level of proficiency in scientific writing
  • ability to work independently as well as in our team
  • for this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.
The PhD candidate will work at Wageningen University during 3 years and at the University of Ghent during 1 year.

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, 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 € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- 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 by students as the " Best University " in the Netherlands for the 17th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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, and other issues.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and 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 and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. Actually, WUR is the "highest ranking university in agricultural sciences worldwide". An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P981867-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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