Postdoc position: Scaling up biodiversity positive food systems

Postdoc position: Scaling up biodiversity positive food systems

Published Deadline Location
13 Jun 3 Jul Wageningen

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Job description

Are you a proactive post-doc interested in the coupled challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and food security? Are you interested in exploring how to scale up biodiversity-friendly behaviours in general, and specifically consumption and production behaviours in the food system? Are you comfortable with both quantitative and qualitative research method? Are you interested in interdisciplinary research (particularly linking economics and system thinking)? Then, you could be the ideal candidate to join our project on "scaling up biodiversity-positive food systems".

A range of initiatives and innovations in food systems are being developed, and increasing by the day, to address the interlinked crises of biodiversity loss, climate change and food security. However, these initiatives largely remain theoretical, contested and/or niche. What is blocking innovations from scaling across the value chain from production to consumption and end of life? What makes an initiative and innovation suitable for scaling? And how can we speed up this change? What role do norms and values play in scaling up biodiversity positive food systems? What is the role for value chains, producer associations and/or the financial sector in achieving these changes?

The selected candidate will be situated in group of researchers under the investment theme "biodiversity-positive food systems" of Wageningen University & Research. The candidate will have a leading role in understanding the many barriers and enablers to scaling up and accelerating promising sustainable production initiatives. They will evaluate the potential multi-scalar outcomes this could have on biodiversity, food and other societal goals, such as climate change, livelihoods or good quality of life. The work will be grounded in two case studies and contrasting internationalized value chains of the dairy sector in the Netherlands and the cacao value chain.

You will join an international and transdisciplinary team lead by Prof. Francisco Alpizar (ENR group), Dr. Jeanne Nel (ESG group) and Dr. Raimon Ripoll-Bosch (APS group), and will be located in the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group (ENR).


Wageningen University & Research


  • you have completed a PhD in economics, environmental economics, agricultural economics or a similar field;
  • you are interested in understanding how to shift the food system towards biodiversity positive production and consumption;
  • you want to explore the interventions that can trigger a transformation of the food system and the mechanisms through which those operate;
  • you have experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods;
  • you are a team player who can communicate clearly and comfortably with scientists, consultants and policy makers;
  • you are interested in biodiversity; cacao and diary value chains; the financial sector;
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.
  • you have interest and demonstrable skill in publishing in renowned scientific journals.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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, depending on your experience, receive a gross salary of between €3.282,- and €4.490,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). We offer a temporary contract for 1 year which will be extended for the remaining period of the project if you perform well. The total duration of this project is 2 years.

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 17th consecutive time.


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, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

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.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P986127-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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