PhD position Operations Research and Logistics

PhD position Operations Research and Logistics

Published Deadline Location
19 Jan 29 Jan Wageningen

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Job description

Are you interested in the transition to a more sustainable society that builds on competitive supply chains in a circular economy? Are you passionate about designing and optimizing logistics models and networks that support this transition? Are you excited about mathematical programming, quantitative system analysis and data analytics? Do you appreciate interdisciplinary collaboration? Then this PhD position might be the perfect fit for you!

The Operations Research and Logistics group of Wageningen University is hiring a PhD candidate (4 years, full-time employment) to become part of a multi-disciplinary project funded by the Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics (TKI Dinalog). The project aims to identify and address the logistics challenges in reuse and recycle operations, focused on both the design of logistics networks in a circular economy as well as the planning of logistics operations in these networks. The project builds on a Living Lab consisting of different field labs in the Netherlands that are expected to be used as case studies during the project. These field labs consider amongst others single-use plastics, matrasses, solar panels, and organic waste.
Previous work shows that many circular businesses were struggling to (i) decide on the right balance between centralized and decentralized logistics networks, (ii) identify the necessary level of collaboration in logistics activities, and (iii) find a useful degree of product ownership with regards to possible servitization. Furthermore, the shift from traditional demand-driven supply chains to the more supply-driven supply chains that result from a more circular economy provide a general challenge in matching supply and demand. Based on the applications in the different field labs, the PhD research should contribute to the development of the (quantitative) supply chain models underlying a circular economy.

The research is embedded in the Operations Research and Logistics group, which is led by Prof. Dr. ir. Sander de Leeuw. Daily supervision will be done by Dr Renzo Akkerman
The group consists of 25 academics focusing on operations and supply chain issues in food and bio-based supply chains. Within this scope, the core research areas are:
  • operations and supply chain performance analysis,
  • the strategic configuration of network structures, and
  • the tactical and operational planning of material flows.
Our research also aims to improve sustainability, product quality and safety, as well as health and nutrition, besides the traditional focus on efficiency. Current examples of research are the design and operation of circular supply chains, the management of disruptions in food supply chains, the development of sustainable supply chain designs for healthy diets, the operations in omni-channel retail, the management of not-for-profit supply chains, and supply chain planning to minimize waste.


Wageningen University & Research


You have
  • a university degree (MSc) in a discipline relevant to the PhD project (e.g., operations research, operations management, industrial engineering);
  • experience with quantitative optimization methods (e.g., mathematical programming) and related software and programming languages (e.g., GAMS, Python, CPLEX, Gurobi).
  • Knowledge on important challenges of sustainability and circular supply chains and an interest to combine theory and practice in this context;
  • A collaborative mindset and an interest in working together with people from other scientific disciplines (multi-disciplinary projects);
For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- 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 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

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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 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!

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


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1144882-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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