PhD Position- 'Economic analysis of adopting low pesticide practices and technologies in Dutch agriculture'

PhD Position- 'Economic analysis of adopting low pesticide practices and technologies in Dutch agriculture'

Published Deadline Location
18 Mar 8 Apr Wageningen

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Job description

Are you a talented aspiring researcher who is interested in exploring the economic potential of sustainable mixed cropping systems, a set of practices and technologies requiring less pesticides? Do you want to understand how farmers can benefit from diversifying their crops and reducing their environmental impact? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for this project.

We, the Business Economics Group at Wageningen University and Research, invite applications for the PhD position entitled: ‘Economic analysis of adopting low pesticide practices and technologies in Dutch agriculture’.
This research will be carried out within the NWA-financed project entitled Designing mixed cropping systems and transition paths towards sustainable ecology-based agriculture.

The NWA project will develop new business strategies that are built on sustainable mixed cropping systems. In this PhD project, you will contribute to this objective by addressing specifically the risks and profitability of adopting sustainable farm practices and technologies needed for these systems.

The prospective candidate will work within an interdisciplinary team of researchers with (business)economic and agronomic backgrounds.

Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:
  1. develop and/or apply whole-farm models to assess the economic feasibility of low-pesticide practices and technologies needed for mixed cropping systems;
  2. analyse the role of farmer behaviour, by assessing how different sources of uncertainty affect the decision to switch from current farming systems to sustainable mixed cropping systems.

You will work here
The PhD project will take place within the Business Economics (BEC) group. You will be supervised by prof. Alfons Oude Lansink and dr. Jaap Sok.

BEC is a strong research group including many young and talented people. Our group holds a key position in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research areas, such as food supply chain economics, bio-economic modelling, and economics of animal health, food safety and plant health. Also, BEC is internationally leading in measuring and modelling performance and risks and in the behavioural economic analysis of food supply chain actors, most notably farmers.


Wageningen University & Research


For this PhD position, we are searching an enthusiastic result-driven candidate with:
  • an MSc degree in either (1) agricultural or business economics or (2) agricultural sciences with a proven interest in economics;
  • the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team of social and natural scientists and having oral and written proficiency in English;
  • proven affinity with or knowledge of Dutch agriculture is required;
  • experience in quantitative economic analysis at farm level and interest in modelling farmer behaviour.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised 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:
  • 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 € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- 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 19th 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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.

Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1461023-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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