PhD in consumer behavioural change towards no food waste

Published on
May 4, 2022
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Do you want to lead innovative research contributing to a mindset change that leads to less food waste? Do you want to clarify how conditions internal to individuals and in their social and physical environment affect behaviour change? Then you might be the PhD candidate (in the area of consumer behaviour change with respect to food waste reduction) we are looking for!

This PhD project is positioned within the European Project ToNoWaste, aiming towards a new zero food waste mindset along the food chain. The aim of ToNoWaste is to equip market actors with scientific and evidence-based assessment tools and data to make better decisions towards a more sustainable food production and consumption patterns. The unique feature of the project is that there is room for several behaviour change interventions to be developed, implemented and validated  in two cities in Europe (Valencia, Spain and Vienna, Austria).

The focus of this PhD project is particularly on consumer-level behaviour change. Your responsibility will be to develop the theoretical framework from which potential (multifaceted) interventions are being informed, validated and tested in real life situations with a longitudinal focus across the four years of PhD research. Our aim is to study three types of interventions in detail, in three empirical papers, with a final analysis to assess the overall effectiveness of the project as a whole.
Consumer responses will be assessed using measures collected before and after the period of implementation of these interventions. In addition, these can be supplemented with lab / online experiments. It is expected that you will not only develop research skills and competences for the PhD project but that you will also contribute and learn from actively participating in the ToNoWaste project.

General information about the Marketing and Consumer Behavior Group can be found on
Your main supervisors for the PhD project will be Betina Piqueras Fiszman and Erica van Herpen.

We ask

Eligible candidate need to have:

  • Completed a MSc University degree;
  • Background in consumer behavior (e.g. consumer science, marketing, social psychology, behavioral economics). Other backgrounds will not be considered.;
  • A high level and interest in marketing/consumer behavior, with a focus on behaviour change;
  • Statistical/ modelling skills (R or SPSS);
  • Openness and willingness to collaborate with people from other scientific disciplines;
  • Clear scientific ambition in the conduct and publication of research work;
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level;
  • A group-social, critical and positive learning attitude towards achieving excellence.
As the project would involve travelling (mostly within Europe), it is a plus if the candidate has:
  • Knowledge of Spanish and/or German
  • Availability to travel

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • 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 € 2.443,- 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 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.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Betina Piqueras-Fiszman and Erica van Herpen, Associate Professors, Marketing and Consumer Behavior Group,;

For more information about the procedure, please contact: Jeanine van ‘t Veer, Corporate Recruiter,

Do you want to apply?
Interested candidates must submit their CV and motivation letter by June 9th 2022.

A first round of interviews is expected on June 20. Selected candidates will have to prepare a short assignment for the second and last round of interviews, expected to be held on the week of the 4th July (with some flexibility).

The preferred starting date for this position is September 1.

We are

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, 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!

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