Vacancy

PhD "Consumer Response to Technology for Ecology (T4E) agriculture"

Published on
May 14, 2020
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Do you want to join our multidisciplinary team of 18 PhD candidates, 2 postdocs and 6 PDEng  from 5 Dutch universities who are working towards the next-generation agricultural production systems that are sustainable, circular and regenerative? We are looking for a PhD candidate to examine consumer response to the new concept of ‘Technology-4-Ecology-based farming’ (T4E): biological/ecological principles in farming within the Synergia program.

The Synergia program is a crossover program funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Synergia contributes to the UN Sustainability Development Goals for the environment (depletion of scarce resources, global warming, acidification, eutrophication, nutrient losses, and biodiversity loss), labour (availability of skilled workers), and society (consumer/societal acceptance of novel technology and production methods).
Synergia goes beyond current precision agriculture (PA) and precision livestock farming (PLF) and is developing the new concept of ‘Technology-4-Ecology-based farming’ (T4E) where biological/ecological principles in farming lead the development of new farming systems, and the required technological knowledge, principles and tools. Our multi-disciplinary team with biology, ecology, agronomy, technology and social science backgrounds, will explore how current and future farming technologies can enable and support truly ecology-based farming systems.

In the program Wageningen University & Research, University of Twente, Eindhoven University of Technology, Technical University Delft, Radboud University, Top Institute Food and Nutrition (TiFN) and a broad range of private sector partners collaborate. Next to the 25 full time researchers (18 PhD students, 6 PDEng students and 2 Postdocs), over 30 experienced researchers will contribute to the program. The program will run from 2020 to 2027.

Within the work package “Societal aspects and transition”  we seek a PhD candidate to investigate Consumer Response to Technology for Ecology (T4E) agriculture. The successful candidate will investigate consumer associations and attitudes in relation to replacing traditional agriculture T4E approaches, by (for example) looking at potential ambivalence about the hi-tech nature versus naturalness and authenticity of T4E products; and to what extent different consumer groups differ in those.

In the interdisciplinary Synergia program you will work closely with other PhD candidates, both within the societal aspects and transition work package and with the candidates working on developing the application of the T4E approach. In this way we aim to ensure the findings in this work are providing insight into the societal value of actual technologies on the one hand and allowing societal issue to influence technology development on the other. The PhD position is for 4 years (based on full time appointment), funded by NWO and in collaboration with various public and private partners. This offers major advantages for the PhD candidate in terms of opportunities to collect high-quality data and close interactions and discussions with other team members to improve the quality and relevance of the project. Within the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group of Wageningen University, this position is part of the sub-programme on consumer response to new technologies in food and food production which currently has several PhD and postdoc positions and is led by Arnout Fischer.

We ask

We are looking for a colleague who:

  • has a successfully completed university MSc degree related to consumer psychology (e.g. marketing, psychology, etc.);
  • has an interest in innovations and the societal impact thereof;
  • has experience in, or the ability to learn both qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • has the ambition to contribute to scientific progress as well as to perform and publish societally relevant research;
  • is a teammate and participates in project meetings and discussions across scientific fields;
  • is willing to collaborate with private partners;
  • has affinity or a true interest in agricultural, biological systems and sustainable developments in these fields;
  • has excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
You will also have to meet the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

We offer

You will receive a fully funded PhD (AIO) position according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P) of the Dutch Universities. You will be employed by Wageningen University, where you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs.
The gross salary for the first year is €2.325,- per month rising to €2.972,- in the fourth year. This is based on a full working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended to 48 months if you perform well.
In addition we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus, for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Dr. Arnout Fischer, Associate Professor, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, 0317-483053 or by e-mail arnout.fischer@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure you can contact Sandra Willemsen, Recruiter, or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via recruitment.ssg@wur.nl.


Do you want to apply?
This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.

This vacancy is open up to and including the 4th of June, 2020. The job interviews will take place in June, 2020. We envisage a starting date of the 1st of September, 2020.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.


We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research.

Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group
The Marketing and Consumer Behaviour (MCB) Group is part of the department of Social Sciences of Wageningen University. MCB currently consists of 12 staff members and 20 postdocs/PhD’s ensuring a lively collaborative working environment. The domain of the MCB group’s research program is food and agribusiness. This domain provides excellent opportunities to contribute to knowledge in the field of marketing and consumer behaviour. It is MCB’s mission to contribute to effective food and agribusiness marketing systems to satisfy both the short term needs of customers, primary producers, and stakeholders, and the long-term (societal) viability of the system as a whole. The MCB group is a leading research group in marketing and consumer behaviour in the domain of food and agribusiness. The group has strong links with other European and US universities that also focus their marketing and consumer behaviour research in this domain.

More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

We do the recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. Please do not contact us for sales purposes.

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