Vacancy

PhD Modelling growth, development and architecture of plants

Published on
April 6, 2021
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Are you that researcher that likes to develop simulation models for plant growth and development? Do you want to contribute to research on sustainability and automatic harvesting of vegetables produced in greenhouses?

The chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is offering a PhD position which is the opportunity you are looking for.

You will be developing and employing a 3D functional structural plant (FSP) model that unlike standard crop models, can capture the complex dynamics of plant architectural responses to greenhouse environment. A number of strategic combinations of growth conditions will be experimentally investigated in greenhouses or climate rooms and you will use the results to further develop and calibrate the FSP model. This model will be capable of exploring relations between multiple growth conditions and plant architecture and crop production. Cucumber is used as a model crop, because it is an economically important vegetable crop, it will be one of the first crops that is automatically harvested (for which an adapted crop architecture is very important) and its architecture is very responsive to growth conditions.

This PhD position is one of the 27 PhD positions within the SYNERGIA NWO research programme  Synergia (technology4ecology.org). SYNERGIA builds knowledge at the interface of biology, technology and society to develop new sustainable strategies for the agriculture sector, such as systems for intelligent decision making in greenhouses. In the programme five Dutch universities in the fields of life sciences, technology, and social sciences cooperate with various agricultural partners and about thirty technology companies.

We ask

  • A PhD candidate with an MSc degree in Plant Sciences, Plant Biology, Applied Mathematics or a related discipline;
  • Experience in plant modelling is required;
  •  Experience with conducting greenhouse or climate room experiments would be welcomed;
  • A proven ability to think conceptually;
  • You are a result-driven team player with creative ideas 
  • You have excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English (both oral and written).

We offer

We are offering an exciting and challenging  PhD position
Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 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 € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- 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 12 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 16th 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.

More information

Do you want more information??
For more information about this function, you can contact Prof. dr Leo Marcelis, e-mail: Leo.Marcelis@wur.nl or dr Ep Heuvelink, Ep.Heuvelink@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 25 April 2021.
 

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.

We are

Wageningen University & Research
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, 6.500 employees and 12.500 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 Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

The chair group Horticulture & Product Physiology
The chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.

The research focus is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contributes to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.

The chair group is an international team consisting of 14 permanent staff members, about 25 PhD candidates and postdocs and a number of guest researchers. Each year about 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (a 6-month research) at our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.

More info about the chair group can be found at www.hpp.wur.nl or see the video below;




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

Apply now