Trainee programme Wageningen Economic Research & Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation

Wageningen Economic Research offers a two year trainee programme. During these two years you combine working and learning: you get to know the various expertise groups of Wageningen Economic Research and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, you work on various assignments for our clients, you contribute to innovation and you follow both joint and individual training or courses aimed at your personal development. You will be part of a team of 12 to 15 trainees.

After two years, you will have gained work experience in several expertise groups (or teams) of Wageningen Economic Research and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, have developed yourself by attending professional training courses, intervision and coaching and will have laid a solid foundation for the rest of your career. You have been able to set the organization in motion with your innovative ideas and you have built a network of professionals. After the traineeship we are happy to offer you a job if we have experienced a good mutual match.

Wageningen Economic Research

Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR) is a socio-economic applied research institute and part of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). We are one of the nine research institutes (WR) that work alongside the university in projects for clients. With this research we build a bridge between practice and science. In doing so, all projects focus on the transition to a sustainable food economy. This involves major and important global and regional issues for society. The choice processes and actions of people are central to these issues. Think about the provision of sufficient and safe food, climate change, the development of a circular economy, the protection and use of biodiversity and the reduction of poverty. This is a very broad field of activity, across the entire chain. From the farmer to the consumer's home. And everything in between, such as policy and the food industry.

We have seven expertise groups: International Policy, Green Economy and Landuse, Consumer and Chain, Performance & Impact Agro Sectors, Innovation, Risk Management and Information Governance, Data Science, Information Management & Project Management Organization and Farmers agricultural Data Network (FADN). In our network organization, people from different expertise groups and from other parts of Wageningen University & Research work together in projects.

Learn more about WEcR

Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation

Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) provides actionable knowledge to enhance the direction and pace of transformation processes in food and ecosystems in given local contexts in the Global South. We do this through knowledge co-creation, knowledge use in our projects and multi-annual programmes and through education for professionals. We aim at interconnectivity of these 3 delivery areas at all levels of our organisation. WCDI seeks to excel in combining WUR’s cutting edge technical (including social) and scientific expertise with WCDI’s context specific social innovation, transition management and lifelong learning expertise and experience in the Global South. Involving for each case relevant WR colleague institutes, we assure and empower inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. Our leading value propositions are facilitating stakeholder collaboration, guiding sector transformation, managing sustainable development impact and Fostering Life Long learning including strengthening strategic leadership.

Learn more about WCDI


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As a trainee you will work for two years in various projects for clients. After an intensive introduction period, you start in one of the expertise groups and after a period of about 6 to 8 months you can rotate to another expertise group or to our sister institute WCDI. It is also possible to focus more on the development of a particular profile, for example in project management, business development or a scientific profile. In doing so, we take into account your interests and competences.



During the trainee programme, you will also work in small teams with other fellow trainees on various organization-wide innovation assignments, focused for example on organizational development, external profiling, or content related innovations. These assignments come from within the organization, from the management team or from other colleagues, but there is also plenty of room for your own initiatives. We expect the team of trainees to bring new energy and ideas to the organization; renewal and innovation from within.



You become a trainee because you are ambitious and want to grow. To realize your ambitions it is important to know what drives you and how to deal with your talents, qualities and pitfalls. Together with the trainee coordinator you will give substance to your personal development programme.

During the education and training programme we pay attention to content (through theme days and workshops) and the development of your competencies. In addition to centrally organized training courses, (intervision) meetings and coaching, we offer scope for individual and tailor-made training courses.

Guidance during the trainee programme

To ensure the trainee programme runs smoothly, there is a trainee programme coordinator who ensures you receive optimal support in your development. The coordinator is also involved in the implementation of the (English-language) trainee programme, such as onboarding the trainees, matching them with assignments and evaluating how the trainee programme is progressing. In addition, the coordinator is responsible for the guidance, coaching and development of the trainees, in which trust, offering space and personal leadership are important concepts. In short, the coordinator is your support and first point of contact during the trainee programme. Together you will determine the route of your development.

There are also various other colleagues who will guide you in your development: a group head of an expertise group, the project leader and senior researchers of the projects you are working on, a mentor and others.


Would you like to work as a trainee at Wageningen Economic Research?

Please apply through our website.

Closing date is 16 May 2022.

The first selection round, during which you will have several interviews with colleagues from Wageningen Economic Research and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, will take place at our Campus in Wageningen on 31 May and 2 June 2022 (you will be scheduled for one of these days, for part of the day. So keep both dates free in your agenda).

The second selection round takes place in The Hague on 16 June 2022. During this round, you will get to work and demonstrate your qualities in, for instance, a cooperation assignment and a presentation. The second selection day takes all day (9.00-17.30 hrs). The dates of the selection days are fixed, exceptions are unfortunately not possible.