Vacancy

PhD candidate: Governing dietary change in the European Union

Published on
April 25, 2022
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Do you hold a master's degree (or nearly ) in the field of Public Administration, Political Sciences, Environmental Governance, or another relevant field? Do you want to contribute to advancing the scientific basis on factors influencing dietary behaviour and the health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of dietary patterns and deliver solutions for transition through a transdisciplinary and multi-level approach? Then you might the PhD candidate we are looking for!


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD researcher on governing dietary change in the European Union. The EU food system is under considerable pressure for change due to its negative climate, environmental and health impacts. A food system transition will require changing the dietary habits of millions of Europeans. This PhD project will contribute to advancing the scientific basis on factors influencing dietary behaviour and the health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of dietary patterns and deliver solutions for transition through a transdisciplinary and multi-level approach. The emphasis of the PhD research lies on exploring and co-designing the policy, political and institutional changes that are needed in order to foster behavioural change.

In your position as a  PhD researcher, you will:

- analyse leverage points for food systems change;
- organise and study food policy summits across EU member states;
- organise and study a food policy summit at the EU level;
- assess the projected effectiveness of co-designed policy interventions.

The PhD project is embedded within the larger Horizon Europe PLAN’EAT project, which will co-create data and interventions in a pan-EU network of 9 Living Labs and a Policy Lab. These living labs will focus on a broad range of population groups, varying according to age, culture, health and socio-economic status. PLAN’EAT entails four steps that feed into each other: (1) the mapping of dietary patterns and food environments. (2) investigating the factors and drivers influencing dietary behaviour at macro- (food system), meso- (food environment) and micro- (individual) levels. (3) Assessing the impacts of current and alternative dietary behaviours. (4) Developing policy recommendations and interventions with food chain actors, consumers and policymakers.

The candidate will be based at the Public Administration and Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, which has the mission of studying the governance of wicked problems in the life sciences domains to develop more effective and legitimate governance arrangements. The supervisors of the project will be Dr. Jeroen Candel and Dr. Robbert Biesbroek.

We ask

We are looking for a PhD candidate who:

  • has a master’s degree (or is near completion of a master program) in the field of Public Administration, Political Sciences, Environmental Governance, or another relevant field;
  • has affinity with food system issues;
  • likes to engage in transdisciplinary research, collaborating with both scientists from across disciplines and societal actors;
  • is able to perform tasks independently and in teams, and has good organization and writing skills.
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.

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 Dr. Jeroen Candel (jeroen.candel@wur.nl).

For more information about the procedure, please contact recruitment.ssg@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 May 29 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on June 15 2022.

We are

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, 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!

The Public Administration and Policy Group
The Public Administration and Policy Group is an enthusiastic, ambitious and steadily growing group within the Department of Social Sciences of Wageningen University. Our mission is to study the governance of wicked problems in the interrelated domains of water, climate, food, and agriculture, and to use the generated insights to develop innovative governance arrangements. By doing so the group aims to contribute to scientific progress, to societal debates, and to policy practices. More information on the group can be found on www.wur.nl/pap.

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