Postdoctoral research position on 'Evaluating behaviour change interventions in urban food markets''

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

Do you want to use your passion for food security, food systems and behavior change as a postdoc researcher? Do you want to contribute to academic research as well as societal impact in order to provide access to healthy and safe foods? Do you want to collaborate in a large international network of interdisciplinary specialists in food safety?

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher on behavior change and food safety for a large interdisciplinary program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This project uses risk-based approaches and generates evidence on the burden of foodborne diseases (FBD) and management options that are feasible for improved supply chain management in poultry meat and vegetables value chains in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. It develops and tests novel, but simple and practical approaches to improving food safety, building on interventions to support consumer demand for safe food, trader ability to deliver it, and regulator capacity to support it (the so-called pull-push approach).

The research will address both push (capacity of regulators and value chain actors) and pull (consumer demand) mechanisms. It develops methods, tools and approaches that will enable stakeholders in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso to identify and apply appropriate behaviour changes strategies, testing their responses and impacts in the value chains of poultry meat and vegetables.

Main activities of the postdoc researcher include:

  • Assess different types of strategies and incentives that influence the implementation and effectiveness of FBD management at market-level in poultry meat and vegetables supply chains in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso;
  • Design, execute and analyse research to assess the behavioural change responses to consumer information (risk perceptions), value chain integration (trust, reliability) and public surveillance (standards) at different levels of the value chain;
  • Organize and lead the collection of field data on different FBD practices at supply chain actor and consumer level, using representative samples of treatment and control groups;
  • Assist and collaborate in the performance of the impact analysis of socio-economic effects and health perceptions of different sets of FBD practices throughout poultry and vegetables sectors;
  • Assist and collaborate in the analyses of the potential impacts of different policies and incentives for large scale implementation of FBD practices.

We ask

We are looking for a researcher with the following key qualifications:

  • relevant PhD degree in (social, health, economic) psychology, (behavioural or development) economics, extension, innovation or a related field from an acknowledged university;
  • interest in food systems, agriculture and health; knowledge of poultry and vegetable sectors is an asset;
  • proven experience with (quantitative) evaluation research, preferably in the domains of consumer behaviour, food safety or value chains;
  • knowledge and experience with quantitative research methods for data collection (surveys, experiments, modelling, observations, sampling) and data analysis (impact assessment; behavioural change);
  • proven ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and interest in working within an impact-oriented action research program;
  • strong oral and written communication skills in English, especially regarding academic writing and presentations. Good command of French is recommended for managing the field work in Burkina Faso.
The successful candidate will be based in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The candidate is expected to mainly work from Wageningen. The candidate may occasionally travel to the areas of research in Ethiopia and/or Burkina Faso for field work.

We offer

A challenging position of 0.8 fte with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of €3.637,- to a maximum of €4.978,- for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 11). This position is for 3 year, starting with a one year contract. Intended starting date 1 October, 2020.
In addition, we offer (for a fulltime employment):

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes, e.g. the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus;
  • make use of 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 Prof. dr. Emely de Vet by e-mail; or Dr. Elise Talsma by e-mail;

For more information about the procedure, please contact Sandra Willemsen, Recruiter SSG or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via
General information about the Consumption and healthy lifestyles group can be found on

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 3rd of June, 2020. We want to plan the first job interviews on the 9th or 10th of June, 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.

The position is embedded in the Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles chair group in the Department of Social Sciences. Many of today’s major issues in health and sustainability are inevitably associated with human conduct. To address these societal challenges, changes in consumption patterns and lifestyles are crucial. In order to develop effective solutions, a fundamental understanding of the processes driving consumption patterns and lifestyles is needed.
The consumption and healthy lifestyles group is a young and ambitious chair group interested in studying the origins of healthy and sustainable consumption and lifestyle practices. These behavioral insights are used to design, evaluate and implement strategies to enable healthy and sustainable consumption. The chair group studies consumption and lifestyles of individuals and groups from an interdisciplinary perspective, encompassing a.o. sociology, psychology, and (social and behavioral) epidemiology. We adopt a multi-method research approach with quantitative and qualitative research methods, ranging from experimental studies to participatory research.

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