PhD vacancy: Effective Policy Strategies and Instruments for Transforming Food Systems towards Healthier Diets

Gepubliceerd op
15 januari 2018

We are looking for

A sandwich-PhD researcher located in Bangladesh with interest and proven experience in food system policies, to work within the CGIAR funded Flagship programme Food Systems and Healthier Diets.

Main purpose of the job

The chair group Environmental Policy is partner in the Flagship Food Systems for Healthier Diets of the CGIAR Research Programme Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). Research focuses on understanding dietary gaps and their linkages with existing food systems, how changes in food systems can lead to healthier diets and to identify and test entry points for interventions to make those changes. Types of research include diagnosis and foresight analysis of diets and food systems (including development of dietary indicators and indices), evaluation of food systems innovations for impact on diet and sustainability. The Flagship Programme is carried out in four focus countries: Ethiopia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nigeria. Within this Flagship Programme the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University is searching for a Bangladeshi PhD researcher, who will mainly focus on food system policies in Bangladesh.

About the project team

The Flagship programme is coordinated by Dr Inge D Brouwer, and forms part of the CGIAR funded Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) research programme, led by IFPRI. The Wageningen team comprises senior researchers in economics, environmental policies and nutrition both at the Wageningen University as the Wageningen Research Institutes. The team collaborates with several CGIAR Institutes like Bioversity International, IFPRI, CIAT and IITA, and works closely with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. The team also closely collaborates with the A4NH country teams in the four focus countries.

Main tasks

Food and nutrition security requires cross-sectoral strategies that are designed and implemented at different levels, from global to local. Food systems policy is therefore essential for the creation of systemic arrangements capable of fulfilling dietary health, food security and sustainability requirements. As an emerging activity subsuming co-ordination between multiple sectors and actors, effective organization of accountability measures and of adequate responses to the challenges of malnutrition, there is need for better understanding of promising configurations of food systems policy. Due to the complexity of food systems and policies pertaining to them, policy instruments and their use require serious scrutiny. It is crucial to determine their effectiveness and efficiency from a system perspective, focusing on nutrition outcomes while also taking into consideration particularities of context, side-effects, synergies and trade-offs. This PhD project addresses the following research questions:

  1. What policy strategies and associated instruments are available for the transformation of food
    systems for healthier diets at local and national levels?
  2. With what mechanism can the effectiveness, efficiency and applicability of available food systems
    policy instruments be assessed?
  3. What does the assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and applicability of available food
    systems policy instruments deliver in terms of synergies and trade-offs?
  4. Which effective, efficient and applicable policy instruments are available for food systems
    transformations towards healthier diets?


For this position we request a candidate with:

  • An MSc degree equivalent in sociology/ anthropology/ political science/ environmental science, especially in LMIC?
  • Bangladeshi nationality or from another country in East Asia.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (TOEFL internet-based 90 with a minimum of 23 for speaking, or IELTS (academic version) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 for speaking)
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research skills
  • Strong scientific writing skills
  • Proven affinity with food policy research
  • Motivated to work in an international team, with excellent communication skills.

We offer

A sandwich PhD grant with an average working time of 38 hours per week initially for 18 months extended by another 30 months after positive evaluation. Sandwich PhD candidates are international PhD candidates who spend part of their time at Wageningen. As a sandwich PhD candidate you will not be employed by the university. You will have a grant and you will generally spend the initial nine and final six to nine months of the four-year PhD programme in Wageningen. In the intermediate period you will
conduct your research in your country of origin. For more information on sandwich PhD grants: click here. This PhD is directly supervised by the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University. The project will be carried out in collaboration with other partners including IFPRI, IITA, CIAT and others.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof Dr Peter Oosterveer, Professor at the Environmental Policy Group; e-mail:


You can apply by sending you application letter, CV, letter of support of your home institute (if applicable), copies of BSc and MSc degrees and TOEFL/IELTS test scores (if applicable) to (please entitle this e-mail ‘Application PhD FSHD1’)
Closing date for applications is 31 January 2018.