Researcher in Social Science Interfaces of Agrosystems

Wageningen University

Researcher Social Science Interfaces of Agrosystems

Published on
April 22, 2021

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Does exploring social-agricultural interfaces appeal to you? Are you keen on further combining your interests in farming and social sciences? Do you want to design and analyze robust solutions to complex societal challenges that bring fair benefits to those involved, while also taking into account the drawbacks? Then this could be the position you are looking for. 
We conduct contract research, applying a systems approach to farming and food systems from many sectorial perspectives. We are looking for a scientist with a broad interest in analyzing and developing solutions that benefit farmers and society. We would like to integrate your experience into our group of scientists and projects. Your skills, ambitions and positive attitude to life will further strengthen the position of our Agrosystems Research business unit. You will contribute to further developing and mainstreaming an interdisciplinary systems approach in Agrosystems Research. You will work from our "Land Use and Food Security" team.
You love to interview people and facilitate co-creation, as well as doing desktop studies according to your pertinent and exciting research questions and put the results on paper together with your colleagues. You are practice-oriented and enjoy scientific working. You like to listen to different parties in order to understand well what points of view they have and why. You have a keen interest in getting others to participate in this knowledge expansion. You make room for and promote the creativity of others to develop new solutions themselves and with others.
In this position you operate from a social sciences or socio-economic perspective on interfaces in farming and food systems. Your activities lie in carrying out, managing and acquiring projects. You will do this in collaboration with colleagues within and beyond our business unit. You will work on both societal and scientific impact. Your workplace is an inspiring environment at the intersection of academic and applied research. 

We ask

  • An enthusiastic scientist with a PhD in social sciences (e.g., rural sociology, socioeconomics, human geography, anthropology, political sciences), preferably with a focus on sustainable agriculture.
  • Good knowledge of the Dutch and European agricultural and food system 
  • Excellent communication skills in Dutch and English, both speaking and writing. 
  • A fast capacity to familiarize with our knowledge fields, for example robotics, precision farming, grassland systems, agroecology, green education, accelerating the food system transition.
  • Proven experience with qualitative and quantitative methods and a demonstrated affinity for multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research. 
  • A skilled team player and networker who easily connects with colleagues and stakeholders.
  • You have experience with multi-stakeholder approaches and participatory processes.
  • You deal creatively with new topics, are flexible and independent. 
  • You have excellent scientific writing skills and experience in communicating within media with broad reach.
You are happy to share your experience and insights with colleagues and are curious to learn from them. You will be part of our community of scientists, enrich our joint learning process and celebrate our achievements together. We exchange and collaborate amongst each other, based on the values of sound science, trust, transparency, and togetherness. We are curious to get to know you!

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • 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 3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. We offer, depending on your experience, a competitive gross salary of between € 3615,- and €5892,- for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the CLA Wageningen Research (scale 11 or 12). You also have the opportunity to work part-time (e.g., 32 hours per week). Evaluation on job performance is every year and a positive outcome will continue in a permanent position within utmost 3 years.
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 multi-faceted position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere. 

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Dr Marianna Siegmund-Schultze, team lead, e-mail:, T +31 317 488224 or Dr Raymond Jongschaap, business unit manager, e-mail:, T +31 317 480570. 
Applications for this position should be submitted online through You can apply up to and including May 16, 2021.
Please do not send your application directly to Dr Siegmund-Schultze or Dr Jongschaap.
Please note: at least half of the candidates that are invited for the personal job interviews will consist of women. First job interviews by MS Teams are planned for the 1st half of June, 2021.
For more information about the procedure, please contact
For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at

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.

Agrosystems Research

Agrosystems Research is part of the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen University & Research. We advise the public and the private sector and provide training in areas of our expertise. We are a community of scientists working on safe and sustainable agricultural systems, well embedded in society, respecting the planetary boundaries and contributing to the quality of life. We work in a demand driven contract research organization, where stakeholders’ needs are explored and served. Acquiring new research projects is an intrinsic part of our work.
Our core business is understanding and quantifying the soil-crop-environment continuum at both the process level and the ecosystem level, which we assess with mixed methodologies like integrated assessments, the analysis of big data, precision agriculture, sensing, and robotics. We do this by means of experimental design, surveys, computer modelling, ICT, on-farm testing and implementation in interaction with stakeholders. Our research and knowledge-intensive advisory systems are based on agronomy and ecology as our main scientific disciplines, which are increasingly complemented by social science research. Our vision of agroecology is to integrate agronomy, ecology, technological and social research in interaction with stakeholders. This requires an integrated, inter- and transdisciplinary perspective for the study and development of food systems.
Our objective is to foster context-specific levels of productivity of agriculture in a sustainable and socially acceptable manner and promote the resilience of systems to deliver food security, feed, fuel, fiber and other services under current and future climate, biodiversity and resource availability.
As guiding principles we work synergistically in teams, like to express and base our opinions on sound science and operate self-conscientiously in our networks to have impact, and to attract and serve our clients’ needs. We strongly believe in diversity and inclusiveness to strengthen our teams, their modus operandi and their impact.

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

Apply now