Assistant or Associate Professor (Tenure Track): Farming Systems Analysis

Updated: about 15 hours ago
Deadline: 26 Aug 2024

Your job

Do you have a strong background in quantitative analyses of agricultural systems? Are you passionate about participatory approaches and eager to make a difference in African smallholder farming systems? The Plant Production Systems group (PPS) group is looking for a talented researcher and teacher to join our team.

At PPS we conduct systems agronomy and farming systems analysis to generate scientific insights, tools and approaches and address the complex challenges faced by agricultural systems nowadays. Based on a place-based, grounded approach we co-create locally-relevant options to improve resource use efficiency, resilience, livelihoods and environmental integrity across farming systems that range from low to high-input, annual to perennial, and specialized to mixed crop-livestock systems. With this vacancy, we aim to strengthen the team focussing on African smallholder systems with someone who is familiar with and eager to work in this challenging context.

The candidate is able to combine agronomic experimental work with systems analysis tools, such as dynamic simulation or bio-economic models (e.g. crop growth or farm-level models). Experience with on-farm experimentation and the involvement of farmers and other key stakeholders in participatory approaches is important. For this, we are looking for someone with both quantitative skills to explore trade-offs and synergies and communication skills for stakeholder engagement processes. The aim is to co-design tailored options that can enable a transition towards more sustainable farming systems.

You will work here
The PPS approach to research and teaching combines empirical knowledge and production ecological theory with understanding of agricultural systems in their local contexts. We employ various modelling approaches based on simulation of crop and animal production, bio-economic optimization and statistical techniques. Empirical knowledge is mainly derived from experiments, farm surveys and detailed monitoring. Based on interdisciplinarity and the connection between different scale levels we conduct integrated analyses to explore trade-offs between objectives and identify bottlenecks and opportunities.

The PPS chair group provides education in the fields of integrated systems approaches, quantitative analyses and modelling. Applied courses include for example Functional Agricultural Resource Management, Global Food Security, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Agroforestry and Advanced Agronomy.

Our focus lies firmly in the natural sciences and systems agronomy but we collaborate closely with groups from social sciences (e.g. economics, rural sociology, communication science) to further integrated assessments. We are part of the Wageningen Centre for Agroecology and Systems Analysis (WaCASA) and of the Research Theme "Re-design of Agroecosystems" of the Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC) graduate school.

In this challenging career trajectory:

  • you acquire, lead and implement, together with other group members, innovative and creative (inter-)national research projects with a focus on (but not limited to) African smallholder systems;
  • you are enthusiastic about fundamental research, including experimental and theoretical aspects, with a keen interest in the application of the research, and are pro-active in acquisition and collaboration;
  • you supervise PhD students, BSc and MSc thesis students and you coordinate, develop and teach courses; You are expected to obtain a University Teaching Qualification, which is an academic teachers development programme that can be followed at Wageningen University;
  • you contribute to the further development of the Plant Production Systems Group, and Wageningen University as a whole.

Your qualities

You are an ambitious and enthusiastic scientist and a team player, devoted to research and education in the field of agriculture, sustainable development and building resilience to climate and other shocks. For this, you build on expertise in integrated and quantitative analyses of agricultural systems. You are adept at working in a multicultural organisation, and possess excellent communication skills in English, both written and orally. Ideally, you have past experience with project acquisition and implementation and you enjoy supervising and coaching more junior team members and students. In terms of teaching, relevant experience in teaching and student supervision would be an advantage.

You also possess:

  • a PhD in a field related to farming systems analysis and systems agronomy;
  • a good record of scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals;
  • Excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our language page .
Tenure Track

is a career path for scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.


We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment . A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, 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 be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University's Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Depending on your experience, you may enter the tenure track as assistant or associate professor. In line with this, we offer a competitive gross salary at Assistant Professor level between € 4.332 and € 5.929 for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the

Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU)

(scale 11) and at Associate Professor level between € 6.002 and € 7.305 for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the

Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU)

(scale 13).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility. 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 19th 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.

Because we expect you to work and live in the Netherlands 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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Katrien Descheemaeker, +31317486102 or by e-mail at [email protected] .

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, [email protected] .

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 26 August 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in September 2024.

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. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment .


We are

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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 students and over 150,000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch the video below to get an idea of our green campus!


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



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