Head of Department Animal Farming Systems

Updated: about 2 months ago

We are looking for

Are you, as head of department, eager to innovate in a science-based research institute? Do you have views on the role of animals in future food systems, and on the design and evaluation of integral sustainable animal farming systems? Are you a strong and team-oriented leader? Do you have an extensive network in the agro food sector? Then we might be looking for you, as the right candidate to lead our Animal Farming Systems Department and strengthen our management team.

Your job
As head of department Animal Farming Systems you:

  • are leading the department (30-35 employees), with a team- and people-oriented motivation;
  • contribute to the strategic, scientific and market development of Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR), the Animal Sciences Group and Wageningen University & Research;
  • show leadership based on trust, stimulating personal responsibility and team development, and pay attention to social safety at work;
  • join the WLR management team and with this team, you shape the future development of the institute; and implement strategic and annual plans;
  • with your team, develop and communicate a clear and inspiring department vision on future animal farming systems, and convert this vision into strategy and actions;
  • develop and maintain strategic partnerships, collaborations within and outside of WUR and relationships with research institutes, academia, the agro food sector, policy makers and other stakeholders;
  • manage the financial, human resource and other operations at department level;
  • strengthen our scientific and societal impact;
  • enhance working in interdisciplinary teams, and stimulate integral sustainable solutions.

The research

Our food system is a complex system with many challenges to make it more sustainable. Our research is related to the impact of our present and future food system. We are facing climate change, environmental impact of animal production and loss of biodiversity. At the same time, urbanisation, an increasing world population and a growing demand for (animal) protein are factors in debates and dialogues about how to feed the world. Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR) explores the role of animals within this food system; while striving to improve the quality of life for humans, animals and nature. We create science-based solutions for an economic, ecological and social sustainable livestock, insect and aquaculture sector. Together with our clients and partners, we integrate scientific knowledge and practical experience to develop animal farming concepts and solutions for future generations. WLR carries out fundamental and applied research in the fields of animal production and food security, systems innovations, economy, circularity, ecosystem services, environment, grass & forage systems, aquaculture, animal nutrition, breeding & genomics and animal health & welfare.

The Animal Farming Systems department has a research team with 30-35 highly motivated project leaders and researchers. We are known for our innovative and integral approach in designing and evaluating the sustainability of animal production systems.

We ask

In this role you can express and further develop your key competences: people manager, pro-active, entrepreneurial, collaborative, flexible, client and result oriented.

Also you are/have:

  • a result-oriented and enthusiastic department leader, with a scientific background (preferably PhD level);
  • an experienced manager, preferably in a contract research environment;
  • expertise or ideas on innovative methodologies and technologies to be applied in animal farming systems research;
  • passion for science-based applied animal research;
  • a proven track record in multi-stakeholder processes;
  • a network in the agro food sector and the ability to work and connect across disciplines;
  • a proactive attitude and good communication skills;
  • fluent in English and Dutch.

We offer

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 compensation hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially 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 4%;
  • 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 max. € 7.728,- for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the

CLA Wageningen Research

(scale 14). This position is based at Wageningen Campus.

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.

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.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Gert van Duinkerken, Business Unit Manager, via +31 (0)317 480702 or gert.vanduinkerken@wur.nl

For more information about the procedure, please contact recruitment.asg@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 2 December 2022. 

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 

We are

Wageningen Livestock Research – Will you join us partner in livestock innovations?

Wageningen Livestock Research develops knowledge for a sustainable and profitable livestock and aquaculture sector, translates this into practice-oriented solutions and innovations, and ensures that this knowledge is disseminated. Together with our clients, and on the basis of practical experience, we integrate our scientific know-how in the areas of livestock systems and of the nutrition, genetics, welfare and environmental impact of farm animals to produce livestock concepts for the 21st century. 

Wageningen Livestock Research, together with Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, Wageningen Marine Research and the Department of Animal Sciences of Wageningen University comprises the Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen University & Research .

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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 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 this video 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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