PhD Researcher - Detection of new genomic technique (NGT) products to promote innovation in Europe

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 07 Oct 2023

Your job

Are you concerned about the long-term environmental impact of human activities and agriculture, the trade-offs with food security and the role of EU Green Deal policies? Are you interested in exploring how promising new technologies in agriculture could contribute to more safe and equal world in the future? Do you want to collaborate with an established international team of researchers? Then we may have the perfect opportunity for you!

The Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group at Wageningen University and Research is hiring a PhD candidate (4 years, full-time) to become part of a large international and multi-disciplinary project funded by the EU that aims to develop new models and tools to assess the future development of the EU agricultural landscape.

The PhD candidate will gain research experience in a variety of economic disciplines, from microeconomics, regulatory economics to econometrics. The candidate will conduct two case studies looking at the supply chains for soybean and maize. The complex supply chains will be analysed including several stages: agricultural production, processing, transport, trade and distribution, manufacturing, retail and consumption. The case studies include the legal implications resulting from producing or importing seeds and/or cultivating the plants. Different scenarios for each case study depending on governance options will be considered.

In the course of the elaboration of the thesis the candidate will gain experience by interacting with leading researchers in agricultural economics, stakeholders groups, international research teams and policy makers.

The research is embedded within the chair Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy at Wageningen University. The PhD project is part of the Horizon Europe DETECTIVE project, that is funded by the Horizon Europe programme with the topic name “New detection methods on products derived from new genomic techniques for traceability, transparency and innovation in the food system.”

The overall objective of the DETECTIVE project is to develop and validate approaches to detect, identify, and quantify plant and animal products resulting from NGTs. The project will develop and test suitable NGT detection methods accompanied with tools and procedures to ensure a transparent, efficient and innovative food system. By doing so DETECTIVE will enable the traceability and authenticity of NGT products for market control, reliability for legal enforcement, and consumer choice in the European Union (EU).

The candidate will be co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Justus Wesseler and Dr. Kutay Cingiz.

Your qualities
  • The ideal candidate must have the following qualities:a successfully completed MSc degree in agricultural, environmental or applied economics;
  • strong quantitative background: knowledge of econometric methods and economic modelling, previous knowledge of survey analysis is an advantage;
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level ). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our dedicated language page ;
  • the ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary and multi-national team;
  • the ability to think critically and the ambition to publish the results of your work in top economics and interdisciplinary journals;
  • familiarity with new genomic techniques.

We offer you

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

  • 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 receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,-  in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well. 

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 18th 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.
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. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Kutay Cingiz by e-mail: .
For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, by email:

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   7th of October, 2023. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on the 18th and 19th of October 2023. The preferred starting date for this position is 1st of January2024 or as soon thereafter.

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

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, 7,600 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 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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