Postdoc researcher 'Innovation ecosystem alignment challenges and opportunities for enacting the Dutch circular agrifood and protein transition missions'

Updated: 16 days ago
Deadline: 01 Apr 2024

Your job

We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher who is interested to work on collaboration challenges in the context of the transformation towards circular agriculture. Within so-called ‘mission-oriented innovation systems’ which work on transformative missions such as digital transformation, regenerative agriculture, and the protein transition, regional emerging innovation ecosystems and their network facilitators like Foodvalley NL,  TOP.BV and Oost.NL  play key roles. These regional innovation ecosystems are faced with the challenge of alignment between key actors and scalability of innovations to enact missions.

To identify innovation ecosystem alignment and scalability challenges and opportunities, it is essential to unpack the collaboration dynamics in the diverse regional innovation ecosystems connected to the circular agrifood and protein transition missions. As regional innovation ecosystems need to be economically viable on the one hand and achieve societal mission goals on the other hand, this might result in tensions to innovation ecosystem functionality and health.

Hence, extensive, and detailed investigation of innovation ecosystems and their dynamics in terms of enacting the circular agrifood and protein transition missions is essential for 1) diagnosing the root causes of innovation ecosystem collaboration challenges in view of enacting missions and 2) identifying opportunities and solutions to resolve these challenges.

The postdoc researchers will be part of the REWIRE project, a four-year collaborative research project focused on leveraging new collaborations for circular agrifood transitions. Together with core partners of the REWIRE project we will identify four circular agrifood and four protein transition innovation ecosystems and unpack collaboration dynamics in these ecosystems. This knowledge will be used to co-design a framework that provides structural support to innovation ecosystem orchestrators to enable actors’ alignment and facilitate the transition.

The postdoc position will focus on the following research activities:

  • mapping and analyzing the actor-system of the eight innovation ecosystems which entails a structural analysis of these emerging innovation ecosystems;
  • mapping and analyzing the so-called ‘artifact-system’ (boundary objects and boundary practices) of the eight ecosystems that facilitate a common understanding of the mission;
  • innovation ecosystem dynamics analysis: understanding how actor-system and artifact-system reconfigure to enable innovation ecosystem functionalityn to enact the circular agrifood and the protein transition mission;
  • creating a co-design framework of structural support for circular agrifood and protein transition ecosystems.
  • You will work here

    The Postdoc will be employed by WUR, and affiliated to and embedded in both the

    Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group

    at WUR, and the Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Marketing (ITEM) group of TU/e.  The postdoc will be supervised

    by Prof. Cees Leeuwis (WUR)

    , Dr. Maral Mahdad (TU/e), and Prof. Laurens Klerkx (WUR/University of Talca).

    Your qualities

    You have :

    • a PhD in Innovation management, innovation studies, business and management studies, transition studies, or related fields;
    • experience with or interest in mission-oriented and transformative approaches to innovation;
    • solid experience with qualitative methods;
    • demonstrable experience with participatory research methods;
    • experience working with diverse groups of stakeholders;
    • proven capability in writing and publishing scientific articles in quality journals.

    You also possess

    • ability to work well in a team;
    • excellent communication skills;
    • fluency in English.

    In our international working environment there is an increasing amount of communication in English. For this position it is about

    language level

    C1 . If you do not yet have this level, we will of course help you and you can go to our language center

    Wageningen in'to Language.

    You can see that there are plenty of challenges ahead of you. These challenges can also be seen as development opportunities. So if you do not yet have the track-record required in the vacancy, but do have solid work experience, we would also like to invite you to apply.

    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,  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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €3.226 and €5.090  for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to an open-ended contract if there is mutual enthusiasm. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.

    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 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.

    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. Cees Leeuwis , by e-mail: [email protected]

    For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email: [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 1 April 2024 . We hope to schedule the first job interviews in the second week of April 2024.

    As part of our selection process, an assessment may be incorporated within the procedure.

    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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