Sr. Researcher Sensory, Perception and Behaviour

Updated: about 2 months ago

We are looking for

Are you a senior researcher in the field of sensory, perception and behavior in the food domain? Do you have a passion for innovating food for a healthy and sustainable future? Then this vacancy might be for you!

What are you going to do:

  • you are the expert in the field of sensory, perception and behavior in the food domain;
  • you are the expertise leader who is responsible for the scientific direction and activities of the applied research group (Food) Consumer Behavior within the WUR Institute Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR). This means that you scientifically direct a research team consisting of the research lines 'Behavior Change' and 'Perception' of approximately 10 professionals;
  • you work closely with the Flavor Science group with regard to instrumental analyzes and in-vivo techniques, whereby sensory and instrumental analysis together provide more insight into the perception of flavor in various food products;
  • in collaboration with our Business Development team, you tailor the expertise propositions to the market need. You actively contribute to the acquisition of new projects by, among other things, customer visits, writing project proposals and your knowledge of developments in the field;
  • you contribute to the execution of projects, for example in the role of project leader, in which you lead multidisciplinary research teams, while keeping an overview and maintaining communication with the customer;
  • you are a networker and you set up collaborations with adjacent research areas within the institute, within WUR and with market parties, so that unique multidisciplinarity is created;
  • you disseminate the research results in reports, scientific publications and at conferences.

As a senior researcher and expertise leader, you draw up a knowledge agenda in consultation with the team and coach the team members on the required expertise development. You proactively contribute to the visibility of the expertise and together with the Business Development team you ensure the acquisition of new projects. The expertise is positioned in WFBR within the domain of food and nutrition, which is primarily the domain you focus on as an expert. However, it is important that you are able to connect the expertise to adjacent expertise, such as in the field of food, for example flavor and food technology, and in the field of biobased materials expertise in the field of textiles and bioplastics. This is to align with our mission, which is to provide solutions through innovative multidisciplinary research to develop sufficient high-quality food and non-food products that are affordable and appreciated by consumers in order to enable the transition to a circular, biobased and healthy society. We therefore ask for a team spirit, a focus on application and a proactive attitude in bringing partners together.

Example projects include reformulating products for salt reduction, developing plant-based alternatives instead of animal protein products, promoting healthy, sustainable consumer behavior  and promoting healthy eating environments.


We ask
  • you have a PhD in the field of sensory, perception and behavior, preferably in the food domain, and at least 10 years of work experience in this domain;
  • you have an affinity with the agri-food sector and a large network in this field;
  • you have experience with applied research in a contract research organization or in the business world;
  • you have a passion for and experience in co-acquiring new innovative research projects;
  • you have innovative and future-oriented thinking and can translate this into simple and accessible applications;
  • you have experience as a project leader of complex projects at IPMA-C level;
  • you are able to take a leading role in determining the vision of the group, based on your own expertise and on the basis of broader knowledge of adjacent fields and market opportunities;
  • you have experience in creating synergy in a group of employees and you are able to stimulate mutual involvement and motivate employees to enter into effective partnerships.

In addition, you are an enthusiastic, independent researcher with good communication skills who functions well in a dynamic project organization. You have strong verbal and written communication skills in both Dutch and English.


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 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 between € 4149,- and € 6229,- for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the

CLA Wageningen Research

(scale 12).

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.

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 17th 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. 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 Annelies Dijk, R&D Manager Food, Health and Consumer Research,by phone +31 317-484228 or by e-mail: annelies.dijk@wur.nl .
For more information about the procedure, please contact Wilma Jansen, HR adviser, by phone +31 317 484923 or by e-mail: wilma.jansen@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 21st of August 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews before mid september 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 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

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, 7.200 employees and 13.200 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.

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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