PhD Funded Position in Farmers perceptions and response to transition to sustainable Dutch rural landscapes: Driven by pressing national challenges (nitrogen, biodiversity, climate adaptation, water quality, etc.), Dutch farmers need to adapt drastically in the coming years. Preferably, they do so in a way that also relieves the pressure caused by the (perceived) need for upscaling production, rising input cost and high land prices.

Specific challenges and opportunities, however, will vary from farmer to farmer, and from one area to the other, depending on personal, social, biophysical and economic factors. You will investigate how these factors influence the response of farmers to area-specific targets and potential (spatial) policy instruments.

In this PhD position, you will look for factors that allow us to anticipate farmers reactions to particular policies. In doing so, you will be collaborating with two other PhD students, one working on the environmental dimension, the other one working on the legal/policy dimension to support this transition. Prevailing methods are interviews, surveys, analysis of existing data.

Eventually, all obtained knowledge will be captured in an agent-based model that allows the rural development in response to particular (spatial) policies. Additionally, the analysis and exploration of farmers response will ultimately result in a set of guidelines for practice.

The project is attached to the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (LSP) group at Wageningen University. Do you want to know more about our work at the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (LSP) group? Check out our page with news, recent publications and projects.


  • A university degree (MSc) in a relevant field (e.g. Geography, Rural Sociology, Agricultural Economics) with a broad and interdisciplinary interest;
  • Preferably experience with working with farmers;
  • Knowledge of the Dutch agricultural and/or environmental context is an asset
  • Basic knowledge of the Dutch language (at least A1 level) and willingness to improve it (field work is conducted in Dutch)
  • Very Good English communicative and writing skills (C2 level)
  • Compliance with all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

Conditions of employment

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%;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.
  • excellent pension scheme.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- 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 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.


Wageningen University & Research

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, 6.800 employees and 12.900 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 the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Diego Valbuena, Land Use Planning Group, by e-mail:

For more information about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, e-mail:

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This position will be open until filled. We will revise new applications frequently and will contact you within five working days after your application.

Apply now

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.

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