Would you like to develop numerical models that contribute to improving the yield and sustainability of crop production in greenhouses and vertical farms? Are you interested in understanding how plants behave in a controlled environment? Then this could be the ideal research position for you!

Improved energy use efficiency of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) can be realized by smarter control of the climate conditions. Providing crops with the ideal climate (e.g. light) at the right time (e.g. time of the day) would lead to substantial savings, but is a challenge that is yet to be addressed. In recent years, artificial intelligence has led to significant progress in control systems (automation) that have yet to find a way into CEA. One major bottleneck for further improvements in climate control in CEA is the need for a reliable and robust crop model for high-value crops. Such a model is required to train the next generation of smart climate control algorithms for CEA.

We are hiring a postdoc, who will update an existing process-based model of tomato growth to fit the specific needs to train climate control algorithms. The model will also help gain knowledge on how climate control at different time scales impacts plant performance, which will lead to defining ideal growth climates. The project aims to produce open-access code and documentation to facilitate the utilization and dissemination of this research.

You will be appointed at the Horticulture and Product Physiology group at Wageningen University. This group hosts an interdisciplinary team of researchers. Do you want to know more about our work at the Horticulture and Product Physiology group? Check out our page with news, recent publications and projects.

We ask

  • You have a PhD in plant sciences, computer science, or a related discipline
  • You have a background in numerical modelling, ideally in topics related to plant science.
  • You have published some high-quality articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • You enjoy supervising BSc, MSc and PhD students and have excellent collaboration skills.
  • You are capable to operate in an international and multi-disciplinary environment.
  • You can develop models using a programming language such as Python, R, or C++.
  • You are a result-driven team player with creative ideas
  • You have excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English (both oral and written).

We offer

We are offering an exciting and challenging position for 2.5 years. A challenging position with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of €2.960,- to a maximum of €4.670,- for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Wageningen University (scale 10). We offer you a temporary contract for 12 months which will be extended if you perform well.
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.

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

For more information about this function, you can contact dr Silvere Vialet-Chabrand (Silvere.Vialet-Chabrand@wur.nl) or Prof. dr Leo Marcelis (Leo.Marcelis@wur.nl).
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@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 is open until 26th of 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.

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 Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

The chair group Horticulture & Product Physiology
The chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.

The research focus is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contributes to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.

The chair group is an international team consisting of 17 permanent staff members, about 25 PhD candidates and postdocs and a number of guest researchers. Each year about 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (a 6-month research) at our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.

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