PhD Fostering agro-ecological transition in North Africa through multi-actor design, evaluation and networking:

Do you want to contribute to develop future scenarios for an agro-ecological transition? ? Are you motivated to work in an interdisciplinary team of scientists embedded in an ambitious European research consortium? We have a vacant PhD position at Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University. Are you the PhD student we are looking for?

We search for a PhD candidate, who will contribute to the EU project NATAE (Fostering agro-ecological transition in North Africa through multi-actor design, evaluation and networking). The objective of NATAE is to develop a methodology to foster agro-ecological (AE) transitions in North Africa, to increase the global sustainability of agriculture and the local resilience of territories, thus contributing to global food security and safety, together with environmental and sustainable development targets.

Specific objectives are ;

  • (SO1) to provide a comprehensive understanding of AE in North Africa;
  • (SO2) to assess the multidimensional benefits of AE practices;
  • (SO3) to broaden AE value chains and AE consumer base;
  • (SO4) to set up a Mediterranean multi-actor network on AE;
  • (SO5) to empower key stakeholders in charge of policy elaboration and higher education.

Living Labs are set up in a representative set of farming systems in North Africa, evaluated in a multi-dimensional, multi-scale evaluation framework, guided by an integrated modelling framework.

You will focus on one or two Living Labs to analyse the current state and to develop future scenarios for an agro-ecological transition. You will take part in data collection, participatory analysis, innovation experiments and trade-off analysis to assess optimal combinations of agro-ecological practices (AEP) for sustainable development. Different scenarios can be explored. You will contribute to the integrated modelling chain based on the farming system and AEPs in the Living Lab, to enable extrapolation to other but similar environments. 

The successful applicant will be based at the Plant Production Systems Group (PPS). The candidate will work closely with a post-doc, two senior researchers, and partners in the NATAE project.

We ask

We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • An MSc degree in the area of plant sciences or agronomy 
  • Experience with crop production
  • Experience with modelling 
  • Experience with participatory approaches
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English (a minimum of CEFR C2 level), For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
  • Excellent oral and written communication preferably in French,
  • Good communication skills

We offer

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

• sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 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 € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- 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 30 months 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.

More information

Do you want more information?
Additional information about this project can be obtained from Dr Gerrie van de Ven ( 
For more information about the procedure, please contact Ine van’t Land, Recruiter (

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 vacancy will be listed up to and including October 9, 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.

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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 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.. 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.

Plant Production Systems 
The mission of  Plant Production Systems is to integrate biological knowledge to analyse and design sustainable production systems for crops (including integration with livestock), focused on resource use efficiency and equitable management of natural resources. WU is internationally renowned for its research and education in the fields of life sciences, plant improvement and sustainability. Through these activities it aims to make essential contributions to the quality of life.

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