Are you a talented aspiring researcher who is interested in economics and behaviour? Do you want to understand and predict how farmers manage their businesses and if they adopt new cropping systems to increase biodiversity?

We invite applications for the PhD position entitled:‘Farmers’ willingness to adopt mixed cropping systems’.This research will be carried out within the NWA-financed project entitled ‘Designing mixed cropping systems and transition paths towards sustainable ecology-based agriculture (CropMix)’.

The overall project will develop new business strategies that are built on sustainable mixed cropping systems. In this PhD project, you will contribute to this objective by addressing specifically the role of economic and psychological factors in the adoption of sustainable production practices that are based on the mixed cropping principle.

The prospective candidate will work in an interdisciplinary setting, combining economics and social psychology with knowledge of the use of mixed cropping systems.

Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • review the farmer and wider behavioural economics literature and select the most relevant concepts and theories for understanding and predicting sustainable mixed cropping systems adoption decisions;
  • develop a survey design, that includes a discrete choice experiment, and estimate for a diversity of farmers their preferences for sustainable mixed cropping systems attributes.

We ask

For this PhD position, we are searching an enthusiastic result-driven candidate with an:

  • MSc degree in either (1) behavioural, agricultural, or quantitative economics or (2) agricultural sciences with a proven interest in social sciences;
  • The ability to work in a multidisciplinary team of social and natural scientists and oral and written proficiency in English are important for this project;
  • Excellent analytical and scientific writing skills are required, next to collaborative skills.

The PhD project will take place within the Business Economics (BEC) group. You will be supervised by prof. Alfons Oude Lansink and dr. Jaap Sok. BEC is a strong research group including many young and talented people. Our group holds a key position in interdisciplinary research areas, such as food supply chain economics, bio-economic modelling, and economics of animal health, food safety and plant health. Also, BEC is internationally leading in measuring and modelling performance and risks and in the behavioural economic analysis of food supply chain actors, most notably farmers.

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 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended with 30 months if you perform well

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 16th 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 contact Jaap Sok, assistant professor, +31 317 482953, For more information about the procedure, please contact Mrs Jeanine van ‘t Veer, corporate recruiter,

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 Sunday, 2nd October 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews at the beginning of October 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

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.

Apply now

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