Research Position: gender norms in rural innovation:

The Rural Sociology Group (RSO) and the Business Management and Organisation Group (BMO) of Wageningen University are looking for a Research Assistant to work on the inventory of gender norms in rural innovation in the Netherlands. This research is part of a joint 3-year EU-funded project (GRASSCEILING) which started in January 1st, 2023. The position is for 12 months at 0.4 FTE. The research assistant will be based at the  BMO group.

In this exciting research position : You will contribute to reviewing academic studies into rural women innovators’ engagement and experiences to inventory existing knowledge on the gender-specificity of women-led innovation in terms of drivers and barriers and their experiences of gender norms.

You will help us organise focus groups and interviews with women and stakeholders on their experiences with and attitudes towards women-led innovation; You will help us set up living labs with women innovators (rural women and farm women) and design the case studies in which we follow their experiences in the living labs;

 You will be part of a pan-European research project and collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, end-users, stakeholders, and researchers in case study Member States, as well as European bodies and stakeholders who can influence EU policy;  You will work as part of a team to translate the insights into an accessible report. There are also opportunities to develop the work into an academic article.

We ask

  • We are looking for a candidate with:
  • A passion for sustainable rural areas and gender-based approaches.
  • An understanding of the challenges for the future of rural areas and the need for transformation.
  • A BSc (ideally an MSc) in a social science discipline (e.g. rural sociology, sustainable business management, women entrepreneurship, agricultural economics, rural policy, agri-business) and knowledge of rural gender literature.
  • Familiarity with agricultural and rural policies in a European context. Knowledge of the Common Agricultural Policy is an advantage.
  • Experience conducting literature reviews and interviewing stakeholders.
  • Strong analytic and communication skills, ability to process complex information and translate it into accessible and usable formats.
  • Fluency in Dutch and English is required:

In our international working environment there is an increasing amount of communication in English. For this position it is about language level C1 If you do not yet have this level, we will of course help you and you can go to our language center Wageningen in’to Language

You can see that there are plenty of challenges ahead of you. These challenges can also be seen as development opportunities. So if you do not yet have the track-record required in the vacancy, but do have solid work experience, we would also like to invite you to apply.

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

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €2.818,- and €3.764,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 8).

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 18th consecutive time.

More information: For more information about this position, please contact the project leaders: Prof Bettina Bock, RSO (  and Dr Valentina C. Materia, BMO (

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.

To apply, please upload the following:

Letter of motivation, clarifying your interest in the position and research experience, A current Curriculum Vitae, Names and contact details of two referees, A writing sample (e.g. a chapter from your thesis, blog post, assignment from a class) Please note that only applications sent through the online application process will be taken into consideration. This vacancy will be listed up to and including 19th of February 2023. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on 23rd of February 2023.

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. The preferred starting date is  1 March 2023.

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.

The Business Management & Organisation (BMO) group at Wageningen University studies innovation and entrepreneurship in chains and networks, focusing on the agri-food industry. In a globalising world, where firms face major challenges related to e.g. global warming, urbanisation and food security, we provide the knowledge and insights needed to internally organise and govern firms appropriately and for firms to effectively collaborate in chains and networks.

The Business Management & Organisation Group (BMO) investigates how businesses address societal challenges, transitioning towards running a more sustainable business, particularly in the agri-food and life science domains. Businesses can act individually or as part of a supply/value chain network and ecosystem. The BMO group performs research towards novel frameworks based on core management and organisation theories, and teaches new generations of professionals about what is involved in managing business transition.

The BMO staff particularly focuses on the sustainability oriented innovation and entrepreneurial processes. To do so, BMO uses a mixed methodology that relies on combining large scale field surveys with case studies, focus group discussions and experimental design.

The BMO group is part of the Section Business Science (SBS) together with other four chair groups: Business Economics (BEC), Information Technology (INF), Marketing and Consumer Behaviour (MCB) and Operations Research and Logistics (ORL). These chair groups combine expertise in joint interdisciplinary output. SBS aims to scientifically contribute to sustainable as well as profitable business performance, together with stakeholders, in national and international agri-food value chains. 

Apply now

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