Researcher in Environmental Science

Wageningen University


Researcher in Environmental Science

Location Lelystad
End date Mon 24 June 2024
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Your job

And who is going to investigate how our farmers can apply sustainable innovations? Maybe you?
Interested in exploring economically viable solutions for agricultural businesses from your agricultural background?

As a quantitative researcher in sustainable arable farming, you play a crucial role in demonstrating the sustainability of innovations in arable and field vegetable farming. You are the one who, through numerical research and analyses, proves how sustainable these innovations are. You seek economically viable solutions that help agricultural businesses seize new opportunities while meeting societal and ecological demands.

Within the Agriculture & Society team of the Open Field Crops business unit, you are the expert in quantitative analyses. You assess the revenue model and analyse the costs and benefits. Additionally, you investigate the practical feasibility and evaluate how innovations perform on various critical performance indicators for society and the environment. Your work lays the foundation for sustainable progress in agriculture.

  • Together with colleagues from various research teams, you develop innovative solutions for future-proof agricultural businesses. You ensure a solid foundation for the costs and benefits, but you also estimate risks, energy use, and labour requirements, and assess the practical feasibility. Additionally, you provide quantitative insights into the impact of these strategies on consumers, the climate, water quality, and biodiversity.
  • You delve deeply into the ambitions and objectives of all relevant stakeholders in agriculture, including policymakers. Then you contribute to developing new perspectives on food production at the business level that meet these goals.
  • Through desk research, model studies, cost-benefit analyses, and the design of scenarios, you take the lead in developing and using KPIs, methodologies, and calculation tools to make performance measurable.
  • You ensure that research is conducted thoroughly and know how to report and present the results clearly and convincingly, tailored to the client's needs.
  • You initiate and lead projects, with the complexity and focus on project development increasing as your work experience grows.
You are part of the Agriculture & Society team within the Open Field CropsBusiness Unit in Lelystad (the Netherlands). This team is dedicated to shaping and strengthening the vital role of agriculture in societal issues. To achieve this, we work with networks of farmers, advisors, experts, and policymakers. You will often collaborate on-site with colleagues from other teams and organisations who have specific expertise in areas such as cultivation, crop health, soil and water, climate, market and supply chain, region, or policy.


Your qualities


  • You have completed your MSc in plant sciences, possibly supplemented with knowledge of sustainable land use or the environment. Knowledge of business economics ánd a strong affinity for the quantitative side complements your substantive background.
  • You have a strong commitment to the Dutch arable and horticultural sectors and a good understanding of the innovations and sustainability challenges in this field.
  • Quantitative research is your strength; for example, you have experience with the evaluation of new cultivation systems or regenerative agriculture. Knowledge of cost-benefit analyses, scenario studies, and modelling is a plus.
  • With your strong conceptual skills, you can analyze complex sustainability issues and translate them into quantitative goals and indicators. You set a clear direction and involve various experts.
  • You communicate excellently, both in Dutch and English, and can effectively reach different target groups such as agricultural entrepreneurs and advisors.
  • You are curious and solution-oriented, always willing to broaden your knowledge and learn new skills.
  • Collaborating in a team is second nature to you. You work project-based, have a business mindset, and can turn challenges in your field into clear project proposals.
  • You have the ambition to develop your skills in acquisition.
Preferably, we are looking for a new colleague with some years of experience in this research field. 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.

You will work here
The Open Field Crops Business Unit of Wageningen University & Research is headquartered in Lelystad. We work on the sustainable transition of open field crops in response to major societal challenges, both nationally and internationally. We do this in collaboration and dialogue with agricultural entrepreneurs, supply chains, governments, and societal groups. With a passion for the sectors, we identify and address developments and opportunities. To this end, we develop and test innovations that farmers or horticulturists can apply today or tomorrow for successful business operations. We connect fundamental knowledge with practical experiences, utilizing our networks, experimental farms, and storage facilities. We do this through projects funded by companies, regional and national governments, and the EU.


We offer you

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

  • 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 hours by working more;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • 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. We offer, depending on your experience, a competitive gross salary of between €3.088,= and €5.737,= for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the CLA Wageningen Research (scale 10/11). Additionally, a contract for 32 hours can be discussed.

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 multi-faceted 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 with your work you have a clear and positive impact on society. At WUR we work on the most pressing challenges of our time, like climate change and feeding the world in a sustainable way. 

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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Herman Schoorlemmer, +31 (0)320-291337,  or Pieter de Wolf, +31 (0)320-291215,
For more information about the procedure, please contact

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 June 24th, 2024. As soon as we receive candidates with interesting profiles we will schedule job interviews, so don’t wait too long to apply!

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. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch the video below to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

In your application, please refer to