PhD Position Economic feasibility of farm-level investments in mixed cropping systems

Research / Academic

We are looking for a talented aspiring researcher who is interested in exploring the economic potential of sustainable mixed cropping systems. Do you want to understand how farmers can benefit from diversifying their crops and reducing their environmental impact? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for this project.

We invite applications for the PhD position entitled: ‘Economic feasibility of farm-level investments in 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 risks and profitability of investments in sustainable farm practices and technologies needed for these systems.

The prospective candidate will work in an interdisciplinary setting, combining economics with agronomy and agricultural studies on the use of mixed cropping systems.

Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:

  1. develop and/or apply whole-farm models to assess the economic feasibility of sustainable farm practices and technologies needed for mixed cropping systems;
  2. assess how different sources of uncertainty affect the decision to switch from current farming systems to sustainable mixed cropping systems.


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

  • an MSc degree in either (1) agricultural or business economics or (2) agricultural sciences with a proven interest in economics;
  • the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team of social and natural scientists and having oral and written proficiency in English;
  • proven affinity with or knowledge of Dutch agriculture is required.
  • experience in quantitative economic analysis at farm level and interest in modelling farm behaviour.

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.

Salary Benefits:

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 € 2770 per month rising to € 3539 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 18th 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.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week