PhD Researcher - Design of contracts and ownership structures in bio-based business models

Research / Academic

Are you passionate about shaping the future of circular agriculture? Are you excited about exploring the role of contracts and ownership structures in bio-based business models? Then join us to embark on an exciting PhD journey filled with research, collaboration, and meaningful impact.

The Business Economics Group at Wageningen University is looking for a PhD student to contribute to their research on the design of contracts and ownership structures for replicable and scalable fair business models in the bio-based economy. The broader framework of the position is within the EU financed C4B project which aims to conceptualise and promote diverse forms of cooperation among primary producers and suitable business models to create high-value bio-based products in vertically integrated value chains.

Your activities will include:

  • Providing an overview of contractual agreements and ownership structures and their role for innovation in the bio-economy;
  • Developing and conducting economic experiments to assess the role of contractual agreements and ownership in innovation;
  • Designing business models to foster innovation in the bio-based economy; and testing their robustness in the light of future developments.

Collaboration lies at the heart of these activities, as you will have the opportunity to work with researchers and stakeholders from different European regions and sectors. By fostering interdisciplinary connections, you will contribute to a better understanding of sustainable and fair bio-based value chains.

We understand that every candidate brings a unique set of skills and experiences. If you have any knowledge or skill gaps, worry not! We will provide relevant courses to bridge those gaps and ensure you have the necessary tools to excel in your research.

As a successful candidate, you will have the chance to make a tangible difference in the world of agri-food systems. Your work will inform decision-making, drive sustainability, and create opportunities for local food value chain actors to engage in transformative practices.


The ideal candidate is expected to have (or will obtain within due course):

  • A MSc degree in Economics (e.g., agricultural economics, environmental economics, experimental economics, quantitative economics), or related fields with a proven interest in economics;
  • Knowledge on, or experience with economic experiments;
  • Knowledge on the bio-based economy in the European context is a strong asset;
  • Good analytical and communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • Fluency in English.

Salary Benefits:

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 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 € 2.770,- per month rising to € 3.539,- 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 the duration of the project 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 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.
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. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week