Netherlands: Position for Farming systems Post Doctoral Researcher

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You will coordinate and steer research and data collection activities across African countries and conduct and oversee data analyses based on a series of research questions and hypotheses. Value is added to the analyses by combining different types of data (e.g. climate, agronomic and socio-economic data) from different project activities and through comparative studies across the regions and countries where N2Africa works. The aim is to maximise learning from different research activities, provide timely feedback to those implementing the project in the field, and facilitate data access for people within and outside the project. You will play a central role in development of new research hypotheses and research lines within N2Africa.

More specifically, you will:

  • Issue guidelines for the design and implementation of the agronomic trials and demonstration plots, including standard measurement protocols
  • Develop data collection tools, especially those for advanced M&E in dissemination activities and baseline and endline surveys
  • Collect and compile information on yield gaps, farmer practices with respect to the targeted legume crops, as well as socio-economic indicators of rural households
  • Explore possibilities for the employment of new ICT tools in data collection
  • Establish data analysis protocols and workflows, analyse data and oversee data analyses by others
  • Ensure timely feedback of information retrieved from data analyses to project implementers in the countries
  • Supervise MSc student thesis research projects and co-supervise PhD students
  • Lead scientific studies based on N2Africa data and, when appropriate, modelling approaches that contribute to answering key research questions in the project
  • Develop research on farm-scale modelling of benefits and trade-offs associated with increasing production of grain legumes
  • Communicate results to a wide audience through scientific peer-reviewed papers

Requirements

You have a PhD in farming systems, agronomy or crop/soil modelling or another topic that suits you to work on systems analysis and integration. You have strong quantitative skills including experience with the analyses of complex multi-variable datasets, and thorough knowledge of tropical crops and smallholder farming systems. You have a proven publication record in international journals and a wish to work closely with others in a team. You have good communication skills, preferably with experience in teaching and student supervision at postgraduate level. Experience in writing of successful research proposals is an advantage.

The following competences are important: creativity, analytical capacity, communicating, collaboration, coaching, daring and individual oriented leadership

Conditions of employment

A full-time position (38 hours) for one year, extendable to five years. Gross salary per month min.
€ 2.427 and max. € 4.462,= for a fulltime appointment. Hay-profile: Researcher 3 or 4.

Contract type: Temporary, Onbekend

Organisation

Wageningen UR

Our key domain is the integration of knowledge through system analysis to comprehend current systems and design new ones to the dual goals of sustainable production systems: optimal production of crops (in interaction with livestock) combined with efficient and equitable management of natural resources in their broadest sense. A primary goal is to develop tools and methodologies that allow analysis and design of alternative future scenarios at local, regional, national, international and global scales. For this we use a variety of approaches that include computer modelling and field-based data collection. Putting Nitrogen Fixation to Work for Smallholder Farmers in Africa (www.n2africa.org) is a project led by Wageningen University, the Netherlands. The project will deploy state-of-the-art legume and rhizobial inoculant technologies to African smallholder farmers to enhance inputs of free atmospheric nitrogen by biological nitrogen fixation, thereby improving legume productivity, human nutrition and farm income, while enhancing soil health. In its second phase, the project will put a major emphasis on (i) institutionalizing N2Africa technologies, approaches, and expertise and (ii) fostering sustainability of the various components addressed by N2Africa, including seed, inoculant, and fertilizer supply chains, access to profitable legume markets, and knowledge transfer. The project will primarily work in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia (with a limited range of activities in DR Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique).

Additional information

Information on the research: Prof dr Ken E. Giller Tel: +31-317-485818 (ken.giller@wur.nl)
Information on the selection procedure: Mrs. E. Siebelink (eva.siebelink@wur.nl).
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