Website Wageningen University & Research Company Location

Job description

We are looking for
Do you consider it a challenge to give direction and leadership to economic and sustainability research for companies in the agro-food cluster and governments?
We are looking for an economic researcher with a clear project management profile who specialises in measuring performance on the sustainability of agricultural products and supply chains. You are a sparring partner for our customers, and you can take knowledge questions that arise from the content – current practical knowledge of sustainability initiatives and a solid scientific foundation – and translate them into research projects and clear knowledge products for companies and governments. You will also jointly contribute to the further development of this research theme within Wageningen Economic Research.
To succeed in this role, you will need project management skills as well as a customer and results-orientated attitude, in addition to the required content expertise. As a project manager, you are the face of our organisation for customers and clients, and you ensure that you, together with the project team, can deliver high-quality knowledge within the agreed frameworks (time and budget). You will provide leadership on projects for national clients and partners as well as international projects.
The core activities in this project leader and research position include:

  • Coordinating and directing of multiple research projects and project teams with other national and international partners.
  • Making a guiding, substantial contribution to economic research in the area of sustainability measurement. (for example the drafting and implementation of LCAs, translating LCA methodology into case studies, developing sustainability initiatives/methodologies).
  • Reporting and presenting research results in a clear manner, and on that basis, providing independent advice to the client in order to support the client in making responsible decisions.
  • Actively maintaining customer relationships and expanding on the existing network of governments and policymakers, industry organisations and companies in the agro-food cluster as well as other relevant stakeholders.
  • Translating customers’ knowledge questions into economic research proposals, drafting project proposals in collaboration with other knowledge partners, presenting and discussing project proposals with national and international customers from both the public and private sector.

There are seven expertise groups within Wageningen Economic Research. This role falls under the Performance & Impact Agrosector Group. Together with experts from other expert groups, research is conducted into economic and sustainability issues in the agricultural sector and chain through policy analyses, evaluations and explorations and by measuring and monitoring the sustainability and economic performance of agricultural sectors, companies and products.

We ask
You have

  • a (strong) personality with good communication skills and a unifying style of leadership and project management, a customer-focused and result-oriented attitude, as well as the ability to perform under stress;
  • circa 10 years working experience in a project manager position, preferably in the domain of applied academic research
  • a Masters in agricultural, business or environmental economics, or a Masters in animal or plant sciences with a strong focus on economics;
  • experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • a vision on how to improve the sustainability of the agricultural sector, both in the Netherlands and worldwide, and the potential contribution of applied research to it;
  • a broad (inter)national network with key individuals in the agro and food cluster: (inter)national governments, industry, branch organisations, NGOs, universities and other knowledge institutes;
  • experience with the development of new propositions, acquiring new research projects and writing research proposals;
  • excellent communication and presentation skills in English and Dutch (or the willingness to learn Dutch), both oral and written
  • an international orientation and the willingness to travel internationally if necessary (usually 2 or 3 days at a time).

We offer
We offer

In more detail our offer consists of very good remuneration and excellent secondary benefits

We offer an exciting position at an internationally leading institute with scope for personal development.

  • The salary is, depending on experience, maximum € 5.509,- gross per month (scale 12 – Collective Labour Agreement Wageningen Research) on a full-time basis (36 hours a week).
  • 8% holiday allowance and a fixed 3% year-end bonus.
  • 23 days of leave entitlement with the possibility to build up an extra 25 ‘compensation’ days (by working a 40-hour week).
  • Excellent opportunities for training and education.
  • Generous parental and ‘special’ leave conditions.
  • Flexibility in working hours.

This is a permanent position, whereby you start with a temporary contract. The extension of the contract depends on proven suitability and the scope of the order portfolio. This position is based in Wageningen, however, a regular presence is expected in The Hague.

NB. We see this post as a full-time position, but the hours are negotiable, it is expected that a minimum of 32 hours/week would be needed to fulfil this role adequately.

More information

Do not hesitate to contact us for information about the role, contact Anita van der Knijff (Head of Expertise Group Performance & Impact Agro Sectors, telephone number: 070-3358181) or Joan Reijs (Business Developer and Senior Researcher Sustainability Measurement, telephone number: 070-3358326).


The closing date for applications is 31 August 2018, 9 a.m

Please apply online

The first round of interviews will take place in The Hague on Monday 10 september 2018

The second round of interviews will take place in Wageningen on Friday 14 september 2018

We are
We are

Wageningen Economic Research is an independent and internationally leading socio-economic research institute. Wageningen Economic Research offers governments and companies (socio)economic insights and integral advice for sound policies and better decision-making in an innovative way. We have been an expert in the field of sustainable agriculture & food, healthy nutrition, lifestyle and the living environment for over 75 years, and are known as a knowledge institute that provides insight into the capacity of our planet on the one hand, and human actions on the other. For this we make use of and develop, among others, policy analysis, future studies, chain and consumer research, evaluations and monitoring systems, based upon our data, models and knowledge.

Within Wageningen UR and together with the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) and the University’s Department of Social Sciences (DMW), Wageningen Economic Research is part of the Social Sciences Group. DMW, Wageningen Economic Research and CDI comprise the entire knowledge chain of fundamental scientific research (DMW), applied scientific research (Wageningen Economic Research) and consultancy and capacity building (CDI). As a result, Wageningen Economic Research provides access to this comprehensive range of expertise.


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If you would like to get in touch with us, please feel free to send us a message. Thank you very much in advance.


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