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Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral position - “Promoting low-input crop diversification in Europe through actor-oriented research”

Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral position - “Promoting low-input crop diversification in Europe through actor-oriented research”

Wageningen University, Netherlands



Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral position on Promoting low-input crop diversification in Europe through actor-oriented research
Farmers and value chain partners have experimented with diversified cropping systems and scientists have produced knowledge that revealed beneficial effects at farm and value chain levels. The challenge of fostering crop diversification consists in the dynamic articulation of these knowledges. It is acknowledged that classical ‘transfer of technology’ approaches are inadequate in fostering the sociotechnical changes that are needed to bring about new models of agriculture. Various proposals on how to organise the production of scientific knowledge relevant for systems transitions have been made. Guidelines emerging from these proposals include three principles: adopt a multi-actor approach; adopt a learning approach; and allow for emergent design. The abstract nature of these guidelines derived from system-level analyses, however, provides little support for innovation managers on how to govern and guide niche experiments that provide the ‘fuel’ for systemic changes. New frameworks for governance of niche experiments are needed.
The Postdoc will develop and implement an approach for governance of innovation experiments on low-input crop diversification and supporting value chains. Main research question will be “How can stakeholders stimulate transformation towards diversified cropping systems in the EU?” The approach will build on existing approaches such as Co-innovation, adaptive capacity of niche experiments and Reflexive Monitoring in Action. Starting from a baseline assessment of case studies (joint work with process monitors in the case studies), the Postdoc will support project staff in implementing the approach in the case studies to jointly build and monitor a change trajectory of their cropping systems. Monitoring data are used for scientific cross-case study analyses. Methods may include workshops and interviews to build case study innovation histories; social network mapping; and scenario development. The Postdoc will be involved in running the project together with the work package coordinator.
Function Requirements
For this position we are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with the following qualifications:
  1. An excellent academic record in a relevant social sciences discipline such as innovation studies, science dynamics or management science (PhD completed), preferably with knowledge of relevant natural science disciplines such as agro-ecology or agronomy.
  2. Strong knowledge and skills regarding qualitative and quantitative approaches (e.g. observation, surveys, in-depth interviewing, statistical analyses)
  3. Knowledge of relevant theories of (agricultural) innovation and participatory research, such as the agricultural innovation systems approach, sustainability transition theories and action research.
  4. Strong organization and facilitation skills.
  5. Strong oral and written communication skills in English, especially regarding academic writing and presentation.
  6. Proven ability to work in scientific teams and collaborate with a range of societal stakeholders.

More information to be found here


Wageningen University, NL

Printed from on 22/05/17 10:40:57 PM

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