Website Wageningen University & Research

Together with a consortium of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and companies, we are starting a large research programme of 17 PhDs/Postdocs entitled ‘Sky High: Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production’.
Vertical farming is a novel technology where plants are grown on many stacked layers with LED light. It is a secure and sustainable route to provide cities with fresh food. This program targets a revolution in the production of fresh vegetables. The ambition is a secure and sustainable vegetable supply: no pesticides, no nutrient emission, only 2-4 litres water per kg produce, at least twentyfold less land use, lower food mileage, less waste and lower energy use per kg produce compared to greenhouses. These vegetables have a greatly improved quality (taste, aroma, appearance, shelf life, nutritional value, safety) compared to conventionally produced vegetables. The Sky High programme will develop concepts for design and control of vertical farms that meet all mentioned targets on sustainability, yield, and quality, based on a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming.
To realise these targets a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming is needed. The efficiency of light and energy use is strongly affected by the photoperiod and the duration of the diel (24 hour; diurnal and nocturnal) cycle. The aim off the here announced PhD project is to study the response (physiology, growth, development) of lettuce plants to different photoperiods in interaction with total daily light integral and light intensity when the total cycle is 24 hours. Furthermore, the possibilities for deviations in duration of total diel cycle will be studied, which includes studies of the circadian clock of plants.

We are seeking a PhD candidate with an MSc degree in Plant Sciences, Plant Biology or a related discipline. We are looking for result-driven team player with creative ideas, excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English (both oral and written). This position requires an excellent English language proficiency  (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

  • You have a MSc degree in plant sciences Plant Sciences, Plant Biology or a related discipline
  • You have experience in experimental and environmental plant physiology; a proven ability to develop experimental methodology related to environmental plant physiology is expected as well as the ability to think in physiological and molecular concepts.
  • You are a team player who can also work independently
  • You have an interest in (co-)supervising (under) graduate students

To apply for this job please visit