Postdoc on opportunities for plant protein production in Europe


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Start Date

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Increasing domestic production of grain legumes is considered an important strategy for improving Europe’s food security and can be a pathway towards
more sustainable food systems. Legume production in Europe might have significant co-benefits, such as increasing resilience of European farming systems and reducing fertilizer use, pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions (climate-smart agriculture). What is the potential for expanding plant grain legume production in Europe? How large are the co-benefits and who are the beneficiaries? What are impacts and trade-offs on the environment, land use and value chain? How can increased grain legume production contribute to increasing sustainability of European farming systems?

The postdoc will contribute to the interdisciplinary project LegumeGAP, that explores scenarios of increasing production and sustainability of plant protein
production in Europe. LegumeGAP is an interdisciplinary project that unites among others agronomists, economists, plant breeders and spatial ecologists from eight European countries. The position will not only research a societally relevant topic, involve a mix of both quantitative and qualitative methods, offer
opportunities for participation in an international research consortium, but it will also require close collaboration with stakeholders to ensure research
relevance and impact.

The postdoc position will be part of the Environmental Geography group at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU, which provides a stimulating,
highly interdisciplinary research environment studying complex sustainability challenges.

Your duties:

  • Building scenarios that explore windows of opportunity for legume production in Europe
  • Impact assessment and analysis of trade-offs of legume production at EU and global level
  • Contribute to various cross-partner tasks, including an European-level farmers survey, EU scale modelling of potential crop yields and yield gaps, analysis and mapping of different yield gap components and drivers for it


  • PhD degree in geography, agronomy, environmental sciences or similar background
  • solid experience with large-scale spatial analysis, and proven interest in interdisciplinary research
  • experience with quantitative research, modelling, and qualitative research
  • command of Dutch is an advantage

What are we offering

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,123 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,274 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension to in total 3 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting allowance based on public transport

Contact Name

Dr. Nynke Schulp

Contact Email