Are you a hardworking, motivated, and creative scientist that acquired an Msc in bio- or geosciences, chemistry, environmental science or a similar direction? Do you have experimental skills and a strong academic interest? The you may be the ideal candidate for this project!

Farmers rely on Plant Protection Products (PPPs) to maximize their yields. However, some PPPs are potentially harmful to environmental, plant, animal and human health. Data on the risks and impacts associated with PPPs' is, at present, scarce and fragmented. Therefore a need exists to deliver an integrated approach to fill this research gap. SPRINT seeks to develop a Global Health Risk Assessment Toolbox to assess impacts of PPPs on ecosystem, crop, livestock and human (EPAH) health. The focus within this PhD is to study soils as a sink and source of pesticide residues in the terrestrial ecosystem – an EU assessment.      vacancy3

Potential objectives of this project are:

  1. Pesticide residue distribution in soils of organic and conventional farms across Europe (related to application rates)
  2. How do residues of pesticides in soils affect the earthworm and soil microbiome composition across Europe? Pathogens/beneficial organisms.
  3. Bioaccumulation of PPP residues in terrestrial ecosystems.
  4. Map transport of pesticides from soil to dust and air by means of active and passive samplers.

More about the project SPRINT project ( will make an internationally valid contribution to assess integrated risks and impacts of pesticides on environment and human health, both at regional and European level. SPRINT will inform and accelerate the adoption of innovative transition pathways towards more sustainable plant protection in the context of a global health approach. SPRINT applies a multi-actor approach to engage partners and identify needs, improving farmer and citizen awareness, joint development of novel strategies for reduced reliance on PPP use. SPRINT consists of 9 interlinked work packages. The distribution and the impacts of PPP on environmental, plant, animal and human health will be evaluated at 10 EU case study sites (CSS) and one CSS in Argentina.

We ask

  • Completed MSc in bio- or geosciences, environmental sciences, chemistry, or comparable direction.
  • Very good academic results during the master's program.
  • Excellent experimental skills, ideally laboratory and greenhouse experience.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • The ability to independently conduct scientific research.
  • Excellent communication and (academic) writing skills in English.
  • Skills for and affinity with inter-and transdisciplinary research.
  • Preferably experience with working on pesticide analysis/ soil microbiome
  • Ability to learn R

We offer

We offer excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully-funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering an outstanding position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research center for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

To learn more about this position you can get in touch with Prof. dr. Violette Geissen, Vera da Silva, MSc or Dr. Paula Harkes (via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Make sure you read this vacancy text and the information about the chair group first before you contact us with questions.

For questions about the procedure, you can contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do you want to apply?
This can only be done by uploading the documents mentioned below via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission. Do not send applications or documents by email, and make sure you only apply when you meet all the job requirements.

To apply, please upload the following documents:
1.letter of motivation (including brief outline of your research ideas related to the PhD project);
2.your CV, including, together in one pdf file, up to three recommendation letters and a list of courses taken and exam scores.

This vacancy is open up to and including the 8 April 2021. We want to plan the first interviews soon afterwards. The ideal starting date is the 1st of May 2021!