Project Leader Sustainability Agro & Food Production

LocationWageningen/Den Haag
Scientific fieldEconomics
RespondClick here to respond

We are looking for

Are you an experienced project manager and do you want to contribute to a more sustainable food production and agricultural sector? If you are, than we have an interesting position at Wageningen Economic Research!

We are looking for a Project Leader with a strong affinity with economic and environmental sustainability of agro and food production. This position is in the expertise group Performance & Impact Agro Sectors; one of the seven groups within Wageningen Economic Research. We are a group of circa 35 professionals who are committed to contributing to a more sustainable world by doing applied socio-economic research for companies in the agricultural sector, governments and NGOs. We are specialised in performance monitoring (people-planet-profit), and policy analysis and evaluations for the agro sector. With our research projects, we give provide our (inter)national clients, both public and private, clear insights so that they can make weighed policy and management decisions. We do project-based economic research and before each project we select the best team for the job (based on the required expertise and skills). Due to market development and expectations, we want to strengthen our expertise group with an experienced Project Leader with profound knowledge of economic and environmental sustainability of agro and food production.

External role:

  • As a project leader you are the face of the organisation for our (inter)national customers. You are a sparring partner for them and able to translate their problems, needs and questions about sustainability issues in the agricultural sector into clear applied economic research questions and project proposals.
  • You have a profound knowledge of scientific methods and concepts to monitor sustainability of agricultural production in combination with actual practical knowledge of sustainability initiatives in agricultural sectors, both in the Netherlands and worldwide. Moreover, you are able to inspire our customers with our vision on how to improve  sustainability and the contribution of applied economic research to it.
  • During the execution of the research projects, you as project manager are the contact person for our customers and maintain the customer relations in a natural and professional way. You manage complex projects with multiple clients, stakeholders and financiers, and you are able to bring the various interests together.
  • You report and present the project results in a professional and transparent manner. Finally, you are able to translate independent research output into science-based advice for our customers to make weighed policy and management decisions.

Internal role:

  • Your internal role is to give direction and leadership to research projects. You coordinate a portfolio of (inter)national research projects with multiple partners and stakeholders. For your role as sparring partner for the research team, you have a solid scientific foundation and experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Depending on the size of the projects, you also provide a substantial research contribution.
  • You ensure that you, together with the project team, can deliver high-quality knowledge and project results within the agreed frameworks (time and budget).
  • Your style of leadership is inspiring and motivating. You are able to get the best out of the individual team members, but you have also the skills to create an atmosphere of cooperation and team spirit.

Note, per 24th of July update of the vacancy text.


We ask

We ask
The ideal candidate for this position for project leader has the following profile:

  • 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
We offer an exciting position at an internationally leading institute with scope for personal development. In more detail our offer consists of very good remuneration and excellent secondary benefits:

  • 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

For mor 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 via
Only applications via this apply button will be considered.

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.


The full description of the Dutch vacancies can be found on the Dutch vacancy page.

Type of Supply or Demand: 


Supply & Demand of daanb
Selected Categories
Access level of this page
  • Public
  • WorldSupporters only
  • JoHo members
  • Private
Main Category
Support & Inspire
Country / Region