Gepubliceerd op 16-07-2021

PhD position: Food and Health in Historical Perspective

A PhD candidate in the field of history or economic history to develop a research project on the historical relationship between food and health from a long-term perspective. The project will focus on the period since 1850, which has been characterized by major technological transitions affecting the global production, distribution and consumption of food crops, as well as the treatment and prevention of disease. In a context of imperialism and growing global inequalities, these transitions have had a highly uneven impact on different regions, for example in the extent to which they have continued to face recurrent famines.
For this PhD position you will develop your own research project under supervision of scholars at the Rural and Environmental History Group. You will participate in the research program of this Group, and follow the PhD-education programmes of Wageningen University and the N.W. Posthumus Institute. You will be able to develop your personal research CV and will co-lecture one or two courses in economic, global and/or environmental history to social science students.

You are an ambitious, enthusiastic scholar and a team player, devoted to research and education in an international and interdisciplinary academic environment.
You also have:

  • a completed MA/MSc in history, economic history or economics;
  • demonstrable research skills (e.g., statistical, archival, writing);
  • excellent command on English in oral and written form; proficiency in other languages would be considered an advantage, depending on the chosen research focus;
  • good organizational skills and the proven capacity to work with deadlines;
  • enthusiasm for teaching and working with (international) students in a variety of programmes;
  • strong motivation to develop your own research design;
  • ability to work both independently and in small teams;
  • great interest and curiosity in societal issues such as the causes and consequences of global inequality.


Wageningen University & Research offers 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.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre 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.


Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.


You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
To apply, please upload – next to your letter of motivation and your cv – the following documents via ‘others’:

  • Full transcript of grades obtained during (Res)MA/MSc studies
  • Two recent letters of reference, one of which preferably written by your thesis supervisor
  • A 1.000 word outline of your research ideas related to the PhD project*
  • An important element of the application file includes a 1.000 word (maximum) outline of your research ideas. In this outline, you may discuss the geographic area and time frame you would focus on, the research question(s) you would be interested in and how you intend to tackle that question/those questions. Provide a justification for your research question(s) as well as the chosen region(s) and time period on the basis of the relevant academic literature,. In addition, discuss the research methods you intend to use, why you have chosen these methods, and which possible sources you intend to study. Applications without a research outline will not be taken into consideration.

We prefer a candidate who is available as soon as possible, but the starting date is negotiable.

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Dr Daniel Gallardo Albarran, daniel.gallardoalbarran@wur.nl or Dr Ingrid de Zwarte, ingrid.dezwarte@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Sandra Willemsen, Corporate recruiter or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via recruitment.ssg@wur.nl.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including the 15th of September, 2021. We will schedule the first job interviews soon after closing date.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.