Junior Researcher in Risk and Hazard Assessment of Waste Streams

Wageningen University


Junior Researcher Risk and Hazard Assessment of Waste Streams

Published on
October 25, 2019

Location Wageningen

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We are looking for

Do you have the chemical and biological knowledge and skills to contribute to a circular agriculture & food system? We are looking for a highly motived and ambitious junior researcher, with the option to do a PhD.

In an agricultural/food system that is changing from linear to more circular, focussing on the reuse, remanufacturing and recycling of ‘waste’-streams, it is of utmost importance to not only regard the potential benefits, but also to be prepared for potential issues regarding food, feed and waste safety and quality. Clearly, a prerequisite of a circular system is that not only all individual processes, but also the system as a whole is safe. Issues regarding safety include chemical residues (resulting from use of drugs/medicines/biocides/feed additives), physical particles (e.g. plastics) and biological hazards (following from concentrations of viruses/bacteria/zoonoses). Chemical risks and biological hazards are introduced at various places and move through the system in different ways. Within the Wageningen UR investment theme Connected Circularity a three year project will address the aforementioned product safety and quality.

Within this project you will develop a semi-quantitative safety assessment tool to assess chemical safety and biological hazards resulting in scenarios in which waste is optimally reused. High risk processes in the circular scenario will be restricted or, in case these are highly meaningful processes in the system, the process itself and correlated/related processes will be redesigned to diminish the risks. In this project, you will be responsible for: 

  • Identifying potential safety issues and biological hazards in waste streams, and exploring their behavior in a dynamic environment.
  • Development of a semi-quantitative chemical safety and biological hazards assessment tool.
  • Identifying knowledge gaps regarding chemical and biological aspects of waste streams.
  • Filling the research gaps through experiments or experienced knowledge.
  • Proposing novel scenarios for waste stream management, thereby minimizing risks for human, animal and environmental health.
You will closely collaborate with another junior researcher who is responsible for modelling the stocks and flows of waste streams. Your supervision team will (also) include professionals from Wageningen Food Safety and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research with the involved disciplinary backgrounds.


We ask


  • A university degree (MSc) in chemistry, agro-ecology, biology or related fields.
  • Knowledge and experience in bio-physical / agro-ecological systems.
  • A proven scientific ambition, proven performance in scientific writing, and strong ambition to publish future work (candidates are invited to provide 1 or 2 examples of their written work).
  • Ability to communicate effectively with different scientific disciplines.
  • Ability to run your own sub-project within the Connected Circularity project (time, money, cooperation, publications).
  • Ability to function as a team member, participate in project meetings and discussions.
  • The ambition to obtain a PhD degree.
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.


We offer

A challenging position with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 2.709 to a maximum of € 4.274 for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 10).

In addition, an appointment of 0.8 FTE is negotiable. In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment. We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.


More information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Peter Groot Koerkamp (peter.grootkoerkamp@wur.nl; +31 317 4800 831).
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@wur.nl.
General information about the Farm Technology Group can be found on www.wur.nl/fte, for Wageningen Bioveterinary Research and Wageningen Food Safety Research on www.wur.nl/wbvr and www.wur.nl/wfsr, respectively.

This vacancy is open until 1 December 2019.
You can only apply online through: www.wur.eu/career

The first job interviews will take place in December 2019.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site.

You will be situated within the Farm Technology Group at Wageningen University. Our group aims at enhancing, exploiting and disseminating technology in primary agricultural production processes with the aim to fulfill the needs of mankind and nature in a sustainable way. One of our specific competences is to design sustainable systems and technology, thereby develop improved methods of operation (both on farm level and beyond). We are a dynamic team consisting of Full professors (2), Assistant professors (2), Postdocs (6) and PhDs/junior researchers (>30). We are embedded in the department of Plant Sciences of Wageningen University, which provides fundamental and applied research and academic education on plants and the associated agricultural systems. We are member of the Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC) graduate school.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Apply now

In your application, please refer to Professorpositions.com


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