PhD position on modelling impacts of a transition towards a circular food system (100%)

Firma / Institution
Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau FiBL

CH-5070 Frick


The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Switzerland is one of the world’s leading research and information centers for organic agriculture. In the Department of Socioeconomics and in collaboration with Wageningen University we offer by September 2021 or by agreement a PhD position on modelling impacts of a transition towards a circular food system (100%).

This PhD project will be associated to the project ‘Towards a circular food system’. In this project, we aim to develop pathways towards sustainable food systems that respect human and planetary health. To facilitate such a transition, pathways need to be tailor-made to local characteristics and support local SDGs and the Paris agreement. We will focus on multiple case study countries that differ in socio-economic aspects and agro-ecological conditions, to understand their needs for transformation and related challenges and oppor-tunities. Together with key stakeholders of these countries, we will identify circular strategies and the relat-ed potential transformation paths to achieve their implementation, and assess them in terms of wealth, diets, changes in the agricultural sector, land use, and other sustainability characteristics, as well as related trade-offs and synergies.

In particular, this PhD will focus on modelling the transition pathways and various key indicators for as-sessing the related sustainability performance in the case study countries. A main part of the work will consist in further developing and adapting the food system model CiFoS to adequately include the food systems and their envisaged transformations of the case study countries. This PhD position is closely relat-ed to the PhD position on social dimensions of a transition towards a circular food system at FiBL Switzer-land and Wageningen University that is advertised simultaneously.

Ideally you have the following profile

  • MSc degree in the direction of agro-ecology, environmental sciences, food security or economics. Stu-dents with other backgrounds may also apply
  • Experience with developing model codes, ideally in GAMS and/or R
  • Experience with geographical information systems
  • Commitment to finalise a PhD, combined with a training and supervision trajectory
  • The ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary research team, and carry out in-dependent individual research, to achieve team goals

We are offering

  • A full-time position for a duration of 48 months (4 years, performance evaluation within 12 months)
  • The PhD-degree will be issued by Wageningen University (Promoter: Dr. Hannah van Zanten)
  • The research will mainly be carried out at FiBL in Frick, Switzerland and will require regular visits to Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • Salary according to the PhD salary levels of the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Attractive working environment with flexible working conditions within an international group

Please submit your application (motivation letter and CV) to until 29.7.2021.

If possible for the candidate, the interviews will take place on 3. and 4.8.2021.

Bewerbung / Kontakt

Interested? If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Adrian Müller, Department of Socioeconomics (FiBL),, and Dr. Hannah van Zanten, Associate Professor, Farming Systems Ecolo-gy group, Wageningen University,,