Researcher global agriculture and land use via LinkedIn

The Hague, , NL

Job description

The PBL Department of Water, Agriculture and Food (WLV) is looking for a researcher to analyse future changes in land use, land degradation, drought and desertification, in relation to agriculture, to contribute to the Global Land Outlook (GLO). The GLO report will be published by the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). PBL will provide long-term support for the GLO study, exploring future changes, both quantitatively as well as qualitatively, in land use and in the condition of land and soils, including causes and impacts, with a focus on food systems, agriculture and water. The study has a global perspective with attention for regional aspects and differences. Much of the quantitative analysis will rely on the PBL-IMAGE modelling framework. The analysis for the GLO aims to deepen the understanding of the dynamics and impacts of land-use change, land management and land degradation. Understanding the dynamics of agriculture plays a pivotal role in the GLO, as agriculture is a major driver of change in relation to land and soils, as well as impacted by environmental change and land degradation.

Your work will centre on the relation between agricultural systems (in the context of food systems) and land, in spatial and qualitative terms. You will connect the scientific literature, quantitative research and model simulations on agricultural systems, enhanced by your first-hand knowledge of agricultural practices, with land use and land condition. You will map and research the ways in which agriculture, land and soils interact, and how the location, size and direction of these relations can be expected to change over the coming decades, in various parts of the world. Your work will include linking these changes to the future of food systems, water availability and management, and carbon sequestration, resulting in evaluating potential options for policymakers to improve the sustainable and efficient use of land in agricultural systems. For this, you are expected to use, expand and engage your network of international agricultural researchers and institutes.

Within the project team, your focus will be on the role of food and agriculture in land use, land-use change and land degradation. You will carry out the analyses, largely independently, within an interdisciplinary project team of specialists. Integrality and systems thinking are characteristic of PBL studies, coupled with a strong focus on quantitative assessments and modelling to create future projections that inform policymakers. PBL studies aim to integrate bio-physical and socio-economic domains. This study is conducted in close interaction with the UNCCD, in which you will guard the independent position of PBL.

Main tasks:

You are expected to perform scientific research yourself, as well as play a coordinating role in working with or outsourcing to other institutes. This will include the following tasks:

  • Performing research into the relation between agriculture and land, in spatial and qualitative terms. Combining insights and data on various spatial scales, from local to global.
  • Obtaining and analysing data on agriculture, land use and land condition, food and water;
  • Developing and guiding research to improve the agricultural components in PBL’s IMAGE modelling framework;
  • Contributing to the overall strategic development of the project;
  • Analysing the scenario modelling output data;
  • Contracting, supervising and reviewing research from external institutes;
  • Contributing to the internal and external communication about the research;
  • Contributing to general project activities, including the organisation of workshops and meetings.
  • Reporting the research in reports as well as in scientific papers.


  • You have an MSc in agronomy, agricultural economics, geography or a related study in the natural sciences. A PhD is an advantage. You have a thorough understanding of both bio-physical processes as well as of socio-economic mechanisms.
  • You have proven knowledge of agricultural systems and trends in agriculture and food production (at various spatial scales, preferably in various regions), and their impacts on land use, land-use change and land condition.
  • You have relevant work experience, preferably in an interdisciplinary and international environment.
  • You have experience in transforming scientific insights and findings into strategic policy-relevant messages.
  • You have a relevant and extensive professional network. Experience in international organisations would be an advantage. You have good contractual skills.
  • You have a critical mind. You have strong conceptual-analytical skills, and are able to derive the essence from a multitude of information from many sources, and are able to report this succinctly and clearly.
  • You are able to switch between scientific theory and the practice of farmers, policymakers and others; you are interested in insights from a variety of disciplines (including bio-physics and economics) and are able to connect and enrich the knowledge from these disciplines.
  • You are able to work both independently and within a team.
  • You have a very good command of both spoken and written English.


Arbeidsvoorwaarden van de vacature


schaal 11, schaal 12


Min €2996 – Max €5219 bruto per maand


Tijdelijke aanstelling voor de duur van project / traject / werkzaamheden


4 years

Minimaal aantal uren per week


Maximaal aantal uren per week


Overige arbeidsvoorwaarden

Other conditions of employement

In addition to the salary and holiday pay an end-of-year payment can be expected, the so-called 13th month. The national government strongly adheres to personal growth and carreer development and offers several possibilities to facilitate this. The terms of employment include amongst others a maximum 55% paid parental leave (conditions apply), facilities to study, additional arrangements for leave for elderly and a refund for commuter traffic. The national government offers possibilities for a number of individual choices in shaping the total package of terms of employement.


This is a temporary appointment for the duration of 4 years.

Over Ministry of infrastructure and the environment

Wil jij weten waar je eventueel komt te werken? Lees dan snel verder over de organisatie en de afdeling .

De organisatie – Ministry of infrastructure and the environment

The Ministry of infrastructure and the environment focuses on quality of life and accessibility, with a good flow in a clean and safe environment. The Ministry is working on powerful connections by road, rail, water and air, protects against flooding and promotes the quality of air and water. Efficient, safe and livable: that’s infrastructure and environment.

De afdeling – Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)/Water, Agriculture and Food (WLV)

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency is the national institute for strategic policy analysis in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning. We contribute to improving the quality of political and administrative decision-making by conducting outlook studies, analyses and evaluations in which an integrated approach is considered paramount. Policy relevance is the prime concern in all of our studies. See for more information.

The Department of Water, Agriculture and Food covers the fields of water quality and quantity, water safety, agriculture, food production, agricultural emissions, and developments surrounding food demand. Water and water management, in both the Netherlands and in Europe, are important in relation to agriculture, housing, nature development, recreation, and transport. Issues that play a role in this respect are the effects of climate change, the availability of fresh water, and the living conditions and safety around the deltas. The department looks at possibilities for the Netherlands, especially, to combine expansion and efficiency in food production with nature and landscape, which on a European scale, is also linked to European Agricultural Policy reform. On a global scale, the department studies world food supply and biofuel production, and how these issues relate to biodiversity, emissions and the use of space.


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