Wageningen University 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.

Conditions of employment

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.

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.

Apply now!

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.

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