Junior Research scientist in agronomy for open innovation


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will join the Concepts team within the SAD-APT joint research unit (agronomy, livestock science, ecology, management), which explores technical and organizational innovations in territories and sectors, with a view to reconciling agricultural and environmental concerns.
You will draw on the collaborative dynamic, centred on innovative design, between agronomy, social sciences, and food process engineering, which is structured within the IDEAS (Initiative for DEsign in Agrifood Systems) research network. The increased interactions between these scientific communities in the Paris-Saclay University project, as well as the strengthening of the links with the teams working in design sciences (Ecole polytechnique, Telecom ParisTech, MinesParisTech) constitute favourable ground for the interface work to be developed.
With the aim of contributing to the agroecological transition, you will invest in the question of agricultural system design in open innovation networks. In agriculture, open innovation logic takes shape in living labs, interactive forums and web tools, innovation tracking in the field, or networks of innovative farmers, collaborating with consumers or citizens. We are thus witnessing a real change in the ways of innovating, where agricultural systems are designed, in a partially coordinated way, by various stakeholders, organized in networks, exchanging knowledge and inventions.
To explore this research front, you will draw on the paradigms of system-agronomy (discipline of the recruitment) and knowledge from the design sciences. Your research will aim to develop and assess new modalities of network design adapted to a diversity of stakeholders and objects designed. These methodological proposals will be based on (i) the analysis, within the networks of various stakeholders, of design processes of agricultural systems: who is designing what with whom? What diversity of ways are there of designing in networks? Along which paths of technical change do they take shape? Which resources (knowledge, skills, work) do they mobilize? and (ii) the analysis of the agronomic content of the knowledge and inventions circulating within these networks, to feed the design process: What is exchanged? How and by whom is it produced? How does the development of digital agriculture change the content and the generativity of the exchange?
The wealth of the relations within the joint research unit with the stakeholders in agricultural R&D (technical institutes, chambers of agriculture, cooperatives, water managers...) will mobilize, for this research, a large diversity of networks. Design for organic farming (where networked innovation has a long history) and for pesticide reduction (networks undergoing restructuring due to the Ecophyto Plan and the separation of sales and advice) could be your first fields of study.

Assignment to Saclay's site from the year 2022

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
Strong skills in systems agronomy, at the interface with design studies, are strongly recommended. An interface thesis, or in agronomy followed by an interface post-doc would be appreciated. Otherwise, additional training in design studies, in connection with our partners in the field, is possible after recruitment. Know-how in semi-structured interviews, experience in action-research and a taste for facilitation (workshops, networks) would be appreciated.
Candidates should have a good command of English, and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-ACT-2
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 2

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