Junior Research Scientist on recent and future dynamics of soil physical and biogeochemical properties


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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 SOLS Research Unit in Orléans (France), whose research focuses on the physical and geochemical functioning of soils. To implement your research program, you will work closely with all the scientists at the site in Orléans (SOLS Research Unit and INFOSOL Service Unit) working on soils and with skills in pedology, spatialization, modelling, data processing, especially in the field of spatial data and their temporal dynamics, and database management. For your modelling work, it will be possible to draw on the INRAE Virtual Soil modelling platform (
Your main objective will be to assess the temporal dynamics of soil properties in the medium term (decade-century), i.e. over temporal scales at which global changes occur such as climate change or soil management changes in the context of the agroecological transition. Your research will allow such temporal dynamics to be accounted for in models describing agroecosystem functioning, and integrating explicit knowledge of soils and their properties. For this purpose, you will conduct a retrospective assessment of the temporal dynamics of soils and their physical and biogeochemical properties over the past few decades by exploring the data available in soil databases, on a territory scale (county, country, continent). You will thus produce spatial representations of the evolution of soil properties on local and national scales, and even beyond. You will also carry out a prospective analysis enabling the projection of soil properties for the 2050-2100 horizon with their related uncertainties, especially using the SCORPAN modelling principles proposed by McBratney et al. (2003, Geoderma 117), in order to elaborate various scenarios of the dynamics of soil properties within the context of a spatially explicit approach. You will thus contribute to improving the use of the temporal dynamics of soils in spatial models of global change over territories from local to European scale.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
In-depth skills in the field of geosciences and, ideally, in soil science are highly recommended. Some knowledge of pedology would be particularly appreciated. Sound experience in the implementation and development of models, as well as in the use of environmental databases would be appreciated.
Candidates should have a good command of English (both written and spoken), 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).

Your future scientific team on video

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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-2022-AGROECOSYS-4
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 34
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