Junior research scientist in landscape agronomy


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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

Within the Dynafor (Dynamics and Ecology of Agroforestry Landscapes) Joint Research Unit, you will join the Grouve theme (Management and Governance of Agroforestry Landscapes), which combines contributions from landscape ecology, social geography, and political sciences to explore the hurdles and levers of landscape approaches to agroecology. The agroecological transition is indeed based on the promotion/exploitation of ecological processes and ecosystem services whose dynamics go beyond farm boundaries. It must, therefore, be planned and implemented at landscape level. For example, the composition and configuration of landscapes (crop rotation, hedges, grass strips) have an impact on the regulation of crop pests, and spatial coordination of agricultural practices could help limit the use of pesticides. Although increasingly popular, this landscape approach to agroecology still faces difficulties such as the interrelationship between organizational levels, the complexity of agroecological processes, and the motivation and coordination of farmers. Progressing in this cutting-edge scientific field, your research will focus on the analysis of farmer practices and strategies on a landscape scale, and on the multi-actor spatial coordination of these practices (e.g. concerted crop rotation, spatial management of agroecological infrastructures). Drawing on collaborations with landscape ecology and social sciences, your research will be hinged around three themes: (1) analysis of the diversity of agricultural and livestock practices, their spatial and temporal dynamics, and their impacts on landscapes and biodiversity, (2) characterization, at technical-economic and biophysical level, of the benefits, constraints, and room for maneuver of farmers to commit to landscape/territorial agroecological transitions, (3) interdisciplinary co-construction of scenarios for future practices in preparation of socially just and ecologically viable agroecological transformations. Your work will be based on the methods and concepts of the agronomy/zootechnics system, a comprehensive approach to agricultural strategies, and transdisciplinary approaches for the co-construction of knowledge such as participatory modelling or serious games.
In the short term, you will have the opportunity to develop your research on the long-term study sites of the unit within the PYGAR Workshop Zone, in the Valleys and Slopes of Gascony (e.g. analysis of agricultural practices for landscape regulation of crop pests) or in the Pyrenees (e.g. spatial management of mountain meadows and rangeland in the context of climate change). You will thus benefit from the existing knowledge base and scientific collaborations, in particular with the Agir Joint Research Unit, and the partnerships established with local stakeholders. In addition, you will benefit from a supportive environment in agroecology in Toulouse (Campus for Agroecological Transition, Défi-Clef Transition agroécologique). In the medium and long term, your work will contribute to the development of an innovative approach to landscape agroecology within an emerging scientific community, at national and international levels, at the frontier between systems agronomy, agronomy of territories, and landscape ecology.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
A PhD in agronomy or zootechny (systems agronomy or zootechny, landscape agronomy or zootechny) is highly recommended. Knowledge of agroecology, command of systemic and multi-level approaches (plot, farm, landscape/territory), and an ability to analyse mixed crop-livestock systems are desirable. Previous experience working in an interdisciplinary environment would be desirable. Experience in participatory research and/or working in partnership with farmers would be highly appreciated. A good command of French is essential for interactions with local stakeholders.
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).

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.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2023-ACT-3
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 2
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