Junior research scientist on farm experiments for agroecology


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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 ITAP (Technologies and Methods for Tomorrow's Agriculture) joint research unit in Montpellier, which addresses all stages of the environmental metrology chain (measure-understand-decide-act) at various scales of study (plant-plot-farm-territory) to help define efficient and sustainable agriculture for tomorrow. You will work in the DéMo team (Decision and Agro-environmental Modelling) and interact with other research units in the AgroEcosystem division, in particular with teams of agronomists who experiment on farms. You will pay particular attention to positioning yourself in a systemic approach to experimentation for the agroecological transition.
The increasing access to digital tools and the high expectations of the agroecological transition allows the role of on-farm experiments (OFE) in modern agriculture to be rethought, and the diversity, complexity, and specificity of production systems to be addressed. You will propose methods for collecting and analyzing data on innovative practices obtained in on-farm experimental systems that integrate the operational constraints of farms and are based on observations from appropriate digital tools.
The long-term ambition of your research will be to contribute to finding answers to three issues: How can new digital tools, especially low-cost tools, be used to observe the practices of farmers engaged in the agroecological transition? How can we co-design on-farm experiments centered on the farmer and the operational constraints that meet his or her needs for information on agroecological systems? How can we analyse and extrapolate these new data according to their quality and in a robust manner according to the knowledge needs of the producers? Digital technology now allows each farm to become an "experimental station" linked to the OFE dynamic, and to contribute to the production of local knowledge, which is highly anticipated in agroecology. You will provide appropriate methods of analysis to accelerate and contextualize agroecological transitions.

Driving license recommended to collect data on farms.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
Strong skills in agricultural sciences, with proven experience in statistics and/or agricultural data analysis, are highly recommended. A strong interest in the principles of agroecology is recommended. Alternatively, strong skills in statistics or data science with a strong motivation for agricultural applications and environmental issues would be desirable.
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-AGROECOSYSTEM-3
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 4
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