Junior Research Scientist on institutional economics


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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

AGIR (AGroecology, Innovations, Territories) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory created in 2007. It combines social and agronomic sciences, and brings several teachers from ingineer schools with INRAE researchers. Its scientific project is to conceptualize, analyze and design tools for the sustainable transition of agri-food systems. Your research will focus on new modes of coordination in supply/value chains (contractual relations, work organizations, digital platforms, etc.) and changes in production, processing and trading practices, in regards with the transition processes of the agricultural and food sector towards sustainability. You will build an original research perspective on the analysis of socio-technical reconfigurations of chains (from farm to fork), by combining theories of organizational arrangements, evolutionary innovation and institutional change in economics.

Based on mixed method research, combining qualitative and quantitative data from own surveys or public ones, you will produce new knowledge on the dynamics of change and sustainable innovations (environmental, social, ethical, etc.) in value chains, and particularly in long value chains (ie. chains joining more intermediairies from production to processing and retailing). Your research will contribute to existing programs of the lab on a diversity of agricultural value chains, at regional, national or international scales, for instance concerning legumes development and their coexistence with cereals and animal value chains under reconfigurations. Your work could question the capacity of value chains to respond to major societal challenges, such as that of developing healthy and sustainable food systems, by ensuring fair added value and risks sharing. Your work could also question the effects of major transformations on supply/value chains, such as the development of digital agriculture, circular economy, decarbonization or new forms of work and agricultural advice. You will benefit from a large network of collaborators from our lab and from the University of Toulouse (the 2nd academic center in France), including the campus for agroecological transitions currently under construction. You will also benefit from privileged access to networks of actors involved in participatory research and to financial resources in accordance with the operating rules of the lab (individualized budget, integration into French and European collaborative projects).

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Competition open to candidates with a doctorate (or equivalent)
Advanced training in economics, with a specialization in the field of evolutionary and/or institutional change in economics, and knowledge of transition studies approaches (developed within the Sustainability Transition Research Network) is strongly expected.
The expected skills are, on the one hand, a good knowledge of theories (main concepts of evolutionary and/or institutionalist thoughts, and/or of transition studies) for tackling research on shielding or reconfiguration of value chains, and on the other hand, uses of empirical methods (conducting interviews, thematic coding of interviews or textual corpus, data triangulation, statistical and factorial analysis) with knowledge about French or European issues on transforming value chains.
Fluent written and spoken English is required, and an experience of international partnership research. The applicants will not have such experience must follow a research journey abroad after the first 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-2024-ACT-1
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 1
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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