Junior Research Scientist in agroecology of fruit and vegetable systems


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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 be hosted at the Ecodeveloppement research lab, which project aims to analyze and accompany ecologization of farming systems, food systems and public policies. Characterizing and accompanying of diversified agricultural systems based on vegetable and fruit production is one of the three focuses of the lab.
This mean on the one hand to explicit and analyze the agroecological levers that farmers mobilize in these systems, the interactions between ecological processes and management practices as well as the drivers of these practices. This means on the other hand, accompanying ecologization dynamics.
The lab has a long lasting experience in vegetable and fruit farming along the gradient of horticultural systems. Based on surveys with farmers and other stakeholders of the sociotechnical system, your work will aim to develop a conceptual framework representing diversification of large scale horticultural farms, as a final state as well as as a despecialisaztion dynamic. This framework will make it possible to understand and show the capacity of farms to show and properly manage on the long term the different productions (and their introductions), without limiting their productions, qualities and sustainability. In the first years, your researches will deal with fine analysis and understanding of the functioning of a range of large scale diversified horticultural farms as well as on the analysis of despecialization trajectories.
The subject can be treated according to sevral complementary points of views: spatio-temporal organization of crops, human resources affectation, management of farm level trade-offs (e.g. between agroecological, economic dimensions or working time), despecialization trajectories. These works will be conducted on a diversity of farm types and of modes of insertion within agrifood systems (agroecological, low input, organic systems; commercializing in long and/or local systems, in local collective food systems…). Your work will be conducted in narrow interaction with modeling and evaluation approaches of diversified systems conducted by other researchers of the lab. It will come to collectively handle production systems along a diversification gradient to feed the dialogue between diversification of small scale farms and despecialization of large scale ones. You may also benefit from skills on farm trajectories analyses available in the lab. On the mid-term, your work may contribute to accompagnying diversification dynamicsof horticultural productions via the modelling of diversification trajectories, conception of despecialization trajectories or supporting territorial despecialization dynamics.

Surveys and interactions in french with farmers and developpement stakeholders

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Application open to candidates holding a PhD or equivalent.
A specialization in agroécology or agronomy is highly recommended, especially a sensitivity to the decision compeonnent of farming practices as well as the abilty to conduct semi-directive interviews.

Opening to interdisciplinarity (Human sciences, Ecology) is also wanted to mobilize and adapt concepts from other disciplines (collective management of changes, economy of the farm and of the supply chain, ecosystem services).

Modelling skills would be appreciated. Compulsory knowledge of the French language and English wanted as well as a long term international experience: laureate who would not have had one, will have to realize a stay abroad after their internship 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-3
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 19
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