Junior Research Scientist on integrated assessment of agri-food 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

The ITAP Joint Research Unit (Technologies and Methods for the Agriculture of Tomorrow) tackles all the steps in the environmental metrology chain (measure-understand-decide-act) on the various scales of study (plant-plot-farm-territory), to help define efficient and sustainable agriculture of tomorrow. Within this research unit, you will be working in the ITAP-ELSA (Environmental Lifecycle and Sustainability Assessment) team, which focuses on methodological research on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The work conducted by the team aims to broaden the scope of LCA with approaches on the scale of sectors and territories, and through better modelling of environmental mechanisms focusing on water resources, soil, and biodiversity. These methodological developments reveal pollution transfers and trade-offs between performance and resilience of systems over the long term in agroecological transition scenarios.

The ITAP-ELSA team has initiated innovative research into the coupling of LCA models (with crop or economic models) to move towards integrated modelling of human-environment interactions from a life-cycle perspective. The challenge is to consider socio-economic and environmental interactions simultaneously so as to produce consequential, dynamic, and prospective LCA.

In this context, you will be responsible for producing integrated evaluation methods to assess the environmental performance of agroecological trajectories involving socio-economic dynamics (such as the effects of competition or synergy between economic sectors and territories, substitution effects or rebound effects) and biophysical dynamics (including the effects of environmental changes such as climate change, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, etc.). You will draw on sound scientific knowledge on your research subjects, supplemented by continuous updating in the field of consequential LCA and prospective LCA, as well as integrated assessment models on different spatial scales, combining elements on agroecosystems, hydrology, soil, climate and/or the economy.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.

This research position is at the interface between environmental and engineering sciences (modelling, simulation of complex systems, data sciences). Specialisation in one of these disciplines is recommended

You are a team player with excellent interpersonal skills. You are motivated by environmental assessment approaches and would like to extend knowledge on the environmental sustainability of agri-food systems.
Experience in the development of integrated assessment models and/or environmental assessment methods, including LCA, 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).

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-AGROECOSYSTEM-2
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 21
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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