Junior Research Scientist in agronomy - Analysis and design of organic farming 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 recruited within the AGIR (AGroécologie - Innovations - TerRitoires) Joint Research Unit located at the INRAE Occitanie-Toulouse centre, and you will join the VASCO team (VAriétés et Systèmes de Culture pour une production agrOécologique). The VASCO team focuses on the agroecological transition of cropping systems. On the basis of experimentations and modelling, it aims at evaluating ways of diversifying crop species in space and time, in particular by integrating service plants and crop associations, and reducing tillage.

Among the transition options explored by the unit, Conservation Organic Farming (COF) is a promising way of farming for running farming systems without synthetic pesticides, adapting to the effects of climate change (in particular by making more efficient use of water and mineral resources), and for mitigation (by storing carbon in the soil). The aim of this profile is to describe and understand the diversity of practices used by farmers in COF and to assess their performance with groups of innovative farmers. The knowledge produced will be used to design agroecological systems that meet various challenges, particularly those related to climate change.

To begin your research, you will be involved in the team's projects dealing with the performance of conservation agriculture and COF systems by (i) taking an interest in the characterisation of COF systems implemented by pioneering farmers and developing on-farm research activities (contribution to the unit's 'on-farm experiment' initiatives), (ii) proposing a multi-criteria assessment highlighting their benefits in terms of adapting systems to climate change and mitigating it, and (iii) designing COF systems adapted to local contexts.

Most of the research will be carried out with networks of innovative farmers, so travel will be required to meet them and co-construct the research activities.
The B driving license is recommended.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
A cropping systems agronomist with training in analytical and systems-based experimental approaches incorporating in particular an understanding of farmers' practices would be highly recommended.

Research experience involving networks of plots on farmers' farms, as well as skills in methods for analysing data from these systems, would be desirable.
Knowledge of soil functioning will be necessary but can be acquired within the team.
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-4
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 19
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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