Optimize the production and mobilization of differents types of biomass for multiple uses in a context of energy and agroecological transition


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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. 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

Nature and purpose of the research project to be developed and related activities :
Optimising the link between production and conversion of different types of biomass is an important lever to address the challenges of agroecological and energy transitions, as well as net zero carbon. However, this raises questions linked to the assessment of the available resources, competition between users, the sustainability of the production systems and conversion considered, and the influence of constraints related to climate change.
The aim of this junior professor position is to imagine, explore, and assess innovative scenarios combining, complementarily, the production and use of different types of biomass (crop residues, dedicated perennial or annual crops, intermediate crops…) and the multiple potential uses of this biomass (food, energy production depending on the possible channels, production of biomolecules, preservation of soil quality…). The research questions concern (i) the capacity to dynamically combine diversity of resources and uses to optimise the added value, (ii) appraisal of the effects of climate change on the availability of these resources and their diversity of use, and (iii) the identification of optimal scales of organisation of production and flow (territorial scale will be favoured). The general approach implemented will combine the joint development with the players, their modelling using plot-scale (e.g. STICS) and territorial-scale models, and their multi-criteria assessment (use of soils, food and energy production, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage…), with a view–in the medium-term–to expanding to bigger spatial scales. The ultimate challenge is to reinforce the capacity to inform public policies and identify the needs induced in different fields of research (biogeochemical cycles, genetic improvement, modelling of matter and energy flows…).

Nature and purpose of the teaching project:
The ambition of the teaching project associated with this junior professor position is to train researchers who, in the future, will work on methods of designing and assessing bioeconomic scenarios, as well as territorial executives who will be involved in their operational implementation and will be their contacts. The objective is to develop, over a scale of 5 years, a coherent training course in the form of a Master’s specialisation for which the person recruited will be the coordinator.
The training course will include raising awareness of issues linked to the bioeconomy, sound elements on the production of different types of biomass, the related constraints, their potential for different uses and services, and any potential tensions or synergies. They will place emphasis on the scenario development process (participatory methods), the involvement of various categories of players (farmers, processors, consumers), the modelling and multi-criteria assessment of the performances of the territorial scenarios envisioned, and the related methods.
Firstly, the contribution of the junior professor will be in the form of coordinated actions (doctoral training modules for example) in the various higher education establishments associated with BioEcoAgro in France and Belgium (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Junia, University of Lille…) to supplement the existing curriculum and gradually establish an independent training course.

Funding and related resources :
You will have a €321K package that you can use to fund your research and recruit collaborators (PhD student and post-doc).
The research directorate of the Hauts-de-France region has confirmed its support for the requests for two Junior Professor positions that BioEcoAgro could coordinate. This could result in funding in addition to ANR funding or dedicated partial PhD grants.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD or equivalent

You have in-depth skills in agronomy and crop modelling. Knowledge on the conversion and fractionation of biomass and/or the assessment of environmental impacts on agricultural systems would be particularly appreciated. You have a taste for transmission and teaching.
A good command of English and long-term international experience would be desirable.

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.

International scientists, please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE.

Type of contract

Tenure-Track Junior Professor Chair enables recruitment of scientists based on a research and teaching project that lasts three years. At the end of this period, and following an assessment of your scientific achievements and professional capabilities, you may obtain a full-tenure position as Research Director (DR2).

A research and teaching agreement will specify the path you will follow towards full-tenure and enable you to acquire the qualifications necessary to become a full-tenure Research Director in your field.

You have until April 12, 2024 to submit your application. Only candidates previously selected on file by the selection committee will be invited to the hearing.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CPJ24-AGROECOSYSTEM-1
  • Corps: Chaire de Professeur Junior
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 2
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