About FoodGovernance

Jessica Duncan is Associate Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (the Netherlands). She holds a PhD in Food Policy from City University London (2014). Jessica’s main research focus concerns the practices and politics of participation in food policy processes, particularly the relationships (formal and non-formal) between governance organizations, systems of food provisioning, the environment, and the actors engaged in and across these spaces. More specifically, she maps the diverse ways that actors participate in policy-making processes, analysing how the resulting policies are shaped, implemented, challenged, and resisted, and she theorizes about what this means for socio-ecological transformation. Participation and engagement is at the core of her approach. In turn, she is active in a broad range of local, national and international initiatives with the aim of better understanding participation processes with a view towards transitioning to just and sustainable food systems. She is involved in several research projects including ROBUST, HortEco & SHEALTHY. Jessica is published regularly in academic journals. She recently co-edited the Handbook on Sustainable and Regenerative Food Systems (2020). Her other books include Food Security Governance: Civil society participation in the Committee on World Food Security (2015) and an edited volume called Sustainable food futures: Multidisciplinary solutions (2017). Jessica has received several awards for her teaching and in 2017 she was awarded Teacher of the Year for Wageningen University (shortlisted again in 2018 and 2019, longlisted in 2020). With the funds she has received for these awards she launched a story-telling workshop for students and faculty, with storytelling trainer, Emma Holmes. Jessica is on the Editorial Board of the journal Sociologia Ruralis and is an advisor to the Traditional Cultures Project (USA). She is a member of the Wageningen Young Academy and sits on the Sustainability Board of Experts at Wageningen University.

JOB ALERT: Serious game design to support citizen engagement in food sharing

The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University is looking for a colleague who will:

  • Conduct community-based research
  • Facilitate the co-design of serious games that support citizen engagement in food sharing
  • Contribute to the development of a library of citizen engagement strategies

The job is suitable for a Post-Doc or for someone with 5 years of experience in citizen-engagement and serious game design.

The position is for 24 months at 0.8 FTE and will be based in the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University.

Please note that Dutch fluency is required for this position.

This research is part of a four-year EU-funded project: CULTIVATE.

For more information and to apply click here.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Vacancies for 2 research positions: DEADLINE Dec 8.

We posted last week that we would be opening two research positions in the Rural Sociology Group

The vacancies are now officially open.

Mapping gender-responsive rural policies

Citizen Engagement Strategies to Support Food Sharing

All information and criteria, including deadlines, are available through the links above.

Check this space: Future jobs

Over the next few months, the Rural Sociology Group will be hiring research assistants, PhDs, and PostDocs.

Be sure to follow us to keep up-to-date and informed on these exciting opportunities.

Two vacancies are already open for research positions starting February 1, 2023. These positions are ideal for recent MSc graduates. Note the deadline to submit is 8 December 2022.

Research Position: Citizen Engagement Strategies to support Food Sharing (Deadline 8 Dec 2022)

Click here to apply

The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University is looking for a Research Assistant to work on citizen-engagement strategies to support food sharing initiatives. This research is part of a 4-year EU-funded project.

The position is for 16 months at 0.8 FTE and will be based in the Rural Sociology Group in Wageningen University.

The start date is 1 February 2023, and the position will end on 30 May 2024.

In this exciting research position:

  • You will undertake an independent, systematic desk review of social norms, cultures, local conditions, and citizen engagement around food sharing innovation.
  • You will undertake a SWOT analysis of the citizen engagement strategies.
  • You will interview at least 15 stakeholders to validate and expand on the review.
  • You will work as part of a team to translate the insights from this review into user-facing tools.
  • You will also contribute to an EU database of food sharing initiatives.

We ask

We are looking for a candidate with:

  • A Passion for food sharing and citizenship engagement.
  • BSc (and preferably an MSc) in a social science discipline, ideally with a background in food studies and an understanding of the kinds of social and cultural norms and local conditions that shape food sharing.
  • Experience doing systematic literature reviews and conducting semi-structured interviews
  • Strong analytic and communication skills, ability to process complex information and translate it into accessible and usable formats.
  • Fluency in English is required, ability to speak Dutch, Spanish and/or Italian is an advantage.

More information
Additional inquiries should be addressed to Dr Jessica Duncan (jessica.duncan@wur.nl) with the subject CULTIVATE Researcher.

Do you want to apply?

Applications can be submitted through the Wageningen University Vacancy Website.


To apply, you will need to upload the following:

  • Letter of motivation, clarifying your interest in the position and research experience
  • A current Curriculum Vitae, including names and contact details of two referees
  • A writing sample (e.g. a chapter from your thesis, blog post, or assignment from a class)

Please note that only applications sent through the online application process will be taken into consideration.

Important Dates

This vacancy will be listed up to and including  8 December 2022. 

The job interviews will be scheduled on 16 December 2022.

Candidates are expected to start the position 1 February 2023.

We offer

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organization and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University, and the specialized research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees, and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organizations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

The Rural Sociology Group (RSO)
A more detailed profile of the Rural Sociology Group can be found in its 75th Anniversary book ‘On meaningful diversity: past, present and future of Wageningen rural sociology’.
 

Central to the research program of the Rural Sociology is a relational approach to transformation processes, explored from the perspective of the everyday life of people, with a focus on agrarian and rural change, food provisioning, and place-based development. These processes are studied from a range of critical perspectives (e.g. interpretative and micro-sociological perspectives, cultural political economy, or governmentality studies). We actively engage in interdisciplinary (including collaborations with natural scientists), multi-method and multi-stakeholder approaches. A common denominator in our research is the focus on actors, agency, the institutionalization of practices, differential development paths, and political organization.


Our mission is to contribute to the development of sustainable and socially acceptable modes of farming, food provisioning, and rural development, which foster social and spatial justice. Through our research we attempt to un-familiarize the familiar and undertake critical analyses, but, importantly, also be transformative by engaging in the exploration of new practices and by showing a diversity of credible options beyond dominant understandings and constellations. A key characteristic of our research program is its threefold relevance: it should contribute to the scientific development of our field and scientific discipline(s), inform policymaking and provide support for practitioners.

The Rural Sociology Group is embedded in the sub-department Space, Place & Society (SPS)  together with two other chair groups: Health & Society (HSO) and Sociology of Development and Change (SDC). Within SPS the groups share administrative support and collaborate in education. Together with the Cultural Geography group the sub-department Space, Place and Society has founded the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS), which aims to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences with a particular focus on issues of socio-spatial inequalities and social and environmental justice. Within the CSPS the chair groups participate in research and PhD supervision and training.

More information about Wageningen University, the Rural Sociology Group, the sub-department SPS and CSPS can be obtained through one of the following links.


Research Position: Mapping gender-responsive rural policies (Deadline 8 Dec 2022)

Click here to apply

This is a pre-vacancy announcement for an exciting research position in the Rural Sociology Group.

The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University is looking for a Researcher to work on a comprehensive mapping of gender-responsive rural policies across the EU. This research is part of a 4-year EU-funded project (SWIFT).

The position is for 10 months at 0.8 FTE and will be based in the Rural Sociology Group in Wageningen University.


In this exciting research position :

  • You will lead a systematic review of academic and grey literature to map and assess gender-mainstreaming and gender responsiveness in EU policy and law, pertaining to innovation and rural communities.
  • You will undertake a SWOT analysis of the identified strategies from the perspective of rural women and innovation.
  • You will interview relevant project partners and stakeholders to validate and expand on the review.
  • You will work as part of a team to translate the insights into an accessible report.
  • There are also opportunities to develop the work into an academic article.
  • You will work closely with project partners (especially at Oxfam Belgium, and BOKU in Austria).

We ask

We are looking for a candidate with:

  • A passion for agroecology and gender-based approaches.
  • An understanding of the challenges within the current food system (inequalities, climate change…) and the need for transformation.
  • A BSc (ideally an MSc) in a social science discipline (e.g. sociology, food studies, feminist studies).
  • Familiarity with agricultural and rural policies in a European context. Knowledge of the Common Agricultural Policy is an advantage.
  • Experience conducting systematic literature reviews and interviewing stakeholders.
  • Strong analytic and communication skills, ability to process complex information and translate it into accessible and usable formats.
  • Fluency in English. Other languages are an advantage.

Key dates

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 8 December, 2022. 

The job interviews will be scheduled 16 December 2022.

Candidates are expected to start the position1 February 2023.

More information
Additional inquiries should be addressed to Dr Jessica Duncan (jessica.duncan@wur.nl) with the subject SWIFT Researcher.

We offer

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.


Do you want to apply?
Applications can be submitted through the Wageningen University Vacancy Website.

To apply, you will need to upload the following:

  • Letter of motivation, clarifying your interest in the position and research experience
  • A current Curriculum Vitae, including names and contact details of two referees
  • A writing sample (e.g. a chapter from your thesis, a blog entry, an essay from a course)

Please note that only applications sent through the online application button can be taken into consideration.


 Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organization and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University, and the specialized research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees, and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organizations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

The Rural Sociology Group (RSO)

A more detailed profile of the Rural Sociology Group can be found in its 75th Anniversary book ‘On meaningful diversity: past, present and future of Wageningen rural sociology’.

Central to the research program of the Rural Sociology Group is a relational approach to transformation processes, explored from the perspective of the everyday life of people, with a focus on agrarian and rural change, food provisioning, and place-based development. These processes are studied from a range of critical perspectives (e.g. interpretative and micro-sociological perspectives, cultural political economy, or governmentality studies). We actively engage in interdisciplinary (including collaborations with natural scientists), multi-method and multi-stakeholder approaches. A common denominator in our research is the focus on actors, agency, the institutionalization of practices, differential development paths, and political organization.

Our mission is to contribute to the development of sustainable and socially acceptable modes of farming, food provisioning, and rural development, which foster social and spatial justice. Through our research we attempt to un-familiarize the familiar and undertake critical analyses, but, importantly, also be transformative by engaging in the exploration of new practices and by showing a diversity of credible options beyond dominant understandings and constellations. A key characteristic of our research program is its threefold relevance: it should contribute to the scientific development of our field and scientific discipline(s), inform policymaking and provide support for practitioners.

The Rural Sociology Group is embedded in the sub-department Space, Place & Society (SPS)  together with two other chair groups: Health & Society (HSO) and Sociology of Development and Change (SDC). Within SPS the groups share administrative support and collaborate in education. Together with the Cultural Geography group the sub-department Space, Place and Society has founded the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS), which aims to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences with a particular focus on issues of socio-spatial inequalities and social and environmental justice. Within the CSPS the chair groups participate in research and PhD supervision and training.

More information about Wageningen University, the Rural Sociology Group, the sub-department SPS and CSPS can be obtained through one of the following links.