Research and internship opportunities in regenerative agriculture

Are you passionate about:
Food systems transformation?
Regenerative agriculture and agroecology?
Climate change and planetary health?
Farmers living amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Qualitative and mixed method social science research?

We are looking for masters and advanced undergraduates who want an active role in data collection and data entry with a large-scale qualitative and quantitative research project led by the Midwest Healthy Ag research team.

Midwest Healthy Ag is a sociological research project launched by Regeneration Midwest in the United States, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health and Climate Solutions Program.

The study is currently entering the data collection phase, which will consist of over 200 interviews with farmers across six agrarian states in the Midwest United States. The interviews will ask farmers about their experiences dealing with multiple crises in conventional agriculture, regenerative farming practices, environmental health and climate change, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods and community health and wellbeing. The interviews will be taking place over the next six months.

You can join our team as an intern/research assistant by collecting historical and contextual information on selected agrarian communities, doing data entry of farmer interviews into Qualtrics, and participating in our extended research network as we conduct qualitative and quantitative data analysis. We can also explore possibilities for utilizing project data and materials for academic theses and papers.

Get in touch! We will be accepting interns and assistants in early January 2021.

For more information on the project and our team, our website: https://midwesthealthyag.org

Contact at WUR: Serena Stein serena.stein@wur.nl (Postdoctoral Researcher at SDC & RSO)

BSc/MSc Thesis vacancy – Volunteers in Gelderland: does Corona provide new dimensions to an old fashion?

The Corona crisis brings about many social initiatives, lots of them along the lines of ‘helping out in the neighborhood’. This might appear innovative, but volunteer organizations are central to social life in Dutch countryside already for decades. From sports clubs to village centers (Dorpshuizen) and local public transport (buurtbus), many small-town-services are supported by volunteers. Yet, volunteer organizations in small villages heavily struggle with a lack of volunteers and an increasing workload, as their (local) governments ‘decentralized’ many tasks over time. This Science Shop research project is commissioned by ‘Vereniging DKK Gelderland’ and looks into the dynamics of local volunteer organizations in the context of austerity and decentralization. How do volunteers organize themselves? What can organizations do to attract new and young volunteers? What critical issues with regard to livability and social services are signaled by volunteers?

We are looking for students that are interested to study volunteer supported (social) services in Dutch countryside (Gelderland) through a literature review and (Skype) interviews, and/or to perform an online (inter)national QuickScan of inspiring examples of volunteer work. Should we learn from festivals (f.ex. Zwarte Cross) about the commitment of young adults to volunteer work? Or is activism and financial support the answer to overstressed volunteer services? In addition, we are keen to understand how an abundance of temporary Corona-initiatives relate to existing issues with permanent/long-term volunteer efforts.

The project runs from May to November, you can start any time from now. Research can be adapted to the Corona guidelines. Both suitable for bachelor and master students. Please contact dieuwertje.vanmuijden@wur.nl for more information. See also: https://www.gelderlandhelpt.nl/corona-hulp