PhD Position in Agricultural Economics
Ghent University Department of Agricultural Economics

PhD Student

Last application date
Oct 11, 2020 23:59
LA27 - Department of Agricultural Economics
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
MSc. in Bio-Science Engineering (Technology), Economics or Applied economics, Food Sciences, Agricultural sciences; or a similar, relevant field
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description


Socio-economic research for an autonomous weeding vehicle

WeLASER is a new EU project (Horizon 2020) that is investigating the possibilities to destroy weeds by means of an autonomous vehicle with a laser beam. This vehicle is intended to eliminate the need for herbicides while improving productivity and competitiveness. It will be suitable for organic farming and will not have negative environmental and health risks such as herbicides currently used in agriculture.

To be able to launch this new weed killer, the Agricultural Economics department is looking for an enthusiastic researcher. He/she will assist with the economic research activities in this project, which mainly focus on the marketing and strategy in bringing the weed killer to the market.

The candidate will work at the Department of Agricultural Economics, under the supervision of prof. Xavier Gellynck and prof. Hans De Steur. The candidate will be embedded in a motivated and dedicated group of researchers with various backgrounds.

Profile of the candidate

Profile of the candidate

  • MSc. in Bio-Science Engineering (Technology), Economics or Applied economics, Food Sciences, Food Technology; Agricultural sciences or a similar, relevant field.
  • Good MSc. results
  • Excellent communication skills in English – both orally and written
  • Basic understanding of marketing is recommended
  • Strong interest in applied socioeconomic research, and in the topic in particular.


  • Development of the research framework and research protocols
  • Collection and analysis of primary and secondary data obtained through qualitative and/or quantitative research methods
  • Active interaction and collaboration with other researchers and partners involved in WeLaser and the Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Drafting of project deliverables related to the socio-economic research activities
  • Synthesizing the research findings into peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Presentation of results to academic and non-academic audiences, e.g. at national or international conferences, seminars, workshops


• PhD candidate researcher: Full-time, fixed-term appointment for initially 1 year, yearly renewable after positive evaluation (during the project).

• Additional benefits as employee of Ghent University (for more information see

• The opportunity to follow academic, thematic and skills training courses at Ghent University

• A dynamic and multi-cultural work environment

• Participation in a collaborative international research project managed by a highly motivated and top-level research consortium

• The opportunity to engage fully in research on a highly relevant subject which involves both academic and industry partners.

• The opportunity to be involved in research driven towards tangible results that will lead to more sustainable food production in Europe.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an application, including a motivation letter and CV (including overview of grades), no later than October 11, 2020 by email to dr. Joachim Schouteten (

For further information about the vacancy, you can contact Only shortlisted candidates will be notified (by October 16, 2020) and interviewed during October-November 2020. Intended starting date: Preferably, 1st of December 2020, or earlier if possible.


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