Assistant Professor Photosynthesis in controlled environment agriculture (Tenure Track)

Your job

In this tenure track position you are going to improve the growth of plants based on a fundamental understanding of photosynthesis and related plant processes. Within the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology of Wageningen University & Research you will also contribute to the sustainable production of vegetables, fruits and flowers.    

Your work will consist of both research and education on photosynthesis at the leaf, plant and canopy level of crops grown in controlled environments. You will gain fundamental understanding of photosynthesis and use it to improve yield and resource use efficiency. In close collaboration with other academic staff, you will study plant-climate interactions. For example, how dynamic LED lighting (spectrum, timing, direction, intensity) regulates photosynthesis, how plants acclimate to the growth conditions typical to CEA, and how these interactions affect growth and yield.


Photosynthesis is central for determining growth of plants in controlled environment agriculture (CEA; greenhouses and vertical farms) and there is an urgent need to improve photosynthesis and yield to increase resource use efficiency. Because growth conditions in CEA can be precisely controlled, this makes it possible to optimize climate conditions to enhance photosynthesis.As a researcher you may utilize our 10 Licor 6400/6800 mobile gas-exchange measurement systems, as well as advanced measurement systems in our photosynthesis lab, greenhouses or climate rooms. Chlorophyll fluorescence techniques are also commonly used and developed in our group, and you may use other physiological measurement devices. (Fast) Phenotyping may also be part of your research, where you may make use of NPEC facilities (Home – NPEC).As an Assistant Professor, you will have the opportunity to set up your own research and education at BSc and MSc level (including supervision of thesis students). Training and development of your teaching and supervision skills are an integrated part of the program of starting Tenure Trackers at Wageningen University.

In this challenging career trajectory:

  • You cooperate with colleagues and set up a personal research portfolio that is embedded in the Horticulture and Product Physiology group
  • You perform research on photosynthesis of horticultural crops in greenhouses or vertical farms
  • Together with the chair holder and other staff members you acquire, lead and implement innovative and creative (inter-)national research projects for our group.
  • You supervise BSc, MSc, and PhD students.
  • You also develop and teach in courses on photosynthesis.
  • You undertake research that leads to high quality research output.
  • Your research contributes to improving sustainability of horticultural crop production.

Tenure Track is a career path for scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.

Your qualities

You are a result-driven team player with creative ideas, excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English.

  • You have good knowledge of plant physiology
  • You have experience in measuring photosynthetic gas exchange
  • You have interest in using high-tech equipment for plant monitoring and/or plant phenotyping
  • You have published research in high-quality journals and are keen to develop your skills in teaching and grant proposal acquisition
  • You are a good communicator, and enjoy working in a committed  team of diverse backgrounds in plant sciences (crop physiology, phenotyping, molecular plant physiology, modelling) that is determined to address the global challenges of sustainable crop production

Do you feel your track record is not yet strong enough but you do have solid working experience and a lot of enthusiasm for this position? We highly encourage you to apply!

We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University’s Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 3974,- and € 5439,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 11). Additionally, a contract for 0,8 FTE can be discussed.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.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.

Coming from abroad

Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the “30% rule”, certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Do you want more information?

For more information about this function you can contact Prof. dr ir Leo Marcelis, e-mail:

For more information about the procedure, please contact recruitment by

Do you want to apply?

You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including June 19 2023. 

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 organisation 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.

We are

Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised 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 (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

We are ranked as University as number 1 worldwide in the fields of agriculture, ecology and environment, as well as excellent rankings in other fields.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We are

You will work at the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology  This group conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.The research focus of the chair group  is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contribute to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.The chair group is an international team consisting of 20 staff members, about 35 PhD candidates and postdocs and guest researchers. Each year approximately 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (6-month research) in our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post-harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.More info about the chair group can be found at Horticulture and Product Physiology or see this video .We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.