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On this page you will find current openings for student assistant jobs, and thesis/internship positions. These positions have been sent to S.A. Nitocra from within WUR and are not associated with our sponsors. To find an internship or job position with one of our sponsors, please go the private page I am a Nitocran, to see the vacancies that are selected especially for BIL and MIL students! We try our utmost best to keep the information on this page up-to-date, but please contact the contact persons listed with the vacancies when in doubt. 

Down below is an interactive table where some suggestions can be done for vacancies that are suitable for BIL or MIL studens and graduates. If you have seen an interesting vacancy you can fill in the form on the right and your submission will be displayed in the table below!




Student assistant for Crops and Cropping Systems (CSA10306)

Each year we are looking for enthusiastic students who are willing to help us with the course Crops and Cropping Systems. As a student assistant you will help us with the logistics and teaching in the course and together we will make it a big success. You will receive financial compensation and this experience will be a nice addition to your CV.

The course is given in the second half of period 6 and we expect student assistents to be available at least in that period. The weeks before, we will also require your help in logistics and organization, for example checking reading material, checking workbooks and organizing plant materials. The course is divided in a morning (cropping systems) and an afternoon (recognition of crops) part, in which you can be asked to help in only one part or both. Of course, it is up to you how much of your time you want to spend working with us!
If you want to be a student assistant for this course in the upcoming years but have no time this year, you can contact Inge van de Wiel with the email above.




Thesis opportunity with the SPRINT project

Most farmers rely on plant protection products (PPPs) to maximise crop yields. However, some PPPs potentially harm environments, animals and humans. Data on risks and impacts associated with PPPs are fragmented and incomplete. To address these data gaps, the Soil Physics and Land management group conceived and is coordinator of the SPRINT project which develops and tests an integrated global health approach to assessing risks and impacts of PPPs on environmental, plant, animal and human health. SPRINT entails a transdisciplinary consortium and close involvement of all relevant stakeholders. The project consists of 28 partner organisations in Europe and Argentina, with a total project budget of 15 million €.

Main opjectives

  1. engage stakeholders to identify knowledge needs and improve awareness of and trust in integrated pesticide risk assessments
  2. assess PPP component mixtures & distribution in Environment, Plant, Animal and Humans (EPAH) and related health states in conventional, integrated and organic farming systems
  3. estimate direct & indirect PPP exposure levels in representative case studies sites (CSS)
  4. develop laboratory tests for measuring PPP mixture effects
  5. develop a Global Health Risk Assessment Toolbox for risk and impact assessment of PPP mixtures, linking exposure to health impacts
  6. assess integrated risks, costs and benefits of PPP use in different farming systems at micro- and macroeconomic level
  7. propose transitions towards sustainable plant protection, provide policy recommendations and develop a research agenda

Contact esperanza.huertalwanga@wur.nl for more information




Thesis opportunity with the MINAGRIS project

Plastic use provides many benefit to agriculture but lead to plastic contamination in the fields in variable contents. Additionally, plastic contamination comes from hidden sources such as the use of previously contaminated organic fertilizers. Micro- and nano-plastics (MNP) that are derived from different plastic are small enough to be ingested by a wide range of organisms and at nano-scale, they can cross biological barriers and enter plants systems.

This emerging threat has prompted first studies that confirmed the high potential of MP to accumulate in soils and cause changes in physico-chemical soil properties, thereby also altering soil functions such as soil water dynamics and ultimately affecting related ecosystem services (ESS) like nutrient cycling, plant growth and soil biodiversity, which have unknown/unmeasured impacts on the economy of the farm. These effects could be magnified when MP occur in combination with other soil pollutants, such as pesticides and veterinary drugs, or plastic additives (e.g. dyes), potentially exhibiting unforeseen synergistic effects.

Therefore, Minagris aims to develop a better understanding of any potentially harmful impacts of plastic debris to soil biodiversity, soil functions, related ecosystem services and agricultural productivity at the field level and related socio-economic consequences at farm level.

Contact esperanza.huertalwanga@wur.nl for more information

Course assistants for the Course Engineering in Land and Water Management (SLM-20306)


In period 2, the course SLM 20306 – Engineering in Land and Water Management (2nd year BIL) will be organised. This course is based on the theoretical and technical base of mechanical land and water interventions for sustainable land and water management. The students get lectures, tutorials and practicals related to the design of technical interventions.


We are looking for 1 course assistant to assist the students with theses activities. To apply you should have successfully completed this course and be interested to work in a team, to have good qualitative research method and analytical skills and a good motivation to assist fellow-students with their studies and assignments.


Terms of References:

Under the supervision of and in close cooperate with the lecturers of the course, the course assistants will:

· Assist with the preparation and implementation of the course programme.

· Assist the students with their Brightspace self-study/tutorial sessions, their assignments and practicals.


Start: first of October 2023

Workload: total 120 h

· 30h preparation tutorials

· 90h support in the tutorial sessions, practicals and excursions.

More information: Karrar Mahdi (michel.riksen@wur.nl) and Kees Blok (kees.blok@wur.nl)

Thesis opportunities in Israel for master students

1.      Mitigating soil erosion and runoff and improving water use efficiency via wheat crop architecture improvements

The research is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture (Israel) and will take place during the following three growing seasons.

The first season is planned to start on October 23  under controlled field conditions.

We plan to employ multiple disciplines, including close-range remote sensing, Structure from Motion (3D) image processing, rainfall simulator manipulation, etc.


2.      Assessing the long-term impacts of water harvesting system construction in a semiarid savannah reforestation project (part of global-ILTER sites)

This long-term study involves multiple sub-objectives that rely on soil-plant-atmosphere interactions.

In this project, we plan to focus, during the following three years, on water harvesting efficiency and woody plant development in reconstructed gullies (Limans) and slopes (dyke terraces).

The research employs multiple techniques for spatiotemporal land assessment indicators, relying on close-range and remote sensing methodologies, GIS tools, AI data mining, and the development of machine learning protocols.


3.      Implications of livestock and wild ungulates geodiversity on ecosystem functioning and the aridity gradient

The study involves an on-site experiment, conducted along a climatic transect varying from semiarid to hyperarid environments in the southern regions of Israel.

In this study, we utilize, similarly to the above, a variety of spatiotemporal applications aimed at assessing the hydrological connectivity along steep slopes and catchments.

We employ multidisciplinary aspects of plant ecology, soil quality and environments, geodiversity, etc. These are integrated using novel methods of close-range and remote sensing, machine learning data mining, AI, and 3D modeling.

For more information, contact michel.riksen@wur.nl




MSc Research Internship- and/or Thesis Project proposal: Deep adaptation – learning from yesterday and today



A growing number of scientists believe that extreme climate change and strong transgression of planetary boundaries may lead to the (wholesale) collapse of society: a long-term sustained decline, which is a fundamentally different situation than disasters followed by reconstruction to (something resembling) the original situation. A recently emerged branch of science called collapsology is exploring this issue. In addition to the consequences of crossing planetary boundaries, other scenarios are conceivable that could lead to serious decline or partial societal collapse: the war in Ukraine illustrates that military conflict can have globally disruptive consequences on the food system. Therefore, we are not limiting ourselves to accelerating climate change as a possible trigger for societal collapse, but the complex interaction between various triggers (systemic risk, Renn & Lucas 2022) that we often do not know we do not know about, the so-called “unknown unknowns.”



In an intended coherent package of projects and activities, we are investigating the need for and opportunities for deep adaptation of the (Dutch) water sector. The aim of this package would be to investigate how a partial societal collapse might occur directly or indirectly due to climate change or other processes, what might be the early warning signals for this, where the main vulnerabilities for water companies and water managers for this scenario are located, how they might continue providing their services under deteriorated conditions. The latter question can be considered in the Deep Adaptation thinking framework proposed by Jem Bendell (2020) that comprises resilience, relinquishment, restoration and reconciliation. .


MSc project

In the framework described above, we propose an MSc thesis project that focuses on what and how we can learn from water utilities/authorities operating under deteriorated or deteriorating conditions in other parts of the world.

An overview of the challenges and preventive and mitigation measures of drinking/wastewater utilities and water operators in current and recent conflict areas and/or areas with severe water shortages will be made, and an attempt will be made to identify warning signs. It examines what can be learned from historical collapses in which regional climate change appears to have played a role and what the role of water has been in them. Recent challenges related to climate change in southern Europe (forest fires, desertification, etc.) are also included in the analysis - could these be the starting conditions for collapse and what can we learn from them? The development of a concise framework for the identification, analysis and translation of examples of stressed systems will assist in carrying out the proposed work, as well as in providing a basis that operators of other systems can also use (e.g. infrastructure, social etc. systems). Such a framework should also address how analysis results can become useful in a tangible way in systems that possess different properties (e.g. the water sector of the Netherlands vs the water sector in a stressed area).



  • framework development;
  • literature recherche;
  • development;
  • information gathering:
  • literature;
  • interviewing experts;
  • analysis:
  • What are the similarities and differences with the collapse scenario?
  • What are critical parameters and/or early warning signals?
  • include consideration of technical but also social, economic and governance aspects.


This assignment will be carried out in collaboration with Peter van Thienen, KWR Watercycle https://www.kwrwater.nl/

It can be started as soon as possible.

WUR contact: Jeroen Warner, SDC (jeroen.warner@wur.nl




Stage bij DUNEA (dunea.nl) – in Dutch – more info: kees.blok@wur.nl

  • Uitwerken, uitvoeren en door ontwikkelen van de waterscan. Dat is een scan om de waterstromen en het watergebruik bij grootzakelijke klanten in kaart te brengen met als deol bewuster en duurzamer omgaan met water. Zie ook  Waterscan (dunea.nl)  
  • Nadere analyse van de kansen voor het concept van Coastar in het gebied van Dunea. Alle kaarten op tafel - Zout op afstand, zoet op voorraad (coastar.nl) Dit is ism met KWR/Dunea en wellicht ook deltares. De kernvraag is of het verstandig is om tussen de pilot van oasen (In polder Noordplas/ en in de duinen (Freshman) nog andere locaties te onderzoeken als mogelijke toekomstige bron voor drinkwater.

Intern for Assisting Sugarcane Management in Guatemala at IrriWatch

IrriWatch (www.irriwatch.com) is a data analytics and satellite Earth observation company leveraging thermal infrared and multi-spectral data to deliver insights into irrigation, crop growth, soil health, and micro-climates. We work with the agribusiness industry through a data subscription service. We have created a unique algorithm and we serve thousands of farmers every day with daily data updates about their fields via our user portal and API. IrriWatch is part of Hydrosat, a US-based company that prepares smallsats for agriculture (www.hydrosat.com).

One of our clients in Guatemala is using the IrriWatch service for their daily operations. This includes scheduling irrigation, monitoring Nitrogen, monitoring crop health and planning of harvest. Most of these processes occur manually. While the agronomist of the company have a good understanding of the system, field representatives require more practical support with the interpretation from images to actions in the field.
We are seeking a Wageningen University student (or similar) that have knowledge on soil-watercrop - atmosphere processes. The candidate will first get training from IrriWatch at our Wageningen office and then be stationed in Guatemala for some 3 months or longer.


  • Daily support 24 regions in Guatemala with the interpretation of the IrriWatch data portal.
    What do you see and how is this interpreted by the local field staff ?
  • Explain and guide field staff with the actions they should give preference to
  • Undertake field visits and compare in situ soil moisture and crop conditions against the
    results of the remote sensing calculations
  • Develop short python algorithms that convert API data into practical tables or graphs
  • Work closely with the academic team of IrriWatch, also when being stationed in Guatemala
  • Sufficient skills of Spanish language to make technical dialogues with field representatives
  • Academic understanding of physical processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum
  • Ability to convert imagery into actions and general interest in agriculture
  • Affinity with spatial data, python and API interfaces

Please submit your CV to info@irriwatch.com or contact Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen (0031- 6-83160996) for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!




Thesis/internship at Kilimo Kisasa Ltd.

Kilimo Kisasa Ltd. is a farm based in the highlands of the West-Nile region in Uganda. Since 2017, the farm works on sustainable food production, mainly focusing on seed potato multiplication. Other activities on the farm relate to regenerative agriculture through successional agroforestry  and wetland conservation. The main goal of the farm is to contribute to food production in Uganda in a sustainable way, and to spread this knowledge and experience among Ugandan farmers. It contributes to the local society via its training centre that provides different training programmes about sustainable farming.

From the beginning of March until the end of November is the rain season in the West-Nile region, with a short dry spell in June/July. The dry season lasts from December until February. We have two growing seasons in one year, which puts a lot of pressure onto the soil if not managed sustainably. On the farm, we have tropical soils (ferralsol) with in some places a black topsoil. 

Since the beginning of the farm in 2017 the main focus of the farm has been to produce potatoes. However, we have now reached a state where we are able to do this on a larger scale, but need more knowledge about the soil on the farm to manage the food production in a more sustainable way.

We are looking for a student (master thesis or internship) who is willing to help the farm with this question. The assignment is open for discussion, but the list below gives an indication of expected deliverables:

  • Literature review about tropical soils (ferralsols in particular) and a production cycle of two seasons per year (possibilities and limitations);
  • Soil maps of the farm (GIS), including textural, structural and chemical soil analysis;
  • Recommendations about sustainable soil use on the farm, related to seed potato production and regenerative agriculture.  

For more information, contact michel.riksen@wur.nl