→ Apply before 17/12/2021 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels Time)
→ Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
→ Department: BW22 - Dierwetenschappen en Aquatische Ecologie
→ Occupancy rate:100%
→ Number of positions: 1
→ Type of employment: Contract of unlimited duration with a 4 year clause
→ Term of assignment:
→ Wage scale: WM1 to WM4 (master degree)
→ Required diploma: Master
About Ghent University
Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it
is actively involved in education and research, management and administration,
as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one
of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career
opportunities. With 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-
of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic
fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.
We welcome candidates for a full time Joint PhD student position at the
Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality (LANUPRO, Prof. S.
De Smet), UGent and the Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food
Biotechnology (IMDO, Prof. F. Leroy), VUB. The PhD student will be linked to
the EU project PATHWAYS (Pathways for transitions to sustainability in
livestock husbandry and food systems).
PATHWAYS is an EU H2020 project with 30 European partners, which started on 1
September 2021. The PATHWAYS project aims at delivering co-developed
transition pathways that directly address societal demands for increased
resilience in the provision of safe, nutritious, affordable livestock-based
food, whilst reducing environmental impacts, and supporting the economic
sustainability of the European livestock sector. Visions, scenarios and
transition pathways will be co-developed through an ambitious participatory
approach based on innovative practice hubs, living labs and interaction within
a European multi-actor platform and a wider community of practice. Existing
and future, co-designed livestock systems will be characterized and assessed
within a scientifically robust, holistic sustainability assessment framework,
comprising refined key performance indicators and cutting-edge models, to
enhance understanding of productivity, biodiversity, health and welfare,
greenhouse gas emissions, human nutrition, trade and economics, and ecosystem
service impacts. Living labs and practice hubs will identify bottom-up
interventions and adoption routes that will drive a transition to improved
livestock system development. Consumer preferences, diet choices and
willingness to pay will be supported by consequential LCA and economic
analysis of trade and supply chain impacts, addressed through stakeholder
input and modelling. The participatory development and application of a
holistic sustainability assessment will deliver a scientifically robust
analysis for the co-development of scenarios and transition pathways to inform
key stakeholders throughout livestock-based food systems, driving a transition
to greater sustainability. PATHWAYS will improve the role of livestock in
supporting a circular bio-economy and the place of animal products in future
diets through an interactive online platform and policy toolkit to provide
user-friendly instruments for a range of stakeholders.
The role of the UGent and VUB partners in this project and the PhD student
joining these research groups is:
to make a comprehensive inventory of (micro)nutrients and minor
bioactive compounds in the main foods relevant for European diets, with a
focus on animal source foods;
to contribute to the construction of ‘food baskets' able to provide
adequate nutrition to several dietary archetypes (e.g., vegan, lacto-
vegetarian, industrial omnivores, carnivore - approx. 3 baskets per
archetype) and subpopulations (e.g., children, adolescents, elderly);
to incorporate environmental impacts (GHG emissions, land use, water use,
etc.) in the sustainability assessment of these nutrient-adequate food
Given the interdisciplinary and data-based character of the research,
collaboration and exchange with other partners in the project and interest in
data acquisition and modelling at the interface of nutrition and food systems
will be key. The scientific findings should lead to publications in
international peer reviewed journals and into a PhD manuscript.
Profile of the candidate
Candidates should have background and/or strong interest in food systems,
nutrition, food science, sustainability, data acquisition and statistical
modelling. We are looking for candidates with a critical and analytical
attitude and eager to take initiative.
You hold a Master degree in bioscience engineering, food science,
nutrition, food policy, sustainable development or similar.
You have strong interest in scientific research in order to obtain a PhD
You have affinity for quantitative research in food systems and
You have good interpersonal and communication skills.
You are fluent in spoken English and competent in scientific writing in
You have organizational skills and can operate both independently and in a
We offer a fully funded doctoral scholarship for a period of 4 years (with an
evaluation after one year and continuation after positive evaluation). This
is a Joint PhD between UGent and VUB.
This is a Joint PhD between UGent and VUB. We offer you a contract of
indefinite duration with a maximum term of 4 years. Your contract will start
soon after the selection. Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale
WM1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
How to apply?
Send an email to Prof. Dr. Ir. Stefaan De Smet (Stefaan.DeSmet@UGent.be) and
Prof. Dr. ir. Frédéric Leroy (Frederic.Leroy@vub.be), with subject
‘Application for PATHWAYS' and include:
a copy of your CV, including study results in a file with name ‘CV
a motivation letter (max. 1 page) in a file with name ‘Motivation letter
surname' describing your research interests, skills and motivation to
apply for the position;
contact details (name, phone email) of at least one reference person.
From the submitted applications, a shortlist of candidates will be selected
and will be invited for an interview. Selection will be based on competences,
independent from gender, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or
More information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. ir. Stefaan De Smet (Tel 0032
99 264 90 03, Email Stefaan.DeSmet@UGent.be) or Prof. Dr. ir. Frédéric Leroy
(Tel 0032 2 629 36 12, Email Frederic.Leroy@vub.be).
Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read