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PostDoc position – Transdisciplinary research to reduce post-harvest losses and to add value in food value chains

BackgroundDITSL is a non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel at Witzenhausen. DITSL conducts research on agricultural systems as human activity systems following an inter- and transdisciplinary social-ecological approach.DITSL is looking for a dynamic, highly motivated and innovative scientist for a Post Doc position in the frame of the collaborative research project RELOAD: Reduction of Post Harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by the University of Kassel in Germany.Within RELOAD, DITSL leads the subproject “Transdisciplinary research: Stakeholder processes, knowledge integration and collaborative learning”. We will investigate food value chains (mainly milk and meat and to some extent vegetables, grains and tubers) as human activity systems, with a focus on communication, collaboration and competition of various actors. Research will focus on actors, their goals, perspectives, strategies, activities, needs and room for maneuvre. Starting out from a stakeholder analysis and the formation of stakeholder platforms, we will offer learning opportunities to the actors to reveal control options in food value chains - so that losses can be reduced and value addition enhanced. We will explore possibilities for collective action by producer groups to bring about benefits especially in the areas of strengthening marketing capacity and market linkages.The Post Doc:
  • will lead research activities in Kenya and is expected to conduct field research for about 4 - 6 months per year,
  • will advance methodology in transdisciplinary research,
  • will contribute to capacity building through training of PhD and MSc students,
  • will support project management (financial, logistic, reporting),
  • will coordinate the research activities with other partners in the RELOAD project.
Qualifications of the applicant:
  • PhD in agricultural/rural -sociology, -economics, -development or -system science, human or economic geography, organizational behaviour or related discipline.
  • Practical experience in (community based) action research, in designing and facilitating learning processes with producer organisations or in value chain development.
  • Interest and experience in working with scientists of other disciplines and with societal stakeholders in Kenya (and to a limited extent in Ethiopia and Uganda).
  • Fluency in spoken and written English. Knowledge of German and/or Kiswahili is an asset.
  • Very good writing skills, team work orientation and good communication skills.
  • Female and male applicants are equally encouraged to apply for this position.
Application documents:Please submit these documents by email in a single PDF file to PD Dr. Brigitte Kaufmann ( Contact: PD Dr. Brigitte Kaufmann, DITSL GmbH Witzenhausen at the University of Kassel Steinstrasse 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Phone: +49 (0) 5542 607 19 (direct)
  •  A letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publication list
  • Summary of the PhD thesis
  • Copies of relevant certificates
  • Contact details of 2-3 referees 
Further information about this position can be found on DITSL website and on this downloadable PDF.
DITSL - German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture GmbH