Postdoctoral Research Associate - Nitrogen management of winter wheat varieties


The team of Varieties and Production Techniques of Agroscope is searching a postdoctoral research associate in the area of Decision Agriculture to work in the project "Wheat Advisor" which is supported by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). Wheat Advisor aims to develop solutions combining remote sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), field spectrometers, and modelling i) to improve the nitrogen (N) management of winter wheat varieties in terms of productivity, grain quality and N use efficiency and ii) to optimize the choice of varieties according to environmental characteristics and production strategies. The Postdoctoral Research Associate is expected to coordinate a network of field trials on farms and research stations, ant to collate and analyze data from different sources to identify promising solutions that can be applied in operating farms. She or he will interact with public and private partners and integrate a team of agronomists, biologists, statisticians, and technicians.


You will:

  • Identify, test, and propose applicable solutions to improve the nitrogen management of winter wheat varieties.
  • Carry out experiments and coordinate a network of field trials on farms and research stations.
  • Operate crop and soil sensors.
  • Coordinate the processing of soil and plant samples.
  • Collate, organize, and analyze datasets, including data from UAVs, remote and proximal sensors.
  • Apply, evaluate, and improve modeling approaches (mechanistic and empirical) for grain yield and grain protein content.
  • Publish the outcomes of this research in peer-reviewed journals and present them at international scientific conferences.
  • Prepare progress reports and workshop presentations for national meetings.
  • Support the management/administration of the "Wheat advisor" project and raise funds for its continuation.
  • Support and provide expertise in other research projects studying wheat varieties and N nutrition.


  • PhD degree in agronomy, environmental sciences, biology, or a related field.
  • Results-oriented, dynamic, and self-motivated person with the capacity to work independently and accurately.
  • Good knowledge about wheat, crop science, plant nutrition, remote sensing, and statistics.
  • Written and oral proficiency in English and German/French.
  • Experience with statistical modeling (R, Phyton), physiological growth modeling (DSSAT, Apsim) and remote sensing software.
  • Ability to forge meaningful external relationships with relevant stakeholders.


Agroscope is the Swiss federal center of excellence for research in the agriculture and food sector. Its researchers carry out their work at a number of sites in Switzerland. Headquartered in Bern-Liebefeld, Agroscope is attached to the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER.

This position is based at the group of Varieties and Production Techniques of Agroscope. The work will be carried out in collaboration with researchers of the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal institute of Technology.

We offer a stimulating work environment in a multidisciplinary consortium as well as a close support throughout the project. Agroscope has excellent research facilities with well-equipped laboratories, greenhouses, climate chambers, sites for field experiments and state of the art computational capabilities.

Place of Work: 1260 Nyon VD (Switzerland)
Salary Category: According to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation
Employment Level: 100%


If this challenge appeals to you and you meet our requirements profile, we look forward to receiving your online application (, 44277). Closing date: January 31, 2021 (or until position is filled). Online applications consist of a single PDF comprising an application letter, a CV, a reference letter, copies of PhD diplomas, and the email addresses of two referees.

For further information, please contact Juan Herrera ( or Lilia Levy Häner ( Do not send applications to these email addresses.

Start: 1 March 2021 or upon agreement. Duration of employment: 2.5 years.

posted: 14 January 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.