Postdoc Social Scientist Joint Design and Technology Development (in partnership with Wageningen University)

WorldFish, Initially in Wageningen University and subsequently in Penang, Malaysia

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource MobilizationResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
15th February, 2015

Job Description

About the Job/Project


  • The programme aims to implement a novel ‘nutritious-system’ concept in aquaculture, using microbial processes for mineralisation of wastes and the production of high quality natural foods. In cooperation with the industry, novel nutritious system feeds are developed that are as easy in use as normal feeds, but cheaper, and that target simultaneously natural food production and feed fish and shrimp. In addition, nutritious-system-feeds must be offered to farmers in a reliable format, requiring new formulation and processing approaches. To ensure that the novel ‘nutritious-system’ concept fits in the production systems of producers, including smallholders (men and women), and enhances their livelihoods, a process of joint design and technology development is proposed. Such joint design and technology development has been found to improve matching technology to application, by engaging relevant stakeholders at different levels (at farm level, input supply system, processing and marketing system, and consumers) through an innovation platform to make the necessary adaptations in either the technology or the context of application. Furthermore, engaging stakeholders helps creating an enabling environment for broader scaling to take place, as different institutional factors which support technology diffusion are addressed at an early stage.
  • We are looking for a suitably qualified and enthusiastic person to fill the position of Postdoc Social Scientist who will execute the social science research on joint design and technology development, having a role as facilitator of this process but also researching this process.



Specific Duties and Responsibilities


  • To conduct social science research in the WOTRO project on joint design and technology development in the context of development of aquaculture systems, including:
  1. Analysis of roles and relations of current stakeholders in aquaculture systems in Vietnam.
  2. Diagnosis of value chain and innovation systems revealing processes, barriers to and enablers of innovation in aquaculture systems in Vietnam.
  3. Analysis of the co-design and technology development process.
  4. Analysis of local and global effects and scaling potential of the ‘nutritious-system’ concept on food and nutrition security and social sustainability.
  • Facilitate collaboration between the different stakeholders involved in the development of the ‘nutritious-system’ concept, supporting reflection in multi-stakeholder workshops, or other appropriate innovation platforms connected to the project.
  • To publish 3 articles in quality scientific journals and communicate research findings to the larger scientific and development practitioner (e.g. extension) community in Vietnam and globally via other products and channels such as stories, blogs, briefs, working papers, etc.



Minimum Qualification


  • PhD in social sciences related to agriculture or aquaculture, familiar with innovation systems, technology development and design theories, social/gender equity, and participatory research and learning methods.
  • Experience with facilitation and/or action research, working with private and public sector partners as well as smallholders through innovation platforms.
  • Experience in or proven affinity with the aquaculture sector.
  • Capability to work in the institutional setting of Vietnam; command of local language is an advantage.
  • Proven scientific excellence via quality publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience in fund raising and resource mobilization.
  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills.
  • Excellent multi-cultural, interpersonal skills to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst researchers and other stakeholders in the public and private sector.
  • Readiness to be based at WorldFish in Malaysia, with extensive travels to Wageningen University and field work locations in Southern Vietnam


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