GROUP LEADER – AGRO-ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH (M/F)
Your work environment
The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.
You will be part of the LIST Environmental Research and Innovation department
The Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department, made up of 200 life science, environmental science and information technology researchers and engineers, provides the interdisciplinary knowledge, expertise and technologies to lead solutions including the major environmental challenges facing society, such as climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, efficient use of renewable resources, and environmental pollution prevention and control.
The department relies on two cutting-edge platforms, the Biotechnologies and Environmental Analytics Platform and the Observatory for the Climate and the Environment, and the GreenTech Innovation Centre (GTIC): a one-stop-shop for the complete development of bio-based products and processes.
Within the ERIN department, the ‘Environmental Sensing and Modelling’ (ENVISION) unit is an interdisciplinary team of 50+ scientists, engineers, post-docs and PhD candidates – structured in three complementary groups focusing on critical zone research, remote sensing and natural resources modelling, and agro-environmental systems research.
Embedded into the ENVISION unit, the ‘Agro-environmental Systems’ (AGRO) research group has its focus set on the future of agriculture. Agronomists, entomologists, climatologists and soil microbiologists apply interdisciplinary approaches geared towards more efficient and sustainable crop production in the challenging context of global change. Within the conceptual framework of Climate Smart Agriculture, the major deliverables of the AGRO group consist in policy support and decision support tools for public services and farmers.
At the AGRO group, we rely – together with our colleagues from the ENVISION unit – on a holistic approach for investigating the bio-geophysical functioning of agro-environmental systems. Our goal is to better understand and develop novel management strategies and technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture in a context of increasing societal demands and climate change. We deliver policy support and decision support tools for farmers to meet the challenges of a sustainable agriculture.
To address these challenges, we rely on our expertise in:
- Pest and disease monitoring: pests in oilseed rape; diseases in cereals; weeds in wheat, maize and oilseed rape; pest and diseases in viticulture
- Pesticide reduction in agriculture (including viticulture) via crop rotation, crop cultural management, disease forecast, use of less harmful or biological products, biological or biotechnological pest control
- Climate change: adaptation strategies in agriculture, viticulture and horticulture
- Pollinator decline: honeybee colony losses - from monitoring to prevention strategies
- Reduction of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector
- Holistic forecast models and digital decision support tools for agriculture and viticulture
- Role of soil microorganisms to develop and maintain sustainable agro-ecosystems
- Innovative tools and solutions in plant pathology and precision agriculture
What you will be doing
To strengthen its activities on the bio-geophysical functioning of agro-environmental systems, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology is offering a permanent position for a research group leader. Agro-environmental systems research spans across a wide range of rapidly growing and dynamic fields that have the potential for delivering transformative products and tools geared towards more efficient and sustainable agricultural production in the context of global change.
Capitalizing on your own expertise in agro-meteorology, agro-forestry, or agriculture (encompassing horticulture and viticulture), you will leverage the AGRO group’s rich blend of know-how in agronomy, soil microbial biodiversity and climatology, for developing interdisciplinary and mission-driven agriculture research.
As global change and technological developments force agriculture and related disciplines to adapt at breath-taking pace, your ambition is to support policy makers and create socio-economic value, as well as to be a partner in risk-taking and delivery of innovative solutions with short-, mid- and long-term impact.
With your proven ability to identify, as champion and spearhead of new technology, you will make the AGRO group thrive and navigate around the opportunities and challenges of digital agriculture and global change. Together with your colleagues from the ENVISION unit in remote sensing, environmental monitoring and modelling, you will create value from the 4 V’s of Big Data (Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity) for farmers to make informed decisions in an integrated framework of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).
As a Group Leader, you will be responsible for the management, coordination, development and performance of the AGRO group. Your main missions will consist in:
(i) Develop the AGRO group’s strategy:
- Refine and implement – in concertation with the Head of Unit and in alignment with LIST’s missions as an RTO – the RDI strategy of the group;
- Develop and maintain a pipeline of innovative products and services, transferable to the private and public sectors;
- Develop national, regional and international collaborations and partnerships through fundamental and applied research projects and service activities;
- Negotiate collaborations and joint research programs with administrations and ministries.
(ii) Manage the AGRO group through:
- Fostering interdisciplinary approaches across the group, unit and department;
- Empowerment of people via the delegation of tasks, as a strong motivational source, offering opportunities to your colleagues in acquiring new skills, expertise, self-confidence, productivity and career development perspectives;
- Provide regular feedbacks, identify personal development needs and promote them, ensure that development plans are effectively implemented.
- Appraise team members’ performance with the guidance of HR partners;
- Management of a portfolio of national and international projects and activities, aligned with the group’s and unit’s vision, missions and goals;
- Support to the Head of unit for reporting financial and performance indicators.
(iii) Ensure AGRO group’s dissemination, valorisation and transfer of RDI results and outputs through:
- Participation in the drafting of scientific articles, technical reports, patents and inventions;
- Software licensing;
- Participation in the implementation of technological solutions (proof-of-concepts, prototypes).
(iv) Secure scientific excellence and technological watch through:
- Leveraging the AGRO group’s long-term data and monitoring resources;
- Developing and promoting IoT applications for the agricultural sector;
- Exploring – across the ENVISION unit – potential connectivity between concepts and approaches proper to remote sensing, digital Earth, precision agriculture, virtual and digital agriculture, for reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture, viticulture, or agro-forestry.
(v) Ensure the research group’s administration
- Ensure the financial follow-up of the group’s performances;
- Manage the portfolio of associated projects and activities;
- Represent the group and promote its achievements internally and externally.
- PhD in either agriculture, agricultural bioengineering, agroforestry, or agrometeorology, with a strong focus set on agro-environmental interactions
- Knowledge in agronomy, as well as in agricultural management techniques and production is considered as a strong asset
- Have at least 10 years of post-doctoral experience
- Have a demonstrated team management experience, especially in a competitive RDI environment
- Have a relevant professional experience with project/portfolio management
- Demonstrate a proven experience in acquiring and driving as a Principal Investigator multiannual RDI and product development projects
- Experience in funding acquisition at national and/or international levels (e.g., H2020)
- Show a high-level scientific and technological track record related to the RDI group’s activities
- Demonstrate a strong experience in developing innovative products and services, as well as in bringing to the market new technological solutions
- Have a documented record in interfacing with farmers or other stakeholders in the agricultural sector
- Knowledge on environmental change and its impacts at local/regional scales
- Familiar with the concept and application of Climate Smart Agriculture
- Awareness of the challenges for European agricultural production in the 21st century
- Overview about state-of-the art technology solutions for a sustainable intensification of agriculture
- Fluency in English is mandatory
- Additional mastering of either Luxembourgish, German, or French would be considered as a strong asset for interactions with public administrations, farmers and vine growers
- A sound experience in intellectual property management (patents, licenses)
- A previous experience in a RTO
- Experience with digital farming equipment and software systems
- Skills in modelling and big data management (including digital twins, AI, data assimilation, Earth System models), skills in agricultural informatics
- Modelling crop-environment-pest/disease interactions
- Familiar with concepts of regional climate projections and their applications
- An international blend of colleagues that will support you in setting and achieving your scientific and career objectives;
- Professional support to prepare proposals in the framework of competitive (national & international) funding programs, as well as service offers for stakeholders;
- A personalised training programme, allowing you to expand your portfolio of soft skills (e.g., communication, leadership, entrepreneurship) and technical skills (e.g., grant proposal preparation, IP management, prototype design and fabrication);
- A growth mindset with, e.g., opportunities for career-oriented visits to leading research and/or technology institutions in Europe and abroad;
- A top-level environment with highly motivated people, innovative ideas, state-of-the-art infrastructures, and international networks with institutes leading their field;
- A thriving academic, cultural and social environment in Luxembourg, characterised by a unique blend of cultures, mentalities and languages;
- Professional support from our HR department and administrative team for you and your family on questions related to relocation, visa applications, onboarding, etc.
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