Traineeship in Food and Computer Science
Wageningen University

Traineeship for Food and Computer Science / Data Science Research

Location Wageningen

End date Tue 26 May 2020

We are looking for

Are you a graduate in computer science or data science and can’t wait to take your first step towards a professional career? Do you want to use your talent and knowledge to research innovative solutions, nationally and internationally? We want you!

At Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR) you can start as a trainee. As a talent with impact, you develop into a professional that combines computer science knowledge with impact on society. You do so by performing applied research to provide better food for more people.

We offer the chance to increase your professional skills, develop your personal qualities and improve your work experience through a trainee program.

How does the trainee program work?

You will join WFBR for two years, to learn and work at the same time. You will be part of a diverse team of four trainees. Your first point of contact is the trainee coordinator, who leads the team, familiarizes you with our organization and facilitates you in your personal and professional growth.

As a trainee, you will get time and space to work on your personal development to improve your skills and qualities, and maximize their potential. Acquiring various organizational and technical skills is also part of the program. You can, for example, follow advanced courses and learn where computer science meets the agrifood and health domains. You will also be given the opportunity to connect to our Wageningen Data Competence Center (WDCC), which support developments in the field of data science and AI in the agrifood and environment domain.

You work on research projects in which we translate data and knowledge into smart software applications. We support decision making processes, using rule-based systems, semantics, (no-)SQL databases, web-based UIs, machine learning, and other artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. In these projects you are a full team member and you are guided by the project leader. You will create algorithms and software based on available or new data and models and by talking to our food experts.

An example project is on creating a generator of low-sugar recipes. Our experts have extensive knowledge on how to reduce sugar in bakery products, without affecting the taste, colour, structure and size of the product.  With this knowledge we automatically create a recipe, given the specific conditions of a company.  Other examples are a decision support system for quality management of strawberries and a decision model that provides nutritional advice for consumers, taking into account personal characteristics and preferences. You will help developing software applications from design to implementation.

For the majority of your time you use your computer and data science knowledge to help ‘digitizing’ one of the other domains in our business unit: food technology, post-harvest technology, nutrition and health and supply chain management. By interacting with domain experts and developing prototype applications, you find new ways of collaboration. For example, our expertise on apples (such as the effect of storage conditions on taste) can be placed in a digital framework for clients ranging from large companies in the Netherlands to small farmers in India. The goal of this digital transformation is to enlarge the impact of available data and knowledge on society.  You will be one of the driving forces behind that change.

We ask

Important tasks of trainee food and computer science are:

  • As a team member, you design and develop prototype software applications in our projects;
  • you develop your proficiency in requirements engineering, data modeling or software development;
  • you connect to other domains and help them to formulate their requirements in the digital transformation that will multiply the impact of their research;
  • you work with other software engineers and researchers in our team and in the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) community to align standard methodologies;
  • you direct your personal development by selecting courses and by practicing what you learn;
  • you work in agile projects, in which we prototype solutions in sprints;
  • you are able to carefully trade-off between quickly prototyping an application and sufficiently ensuring scalability, maintainability and security.
You have
  • a MSc in computer science, data science, information science, artificial intelligence, or a related discipline;
  • a maximum of one year of relevant work experience;
  • an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset;
  • adaptability and a result oriented attitude;
  • good communication and collaboration skills;
  • a drive to use your talent and skills for applied research on better food for more people.

We offer

A challenging position with a competitive salary of € 2790,- gross per month for a full working week of 36 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Wageningen Research. In addition, an appointment of 0,8 FTE is possible.

We also offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of-year bonus of 3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 171 vacation hours, the possibility to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • the possibility to work 40 hours per week and in this way build up a maximum of 204 compensation hours per year;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information

For more information about this trainee program, please contact Henk Wensink, R&D manager Food Informatics & Supply Chain Management, telephone 0317 485586 or by e-mail; For additional information about the procedure, please contact Wilma Jansen, HR advisor, e-mail:


We are looking forward to receiving your application via the button on top of this page before the 27th of May, 2020.

We are

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is one of the Contract Research Organizations of Wageningen University & Research, with the aim to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. With approximately 30 locations, 6,000 members of staff and 12,000 students, we are world leader in its domain. An integral way of working and cooperation between the exact sciences, the technological and social disciplines are key to its approach.

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