Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Postdoc candidate for a MSCA IF - assessing and implementing the application of a Hazelnut Transpiration Model 7 - Ferrero

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    15/05/2020 23:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Luxembourg, Senningerberg
    Ferrero (application management through Luxinnovation)

Ferrero is interested in hosting a postdoctoral fellow within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship programme. 


         Please note that this opportunity is not a funded positions (yet); it depend on

         1. The organization selecting you for continuing the process and

         2. A successful proposal written mostly by you (with some input from your host organization           in Luxembourg) and submitted before September 9th 2020.



Project idea: 

The hazelnut farms supported by the Ferrero group are located in a number of countries and play the role of a lab from which this knowledge can be spread out to growers. Still many of the areas hosting hazelnut orchards are threatened by climate change effects, mainly due to increasing drought events that may compromise yield production.

Ferrero operations are focused on some key countries where hazelnut orchards can produce high quality fruits that are delivered to the confectionary industry. Among these geographies, Chile and Italy are highly exposed to climate change effects, especially regarding the decrease of water availability during the growing season.

In this context, it is paramount to define the tree responses to climate and water availability to provide a sound background knowledge for a more sustainable management of water for growers. In the past 4 years, extensive data on physiological hazelnut tree responses to water and climate has been globally collected at the orchard level.

This project proposal aims at assessing and implementing the application of a Hazelnut Transpiration Model 7 (HTM) based on the gathered dataset. The HTM would provide guidelines for improving irrigation efficiency in commercial orchards in comparison with traditional irrigation. At the same time, it would define the range of climatic conditions in which hazelnut cultivation will remain sustainable in the future.

The main objectives of the project are: to test the irrigation effects on tree growth and yield; to assess the model applicability on a larger scale; to develop an easy to use method to guide farmers in the irrigation management based on the model. Thus, a complementary goal will be to disseminate and communicate the methodology to the farm managers and engage them in a widespread test of the method.


Offer Requirements

  • PhD in ecology, forestry, plant sciences, or a related field.
  • Strong quantitative skills, including demonstrated experience in coding in R for applied ecological, agricultural and/or climate science applications.
  • Experience in setting up dataloggers and sensors to monitor microclimatic data and plant performance/responses (e.g., thermocouples, dendrometers, soil moisture probes).
  • Familiarity with interpreting and analyzing plant physiological measurements such as gas exchange, and water potentials.
  • Research experience in applied science on hazelnut (Corylus avellana), including statistical analysis of climatic and ecophysiological systems (as demonstrated by a record of scientific publication).
  • Superior written and oral communication skills and the ability to think critically, independently, and at a systems level.
  • Languages: English, Italian and Spanish.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a desire to work collaboratively with growers and industry partners to co-produce actionable science.

Optional qualifications:

  • Preferable languages: French and Luxembourgish
  • General understanding of precision agriculture.
  • Interest in stakeholder engagement for the co-production of science strongly preferred.


Institute description: 

The Ferrero Group is one of the market leaders of the confectionery sector and the third worldwide Group in the chocolate confectionery market. Ferrero’s goal is to create unique confectionary products, developing innovative research and production processes, as well as using cutting-edge technologies. The aspects that make this journey interesting are the passion for research, the desire to break down pre-existing paradigms, and the exploration of new places far from the traditional fenced-in disciplines.

Ferrero Hazelnut Company (HCo) is a recent business structure, part of Ferrero Trading Lux S.A., bringing together all the hazelnut supply chain activities of the Ferrero Group. The general scope of the research & development activities conducted in HCo is to increase global hazelnut availability, both in terms of quantity and of quality.

The HCo promotes research on hazelnut cultivation, environmental, and social sustainability through engagement with public and private research institutions. One of the most important research activities concerns the optimization and efficiency of water resources in the hazelnut orchards. 



The Ferrero Agri Competence Center team will have the opportunity to introduce the candidate to a business environment, whose KPIs and timing somehow differ from the academia environment. Ferrero is represented in 55 countries, with products sold in more than 170, the Ferrero Group is loved by generations around the world. The secret to our global success? Nearly 35,000 dedicated employees who celebrate care and quality to craft a business, careers and brands we are proud of.



About Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship:

The MSCA IF are postdoctoral fellowships, financed through the European Commission for 2 year positions, covering salary and research costs of the researchers, who can come from anywhere in the world. The evaluation process of these programmes is more about the project and the career development of the candidate, than his/her publication record. The organizations in Luxembourg that want to host such talented researchers include large public research organizations as well as private companies that offer interesting job perspectives after completion of the fellowship.

Minimal eligibility criteria

  • Individual: applicant applies together with host institute
  • PhD at the deadline or Masters plus 4 years of full time equivalent research experience
  • Not working or living in Luxembourg for longer than 12 months before the call deadline
  • For rules see here or contact your NCP


How to apply

Please submit your CV to Charles Betz, Advisor - European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation, until May 15th 2020 and refer to which position(s) you are applying for; you can also send several finetuned CVs if you are interested in multiple positions. Make sure you address the text and requirements mentioned by the respective hosts. 

Please note that applications are made through Luxinnovation, your contact point for Horizon 2020 in Luxembourg, before being handed over to the host company.


Luxinnovation, the Luxembourgish Innovation agency and National Contact Point for MSCA, will support both you and your future host institute during your application phase. For all applicants coming to Luxembourg we offer guidance documents, webinars, training in proposal writing and we will review your proposals if you wish so (depending on our availability). In 2019, MSCA IF proposals from Luxembourg had an average success rate of 28.5%, and proposals reviewed by our service 42%.

More information can be found on our website.


  • hazelnut
  • plant physiology
  • sap flow analysis
  • irrigation
  • model assessment
  • applied research



The responsibility for the hosting offers published on this website, including the hosting description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.