WUR is introducing a new kind of degree programme — for Wageningen at any rate: a two-year postgraduate qualification in technological design. The programme is called Designs for Agrifood & Ecological Systems and will be accepting candidates from 1 January. WUR has funding for six positions.
Wageningen is the last of the four technical universities (4TU) to introduce such an engineering doctorate, as it is termed. The universities of Eindhoven, Delft and Twente already had the option of a two-year research traineeship.
However, this option was not on offer in the WUR domain whereas there is clearly a demand for this, according to Pieter Munster, a policy officer at Corporate Strategy & Accounts. ‘The idea for this programme has been around for a while and it is mentioned in the strategic plan. Of course we checked it really did add value before going ahead. We discovered there was nothing of its kind or even vaguely similar in the Netherlands.’
This postgraduate programme is not only shorter than a PhD — two instead of four years — but it also has a different focus. ‘PhD projects are intended to push the boundaries of science whereas engineering doctorates are much more practical: they are all about a specific design assignment for a specific organization,’ explains Munster.
This programme is about a specific design assignment
Organizations that have such an assignment in mind and a suitable candidate are, incidentally, welcome to contact WUR as there is room for externally funded candidates in addition to the six positions financed by WUR itself. Candidates will of course still be subject to a selection process.