Two-year position open for early stage researchers (ESR)

Wageningen University and Research in The Netherlands has a 2-year ESR position (junior researcher, no PhD position) available within the ITN Marie Curie Project. The rise in childhood obesity is a worrying trend, also in relation to its concomitant increase in rates of associated non-communicable diseases. There is a need for understanding the role sensory signals in overeating. Numerous studies in adults have shown that taste has a major role in development of food preferences and intake patterns.

Whereas the role of taste in preferences and consumption patterns has been extensively studied in adults; this has been studied far less in children (pre-schoolers and primary school children). This is interesting, as in adults, taste effects may be learned or partly due to cognitive factors, whereas this is unlikely in the case of young children. Studying this phenomenon in young children therefore focuses on the sensory processes involved in preferences and intake patterns.

The key objective of this 2 year research project involves the study of sweet taste exposure, and it’s role in the generation of food pleasure (liking) and sweet food intake patterns in children. The role of duration and intensity of repeated exposure to sweet taste on children’s preferences and liking for sweet tasting foods and drinks will be explored. In addition, we will explore the role of parents concerning restriction rules for the consumption of sweet foods/drinks by their children and children’s liking, preferences and consumption pattern for sugary foods.

We are looking for a motivated candidate who can work independently as well as a part of an international team. The work place will be at Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands), but the candidate will spend a 2-month secondment in Dijon, France. For further information please see: