Alternative Thesis and Internship Market

Find your thesis or internship!


Boerengroep aims to bridge knowledge, experiences, realities and challenges from different actors as a way to strengthen the agroecological movement. Often organizations also share thesis and internship opportunities with us.

On the 5th of October 2020, Boerengroep organized the Alternative Thesis and Internship Market during the Seriously Sustainable Week, in collaboration with Green Office and Otherwise!

Here you’ll find the thesis and internship opportunities of the organizations that participated in the market. Don’t hesitate to contact the organizations to ask more information or to apply!


Africa in Motion

Africa In Motion (AIM) strives to accelerate the sustainable social economic development of Africa. The expertise on realizing this circular economy is worldwide available, but the bridge between solutions and challenges has not been made efficiently. 

Africa In Motion actively searches for these solutions in Europe and connects them to the challenges we know are faced by government, companies and knowledge institutions in Africa. 

We are specialized in developing programmes to generate large scale sustainable employment in Africa. We connect challenges in Africa – which we know are faced by companies, government and knowledge institutions – to expertise and solutions in Europe. 

We do this by:

enhancing the economic relationship between Europe and Africa 

empowering African diaspora in the Netherlands.

There are several possibilities for research topics, also depending on your academic background. At this moment, they have two topics in mind:

  1. A research about the possibilities of the concept of Share Equal Trade (SET), in which African farmers become shareholders of the companies that are involved in the transport, storage, process, and marketing of commodities. We would like to start with the cocoa sector, since, currently, research is being done at the WUR about this topic commissioned by AIM. 
  1. Set up a business plan for SET as certification for companies that process African commodities (agriculture, minerals?) outside of Africa.



ASEED Europe (Action for Sustainability, Environment, Equality and Diversity) is a small grassroots action and campaigning organization, with around 8 people from various parts of the world, working and volunteering in the office in Amsterdam. ASEED aims to dismantle the structural causes of environmental destruction and social injustice, from an anti-capitalist, intersectional, and de-colonial perspective, with a focus on food sovereignty. At the same time, we promote sustainable alternatives to fossil fueled industrial agriculture such as food autonomy and local small-scale agro-ecological farming. Although our focus is on environmental-related topics, we are  a political organisation that believes that social justice is an important facet of solving environmental issues.
We work as a collective and interns are completely free to get involved in the projects which interest them and in a role/capacity which they feel comfortable with. We can discuss this further in the session and explain theses which people have done while working with ASEED in the past.
This is a recording of the presentation ASEED gave during the e-market:


(see map ‘2020 online version’ for the shared word doc)
Boerenverstand is a consultancy that works in practical and innovative ways for a sustainable agriculture: good for the earth, for the animals, for the farmer and for the consumer! They work together with pioneers and a group of farmers. The description is in Dutch, because Boerenverstand is focused on Dutch agriculture, but if you’re an English-speaking student and you’re interested in the organisation, don’t hesitate to contact them! 

Met een afstudeeropdracht bij Boerenverstand ga je aan de slag in een groot netwerk binnen de Nederlandse landbouw. Van beleid, voorlopende boeren tot zuivelverwerkers en toeleveranciers. Momenteel hebben we concreet de volgende opdrachten:
– Belonen versus straffen. Hoe goed werkt een beloningsregeling voor duurzame prestaties
– Kringlooplandbouw in de akkerbouw: vanzelfsprekend of toch niet?
– Hoe precies wil je het hebben? Is precisielandbouw de oplossing of juist een mooi verkoopverhaal voor overbodige techniek?

Heb je zelf een idee voor een thesis opdracht die je uit wil voeren binnen een dynamische en vooruitstrevende organisatie, laat het ons dan weten!


Dasht ( aims to alleviate environmental and social issues by inspiring local communities, and providing them with solutions. We also aim to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide and boost biodiversity through the planting of trees while engaging local youth. In 2021, Dasht is working on different projects in two regions: Tajikistan Trees ( and Greenland Trees ( 

Tajikistan Trees: Tajikistan Trees is a project which aims to help Tajikistan; the land and the people. We work to reforest Tajikistan and revitalise sustainable small-scale farming. We work to improve the livelihoods in rural communities, focusing on women empowerment. Our mission is to plant trees to draw down atmospheric CO2, while supporting the smallholder farmers, promoting reforestation and appropriate tree cultivation. We will train farmer groups on organic farming techniques and practices in order to reclaim the ecological status of the project area and achieve sustainability in food production by organising participatory workshops. We also aim to provide food and education to schools in rural areas by planting fruit trees and making vegetable gardens for each school. In Tajikistan, Dasht will collaborate with two local NGO’s. In collaboration with Rushnoi NGO, we will plant trees around farm lands and will organise farmers training workshops. And together with Neksigol Mushovir NGO, we work on a big project: to make fruit and vegetable gardens for schools in regions with low and inferior standards. There will be workshops about how to make a vegetable garden at school, in which interested women from the village can learn about making a vegetable garden in their backyard. 

Greenland Trees: Greenland Trees mission is to maintain a service to drawdown atmospheric CO2 into new forests; to partner with Greenlandic society, emphasizing youth engagement and education; to restore the landscape in a heavily degraded former military base and other urbanized environments. In 2021, we plan to build a greenhouse in Narsaq village in south Greenland to grow trees locally. 



Droevendaal Food Forest

Since 2018, Wageningen Student Farm has been enriched by a fascinating new project, namely a Food Forest! The Droevendaal Food Forest is a 1 ha former apple orchard that is being managed by students. Anyone with a good idea and an interest in agroforestry is welcome to do a proposition for a research here. These are some of the topics that the food forest currently needs students for: 

Here you can see the full powerpoint presentation the food forest team gave during the e-market (navigate through the slides with the arrows):

Thesis market oct 2020.pptx food forest


Eurovia – European Coordination La Via Campesina


You can re-watch the presentation given by Jolke de Moel during the Alternaitve Thesis and Internship Market here:

Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a global citizen movement dedicated to protecting the survival of life on Earth. XR members are using nonviolent, disruptive and creative actions to increase pressure on governments to take action against the climate and environmental crisis. Currently, more than two hundred thousand people in more than sixty countries worldwide have joined. XR is made up of ordinary people, from all over the country and of all ages, who are deeply concerned about the lives of present and future generations. Almost forty local groups are active in the Netherlands.

XR demands from the Dutch government:


about the climate crisis and the ecological disaster that threatens our survival. Raise awareness of the need for large-scale change.


to stop biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Do this in a fair way.


on a just transition by setting up a citizens’ council that plays a leading role in decision-making.

What can you do at XR?

A lot is possible at XR. Within XR we work with different circles, from media & communication, political strategy, training to agriculture. Within these circles you can fully participate in the team, but you can also fully carry out your own project or research. For example, someone recently did an internship in which she fully focused on the internal sociocratic process, someone else focused on citizen deliberation and someone else did a photography project. You can be guided through your internship from XR and work out what you want together with the coordinator.

Call for an internship at XR: 


Future Food Production

eInternship from end 2020 to beginning of 2021

Agricultural Systems Modeler, Ens (Flevoland)

The Lasting Fields project is looking for an intern to model the scalability of the “Arable Field of the Future” (Dutch: Akker van de Toekomst). In this project, 2 hectares are cultivated using the most innovative agricultural techniques to show that you can significantly decrease the use of pesticides, fertilizer and fossil fuels, without decreasing your yield. The first results are promising, but the question is what will happen to the costs and benefits of these techniques if they are put in place on a larger scale. For that the project seeks an intern.

Project: In the Lasting Fields project, the farming is done with a light automated agricultural robot, unridden bed cultivation, crop rotation, intercropping and strip cultivation. With this set up the farm aims to achieve a comparable yield with:

  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower fertilization use
  • Lower pesticide use
  • Less soil compaction
  • Vital growth of crops
  • Efficient use of labour

The project itself is carried out by a small foundation called Future Food Production, but cooperates with renowned farmers and organisations such as the University of Wageningen, Province of Flevoland and others. For more information, see the website (in Dutch):

Internship: The main aim of the internship is to calculate what would happen if the innovative techniques carried out on these 2 ha, are implemented on a full-scale farm of e.g. 70 ha or by a large proportion of Dutch farmers.

  • Duration from more or less October 2020 to February 2021 (negotiable)
  • Quantify the most import variables of the farming: pesticides, herbicides, water, fossil fuel, biodiesel, yields etc.
  • Model the impacts of extending the area of the field
  • Work with newest agricultural techniques

Unfortunately, a salary cannot be paid, but some sort of remuneration will be discussed.

To apply and for questions, contact:
Digni van den Dries, Bio-dynamic farmer at BioRomeo, Ens (Flevoland); +31 (0)6 4224 4471

This is the presentation of Stichting Future Food Production during the Alternative Thesis and Internship Market (use the arrows to navigate through the slides):

SFFP opening 10-9-19 thesis market


Green Office Movement 

The Green Office Movement involves students, staff and academics working to advance sustainability in and beyond higher education. The Green Office Model, a student-led and staff-supported sustainability platform, is at the core of this movement. By now there are over 50 Green Offices around Europe and beyond, empowering students and staff to act on sustainability as part of the university’s curriculum, research, governance and operations, as well as the awareness and behaviors of students and staff.
Our vision is that higher education institutions become catalysts for sustainability; our mission is to institutionalise sustainability in higher education. The Guide to the Green Office model offers an introduction to understand what the Green Office is all about.

Research topics: Here some suggested research topics and questions that would be valuable for the continued evolution of the Green Office Movement and support our efforts to apply for funding. Though we’re also open to your own ideas.

Impacts achieved: Which impacts have Green Offices achieved so far in terms of: changes internal to the university (curriculum, behavior of students and staff, university strategy and policy), in relation to specific SDGs, in wider society (municipality, citizens, local businesses, social enterprises, NGOs etc)? What could be qualitative and quantitative was of measuring these impacts (e.g. CO2 reductions, waste reduction, cost-savings, etc)? How did they achieve these impacts & What has been the impact on Green Office alumni?

International expansion: So far the Green Office Model exists mainly in Western & Northern European countries (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and a few in Italy, Sweden, the UK). What would be needed for the Green Office Model to spread and be adapted to more countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, the United States, South America, or Asian and African countries with different national higher education systems, socio-economic conditions, funding constraints/opportunities, etc? How could the Green Office model be adapted to work well the context of those countries?

Evolving strategies for wider impacts: How can GOs increase their reach through collaborating with local sustainability initiatives, municipalities, businesses? Which kind of partnerships are most useful? Which strategies are effective to build and maintain such collaborations? How could Green Offices expand their focus beyond “green” / ecological sustainability and also address the social and economic dimensions of sustainability?

Organizational adaptation: What are main organizational peculiarities and similarities of universities (where we see most Green Offices so far) compared to universities of applied sciences (with an increasing number of Green Offices), vocational & technical colleges (only few Green Offices so far)? How could the GO model be adapted to empower student-leadership and effect organizational change towards sustainability specifically in those contexts (think of suitable organisational structures, activities, funding mechanisms, partnerships, etc for the Green Office)?

You can also have a look at some of the knowledge we have already gathered on challenges, activities and good practices of Green Offices, as well as results from past research projects and see how this can inspire or inform your research.

Contact Tim Strasser, the Green Office Movement coordinator, at


Nationaal Monitoringsprogramma Voedselbossen

In voedselbossen wordt voedselproductie met natuurontwikkeling gecombineerd. Er wordt beweerd dat voedselbossen de bodemgezondheid bevorderen, een groot waterbufferend vermogen hebben, veel CO2 opslaan, de biodiversiteit verhogen, een hoge veerkracht hebben, de kwaliteit van de leefomgeving verhogen en daarmee de mentale gezondheid bevorderen, en de sociale cohesie verhogen. Bovendien zou er weinig onderhoud voor nodig zijn, terwijl de oogsten op termijn hoog zijn.

Deze claims zijn gebaseerd op theorie en de kennis over natuurlijke ecosystemen, vergelijkbare hoog-diverse voedselsystemen in de tropen en een steeds groter wordende stapel van anekdotisch bewijs van voorbeelden in gematigde zones. Er is echter nog geen robuust, gestandaardiseerd en systematisch onderzoek uitgevoerd naar het functioneren van voedselbossen als serieuze landbouwmethode in gematigd gebied. Daarom is nu het Nationaal Monitoringsprogramma Voedselbossen (NMVB) opgezet, zodat de ontwikkeling van ieder voedselbos op dezelfde manier kan worden gemeten en wetenschappelijke analyses kunnen worden uitgevoerd om te onderzoeken of en in welke mate alle claims waar zijn. 

Bastiaan Rooduijn zal namens het monitoringsprogramma een presentatie geven en de verschillende opties voor stage- en thesis onderzoek bespreken. Er is plek voor nieuwe studenten vanaf januari 2021. 


Ommuurde Tuin

Support the peasant farmers & CSA movement with research on ‘Solidarity Payment’

Currently we are losing 12 farms a day in the Netherlands, mostly because farmers receive very low prices for their produce. In order to support (small scale) peasant farmers it is thus very important to look at this topic of income. At CSA Ommuurde Tuin, we earn half of the minimum wage. In order to make it more sustainable, we started a project called ‘solidarity payment’ where consumers no longer pay for their veggy box, but instead decide themselves on the wage they want to give to us for our work: the time it takes us to produce veggies for them. See Now we are looking for a student / PhDer to conduct research on this topic together with us. We need to know how much time we spend on producing 1 veggy box a week (starting with administration, putting compost on the land, sowing, planting, irrigation, weeding, harvesting, washing, selecting, making the veggy bag). At this moment it’s a rough guess that it takes us 1 hour. But we would like a student to dive into this and come with more realistic time.

For more info please contact Elske Hageraats at or 00316 4866 3589



OtherWise stimulates critical engagement by questioning the status quo and exploring alternative pathways towards a more environmentally and socially just world.

Coming from a critical development background, OtherWise questions and explores different development ideologies and ways of living. In the quest for sustainability many different paradigms of change are proposed and enacted. The themes we work with are Resistance, Power and Movements; Diversity, Gender and Inclusivity; Knowledge, Science and Education; New Economies; Inner Sustainability.

Do you share these interests and ideologies? Do you want to have a brainstorm about possible topics, more creative/alternative ways to do research, or do you have an idea for a collaboration with us? Let’s explore!

OtherWise is open to receiving interns of the Wageningen University or other universities. We rarely offer ready-made internships to students, but if you have an idea about an internship that fits the philosophy of OtherWise, contact us so we can talk about it. There is a lot of room at OtherWise to take on your own internship project.



The Coffee Quest

We are The Coffee Quest, a raw coffee company aimed at changing the world.
Our company is based in Amsterdam (EU), Medellin (CL), Washington (USA) and Varginha (BR), and we work in several different origins of coffee, in Africa and the America’s.

The Coffee Quest is on a mission, to connect 500.000 coffee producers to 5000 roasters, over coffee with added value. We work according the principles of:
Transparency: traceable and transparency chains between producer and roast
Collaboration: chains in which stakeholders from origin and destination, can collaborate with each other at either side.
Quality: In producing, trading and roasting specialty quality product, 81SCA and up. Because you need quality to spell equality.

Added value through agroforestry
Currently, we are in the early stages of 2 projects involving agroforestry, in which we collaborate with; client, producers and funds, to create lasting impact in the field of sustainable agriculture. Particularly in Brazil, where the project is meant to create sustainable intensive agriculture, and in Uganda, where the project is aimed at combatting the negative effects of climate change and improve agricultural practice for small holders. The topics you’ll work with, will also involve; soil quality, water retention, shade management. You will use desk research, satellite data, field research/interviews, and at some point we might travel. We are looking for project support and research to carry our projects into the future.



Toekomstboeren (Future Farmers) is an organisation of peasants and prospective farmers in the Netherlands. We work on issues of access to land, peasant agroecology and food sovereignty and are a member of La Via Campesina.

Stage omschrijving: Commons in de landbouw (only for Dutch speaking)

Co-eigendom van grond of commons biedt voor veel boeren een mogelijke oplossing om hun land te behouden. Hoewel commons wereldwijd tot een sterke beweging is uitgegroeid, zijn er in Nederland nog weinig voorbeelden van hoe je commons in de praktijk kan brengen. Met het land project werkt Toekomsboeren aan concepten om commons in de praktijk te verwezenlijken. In het project richten we ons op drie pilots. Samen onderzoeken we wat nodig is om een commonsboerderij op te zetten. Wat zijn de keuzes die je als boer moet maken? Wat zijn mogelijkheden voor financiering? Onder welke governance- en organisatiestructuur? Ter ondersteuning van dit project zoeken we een stagiaire. Het werk van de stagiare houd in:
– Notities maken tijdens bijeenkomsten en workshops van de commons groep
– Interviewen en transcriberen van audio pilots en relevante commons initiatieven
– Korte verhaaltjes schrijven van drie pilots (voor website & nieuwsbrief)
– Deelname en notities maken training Damaris Matthijssen (moet nog gecheckt worden)
– Analyse van het bovenstaande om inzicht te krijgen in het opzetten van een commonsboerderij.



S.A.W.: Talks for future 

S.A.W. has recently become Climate Partner of Wageningen municipality, as many students in Wageningen are acutely aware (and concerned) about the global challenge of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

The ambitions of Wageningen municipality to be carbon neutral by 2030 are supported as it would amongst other things, mark the municipality as a pioneer in creating a more sustainable Netherlands- an example that others could follow. As outlined in the Klimaatplan (2017-2021), the ambitions call on the assistance of businesses and other Climate Partners to help realize municipality’s goals. Among these goals are strategies of ‘movement in society’ and ‘communication’. These focus on individual changes on behalf of Wageningen residents and businesses working in the municipality towards creating a climate neutral Wageningen.

Want to know more about possible thesis projects on this topic? They are looking for you!



Veerhuis Varik

De Aarde als ons erfgoed

Wat zit er achter het stikstof probleem voor boeren. Lees dit artikel en zie hoeveel een boer voor pacht moet betalen. Veelal leidt dat tot hogere productie eisen om die pacht te kunnen betalen; met het stikstofprobleem als resultaat. In het Veerhuis te Varik kwamen we op het idee om de hele Aarde op de Werelderfgoedlijst te zetten, zodat we zorg voor de Aarde primair kunnen stellen en niet de handel in grond. Practice what you preach; dus gaan we de grond onder het Veerhuis schenken aan een stichting die het nooit meer zal verkopen. Support van de jongeren kan ons helpen dit idee wereldkundig te maken of voor suggesties hoe wij ons doel kunnen bereiken. Zie bijgaand artikel voor meer info.

De nachtwacht is zo waardevol dat hij nooit te koop is. Waarom de Aarde dan wel; met grote gevolgen voor boeren die steeds meer voor de grond moeten betalen . Het Veerhuis zet een actie in gang om dit tij te keren en kan veel hulp gebruiken in onderzoeken van de effecten hiervan en het promoten van dit idee. Zie bijgaand documenten voor info en aanmelden:


Vereniging voor Bio-Dynamische Landbouw


  • Bijen in de landbouw. Imkerij, Drachtplanten (en gewassen)
  • Stimuleren van biodiversiteit met landschapselementen, gewaskeuze, …
  • Natuur(beheer) en landbouw. Bos, bomen en struiken in het bedrijf. 
  • Communicatie over BD-landbouw.
  • Gender vraagstukken in de veeteelt’: haantjes/hennen, geitenbokjes, vleesrassen/melkrassen.
  • Verminderen energiegebruik in de landbouw.
  • Vroege en late teelten, zonder folie of kas.
  • Mogelijkheden voor mestproducerende dieren op bedrijven waar dat niet voor de hand ligt. Opbouw bodemvruchtbaarheid vanuit kringloop of door input van buitenaf?
  • Gehoornd vee versus ongehoornd vee.
  • Vergroten van de droogteresistentie van de bodem.
  • Waterkwaliteit
  • Kalfjes bij de koe
  • Alternatieven voor middelengebruik bij plagen en ziektes. Stimuleren vitaliteit bedrijf, bodem, gewassen en dieren.
  • Relatie diervoeding en medicijnen met mest en bodem.
  • Composteren van mest en plantenresten.
  • Opkweek van plantgoed op het eigen bedrijf.
  • Gebruik van de preparaten.
  • Kwantitatieve aspecten van mest-productie (en uitstoot) op biologische bedrijven ten opzichte van gangbare kengetallen.
  • Slacht van dieren, ethis, economisch, respect naar het dier.
  • Stalbouw en stalinrichting vanuit perspectief diergedrag en dierwelzijn. Ook met betrekking tot dieren die als ‘tweede categorie’gehouden worden, zoals de dek-stier, werkpaard, etc. En ook met betrekking terugdringen emissie ammoniak e.d.
  • Mogelijkheden voor (rendabele) graanteelt in Nederland. Kwaliteitsaspecten van biologisch stro ten opzichte van gangbaar stro.
  • Verpakkingsmateriaal
  • Impact van het bedrijf op landschap, flora en fauna.
  • Zaadteelt en rassenkeuze. Systeemontwerp voor deze sector.



Wur Library 

Find articles, books, journals and other types of publications! Learn how to enhance your Thesis/Internship writing experience with the aid of the Wur Library! Here is the presentation given by WUR Library on the e-market! 

Other ideas?

If none of these internship or thesis opportunities suit you, you can always come up with your own proposition:

After you have a basic idea of the topic you want to research, contact a supervisor from the chairgroup where you have to do your thesis / internship. Explain you have the idea to bridge science and practice with this topic and ask for supervision. Note: with some chairgroups this is easily approved (e.g. RSO, SDC, FSE), while others might have stricter policies. It is also possible to have two supervisors from different chairgroups.

For students: If you are looking for inspiration for your thesis or internship related to food/soil/agroecology/peasant movements/future farmers or other topics we are working on? Boerengroep has a broad network around the world! Tell us your interest and we’ll try to link you to a contact person. Contact us at

For organizations and farmers: PROPOSE A TOPIC. Do you have an interesting topic related to food, farming, agroecological movements etc.? Send us a mail and we’ll post it on our site and in our newsletter:

Would you like to conduct your thesis on the inspiring stories from the field? The struggles of young farmers? Their Dreams? Would you like to contribute by writing short stories or making a video? Feel free to contact Boerengroep and we can discuss thesis opportunities with you, together with the RSO / FSE chairgroup. Contact us via