ISRIC guest researcher programme

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In partnership, ISRIC implements a wide range of soil-related activities and projects in support of environmental, social and economic sustainability. In this context, we have a dynamic guest researcher programme aimed at strengthening international collaboration and stimulating exchange of knowledge and information. We welcome researchers and professionals that wish to collaborate on global and regional soil information related initiatives.



 During the past years, we have hosted guest researchers from Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Iran, Kenya, the Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain and the USA. Generally, our guests stay with us for three to six months to work on a mutually agreed upon topic that aligns with ISRIC's strategy. At the end of their stay, each guest researcher will have to present his/her results during a plenary lecture attended by all ISRIC staff. In principle, each guest research should result in at least one of the following:

  • co-authored research manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed journal;
  • shared data base (CC-BY or CC BY-NC), ideally complemented with a co-authored manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed Data Journal;
  • documented methods and procedures (e.g. as R codes or wiki’s);
  • materials or innovative methods for the ISRIC World Soil Museum or collection management;
  • initiatives/proposals for externally funded follow-up activities.

Any researcher that works in an area of research that is of interest to ISRIC may submit an application form plus CV to the coordinators (Niels Batjes and Gerard Heuvelink). These will screen the proposal on scientific merits and strategic importance for ISRIC. Should you desire to work with a specific ISRIC staff member, this should be indicated on the application form. When agreeable and feasible, the proposed advisor(s) will help you to fine-tune your initial application.

Please note that ISRIC can only accommodate up to two guest researchers each year. 

The application includes a short on-line interview to assess the prospective candidate's proficiency with the English language (Only for non-native English speakers).

Please note that all guest researchers must provide written evidence from their employer that they will receive financial support for their stay at ISRIC; this is also needed for visa application. All guest researchers will have to make their own financial arrangements (e.g. travel, accommodation, health and travel insurance). Typically, ISRIC will only cover costs associated with office space, internet account, computing facilities, scientific and administrative support. On average, ISRIC advisors will have 2 hours per week to provide advice to each guest researcher.  

Once your definitive application has been evaluated positively by the screening committee and subsequently approved by the ISRIC Director, you will receive a formal letter of acceptance. Thereafter, the ISRIC secretariat and the Human Resources Department will ‘take over’. They will help you with visa and residence permit application with the Dutch Immigration Service. Please note, however, that these procedures may require up to three months in some cases.

Obtaining appropriate and affordable (furnished) accommodation in Wageningen is often problematic and time consuming. It is the responsibility of the guest researcher to find housing; ISRIC can only provide limited support. Some useful sites are listed at the bottom of the Spring School page.

The personal data that are obtained through your application form, is processed in accordance with the applicable privacy regulations (see our Privacy and Personal Data as well as Cookie statement).


  • Meet our guest researchers.
  • Examples of papers resulting from guest research at ISRIC:

    - Spatial aggregation of soil property predictions in support of local land management. Soil Use and Management 2017.

    - Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point in hot Arid Western India.  Journal of Earth System Science 2017.  

    - Pedotransfer functions to estimate bulk density from soil properties and environmental covariates: Rio Doce basin. Scientia Agricola 2016

    - Do more detailed environmental covariates deliver more accurate soil maps? Geoderma 2014

    - Development of soil and terrain digital database for major food-growing regions of India for resource planning. Current Science 2014

    - Changes in organic carbon stocks upon land use conversion in the Brazilian Cerrado: A review. Agric. Ecosystems & Environment 2010