Vision and Mission

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The Graduate School PE&RC is a collaborative research and PhD training institute, and was established in 1993. The central mission of the Graduate School PE&RC is:

Understanding the functioning of natural and managed ecosystems, to improve the quality of life.

The mission involves research on sustainable agro-production, biodiversity, ecosystem services, one health, the bio-based economy, land dynamics and multifunctional land use with bio- and geosciences as corner stones of PE&RC research. Ecosystems studied range from intensive agricultural production systems (e.g. greenhouses) to extensive semi-natural systems (e.g. agroforests and pastoral systems), to natural systems (e.g. wetlands, savannas, and protected areas). Production refers to products as well as services (e.g., recreation, biodiversity).

The main tasks of PE&RC are:

  • To develop and coordinate education and training of PhD candidates;
  • To improve and safeguard the quality of academic research (PhD candidates, postdocs, and academic staff);
  • To stimulate the development of a coherent academic research programme and to act as a national platform within its area
  • To establish international collaboration with similar organizations in its research area with exchange programmes for staff and PhD candidates, a portfolio of international postgraduate courses and the development of international curricula.

The ambition of PE&RC is to be at the international forefront of the scientific field it operates in. It achieves this by strengthening a coherent overall research framework (within its mission) that tackles both fundamental and societally relevant scientific problems/challenges. Given the global nature of the problems the research programme of PE&RC addresses, we foster a comprehensive international network within which we develop, coordinate and facilitate a state-of-the-art leading training programme for PhD candidates and post-doctoral fellows.

In 2015, an external evaluation panel performed an assessment of PE&RC as a whole and of most of its participating groups within Wageningen University, according to standard evaluation protocol (SEP) for public research organisations in the Netherlands. They assessed the research to be of very good to excellent quality and the PhD training and Education Programme as world leading. Furthermore, they noticed that the Graduate School provides an excellent platform for effective collaborations of the groups of the school and associated groups.