Senior Research Associate, Plant Science

South San Francisco, CA
At Plenty, we’re on a mission to give people in local communities everywhere access to the freshest, most amazing tasting produce possible. And to do so in a way that’s better for the planet.
The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do that. We are an ag-tech company looking for a Senior Research Associate who will make independent contributions to a range of projects and experiments across the Plant Science team.

About Role

As a Senior Research Associate will work cross-functionally across horticulture, data science, and production. This individual will work at all levels of project development: creating business cases, planning, implementing and carrying projects through to completion and reporting out the results. Execution of plant science experiments will occur at both the lab and production level. In addition, the Senior Research Associate will also play a key role in monitoring the interdepartmental integration of projects access Plenty. Fundamental to the position will require the individual to stay informed on advancements in vertical growing and modern horticulture techniques. This role will be critical to maintaining and meeting Plenty’s commitment to our mission of Plants, People, Planet.

Type of Role


What You'll Do

  • Investigate strategies to translate bench scale findings into production solutions.
  • Work with Growers to investigate potential changes to production strategies.
  • Develop and train other employees on new techniques as they are created and incorporated into lab practices.
  • Ensure the plant science perspective is present when collaborating directly with teams from Engineering, Operations, and Project Management.
  • Participate at all levels trial management, from concept to completion.
  • Partner with the Data Science Team on how metrics associated with plant growth can be best utilized and incorporated.
  • Review literature and recent discoveries relevant to vertical growing and conceptualize how they can benefit Plenty.
  • Develop, review and maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and training documents relevant to farm and lab practices.
  • Organize priorities and maintain an efficient workflow for the South San Francisco Plant Science Team.
  • Partner with Plant Science leadership with administrative and project planning efforts.
  • Establish collaborative relationships with other researchers in the field through attendance of conferences, symposia, and workshops.
  • Domestic travel approximately ~ 10% time will be required, particularly with our R&D facility in Laramie, Wyoming.

What We're Looking For

  • Masters plus 4 years of research experience, or Ph.D. in horticulture, plant science, ag engineering or related field.
  • Demonstrated ability for production at research scale, execution of horticulture trials, and completion of research projects.
  • Background in controlled environment agriculture.
  • Confident working independently with minimal oversight.
  • Comfortable performing basic molecular, and biochemical analysis using scientific equipment.
  • Strong research, analytical, and communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a startup environment with rapidly evolving goals and timelines.
  • Passion for finding new ways of growing clean, nutritious food.
  • Experience with statistical and environmental models for plant growth and development is a plus.
  • Experience with hydroponic or substrate production systems is a plus.
  • Experience with commercial plant production plant propagation a plus.

Food Safety Requirement

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations.

About Plenty

Plenty is here to change the way people eat, making extraordinary flavor and nutrition more available in a way that's better for people and the planet. We build farms that can put craveable flavor first while delivering exceptional yields. And our produce is always pesticide-free and grown using less than 1% of the land and 5% of the water of outdoor farming.