Senior Research Associate, Crop Development & Product Innovation

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 Senior Research Associate will play a key role on our Crop Development and Product Innovation team by contributing to a range of projects focused on production and characterization of fruits and vegetables.

About Role

The Senior Research Associate will work cross-functionally with scientists to design and execute experiments in horticulture, analytical chemistry, product development, engineering, data science, and production. This role will work across project phases: creating business cases, planning, implementing and executing projects to completion and reporting out the results. Responsibilities include cultivation of multiple crops, data collection, sample collection and analysis, data analysis, and reporting. Also, this role will be critical in implementing and documenting R&D’s best practices for integration into system design, production research, and cultivation practices. Success in this role will require the individual to stay up to date on advancements in CEA production and plant phenotyping. The Senior Research Associate 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.
  • Monitor, collect, and evaluate plant data on an ongoing basis.
  • Integrate crop physiology methods and horticultural practice to drive yield and plant health.
  • Participate at all levels trial management, from concept to completion.
  • Work with Growers to investigate potential changes to production strategies.
  • Develop, review and maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and training documents relevant to farm and lab practices.
  • Create, write and review training materials for a variety of farm objectives.
  • Train and keep colleagues up to date on new protocols.
  • Ensure the plant science perspective is present when collaboratingCollaborate directly with teams from Engineering, Operations, and Project Management.
  • Support 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.
  • Organize priorities and maintain an efficient workflow for the South San Francisco Plant Science team.
  • Work with Plant Science leadership on administrative and project planning efforts.
  • Establish collaborative relationships with other researchers in the field through attendance of conferences, symposia, and workshops.
  • Occasional domestic travel will be required, particularly with our R&D facility in Laramie, Wyoming.

What We're Looking For

  • Masters in Horticulture, Plant Science or related field plus 4 years of research experience. 
  • Demonstrated ability for production at research scale, execution of horticulture trials, and completion of research projects.
  • Background in controlled environment agriculture.
  • Confident working independently.
  • 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 a new way of growing clean, nutritious food.
  • Experience with statistical and environmental models for plant growth and development is a plus.
  • Experience with commercial plant production is 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.