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Research Associate III, Crop Photobiology

Role: Full-time

About Plenty

Plenty is on a mission to make fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables more accessible to everyone.  Our cutting-edge indoor, vertical farms produce extraordinary yields using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need.  Nutrient-rich, mouth-watering and locally grown, our crops help people, communities and our planet to be healthier and more resilient.

The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do this.  We are a collaborative and innovative bunch.  We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously.  We’re down to Earth, we grow together, and we always find a way.  Most importantly, we’re here to improve the lives of plants, people and our planet. 

About Role

The Research Associate (RA), Crop Photobiology will play a key role on our Crop Development team by contributing to a range of projects focused on production and characterization of fruits and vegetables.  The RA will work cross-functionally with Scientists to design and execute experiments in photobiology and physiology to support horticulture, engineering, and production. This role will work across project phases: planning, implementing and executing projects to completion and reporting out the results. This role will be critical in identifying, implementing, and documenting Research & Development (R&D) best practices for integration into system design, plant physiology research, and cultivation practices. Success in this role will require the individual to stay up to date on advancements in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) production and plant science. The RA will be critical to maintaining and meeting Plenty’s commitment to our mission of Plants, People, Planet.

What You’ll Do

  •  Participate in designing and conducting Crop Photobiology and physiology experiments to generate quality data sets from concept through completion
  • Monitor, collect, analyze, and report on experiment data on an ongoing basis
  • Integrate existing and new methods to drive yield, quality, and plant health
  • Develop, review and maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). Train and keep colleagues up to date on new protocols. Keep an up-to-date digital notebook
  • Collaborating with other departments including Engineering, Data Science, Operations, and Project Management
  • Review literature and recent discoveries relevant to controlled environment agriculture and conceptualize how they can benefit Plenty
  • Establish collaborative relationships with other researchers in the field through attendance of conferences, symposia, and workshops
  • Supervise technical staff to assist in research efforts as needed
  • Protect intellectual property, new findings and submit invention disclosures

What you’ll bring to the table

  • Master’s Degree and 4+ years of research experience in Plant Photobiology, Plant Physiology, Horticulture, Plant Science, Plant Molecular Biology or a related field
  • Demonstrated ability for plant physiology experimentation, execution of horticulture trials, and completion of research projects
  • Ability to integrate knowledge on crop photobiology during execution and interpretation of horticulture trials
  • Background in Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Demonstrated ability for data and statistical analyses
  • Experience in DNA manipulation and plant molecular biology techniques
  • Experience in genetics and phenotyping of fruiting crops is a plus
  • Ability to work independently
  • Comfortable performing basic lab analyses 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 ISO 17025 or Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) accreditation highly desirable

Type of role


What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $500 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • Comply with GMP/GAPS in the Facility
  • Conduct monitoring activities to assure finished product comply with food safety and quality specifications
  • Assist in the maintenance of Food Safety and Quality system