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Scientist II , Variety Screening

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 the role

The Variety Screening Scientist will manage Plant Science trials to evaluate varieties of leafy vegetables and fruiting crops for performance in Plenty’s production system. The screening workflow is conducted in a fully controlled vertical farming system and incorporates a variety of phenotyping technologies, physiology measurements, and thorough evaluation of yield and quality. The scientist will plan and conduct variety screening trials which leverage proprietary, public, and third party genetics.

This role will be critical in delivering high quality trials, implementing trial design aligned with research plans and product development goals, generating high quality phenotypic data, and reporting that will enable data-driven recommendations and variety selections.

It will be critical to stay current with the advancements in variety advances that will aid Plenty in accomplishing our mission to bring delicious and nutritious food to people around the world.

What you'll do

  • Manage Plenty’s variety screening activities for rapid evaluation of material for performance in indoor vertical farming system. 
  • Develop a robust research process for variety screening that maximizes Plenty’s R&D resources for evaluation of genetic material with a trait oriented approach.
  • Plan,coordinate and execute trials for screening of diverse crops, in collaboration with crops leads, research teams, and operations for evaluation of varieties. 
  • Generate high quality phenotypic and genotypic data to support research objectives.
  • Develop understanding of crop productivity traits and production requirements to inform variety trials and selection.
  • Collaborate with researchers in engineering, physiology, metabolomics, genetics, and sensory to drive cross-functional evaluation of diverse varieties.
  • Regular interaction with growers to understand crop performance issues and requirements of the morphological and phenological traits for successful crop production 
  • Participate in relationships with commercial sources of high-quality germplasm; interacting with other researchers in both public and private institutions through attendance of conferences, symposia, and workshops.
  • Initiating, managing, and completing trials, conducting analysis, interpreting findings, writing reports, and communicating research progress with internal stakeholders. making recommendations
  • Supervise technical staff to assist in research efforts as needed.
  • Occasional travel will be required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

What you'll bring to the table

  • PhD in Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Agronomy or relevant field or MS with 6+ years of relevant research experience
  • Demonstrated experience with plant variety trialing, preferably in leafy vegetable and fruiting crops such as tomato and strawberry.
  • Practical experience with experimental design, statistical analyses, programming (R, SAS, etc.), and predictive models.
  • Practical experience with genotyping and molecular marker screening
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision. Adjust workloads and resource allocations according to new developments and changing priorities.
  • Ability to develop, implement, and maintain research processes.
  • Collaboration across multiple disciplines, and operational personnel to execute projects
  • The capability to drive and execute projects with a team
  • Strong research, analytical, and communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, team player, self-motivation to complete projects in a timely fashion
  • Detail-oriented, laser focus, problem solving, innovative
  • A hard-working, proactive, and self-motivated individual.
  • Ability to work in a startup environment with rapidly developing goals and timelines.

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 $250 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
  • All employees must show proof of COVID vaccination before starting work, other than in limited circumstances where the law requires an exception
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply