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Research Scientist - Wheat
This Research Scientist position will lead the R&D efforts of a wheat focused collaboration. Key objectives will include:
· Preserving viability of wheat pollen to levels ameanable for commercial use.
· Development of scalable mechanical tools for wheat pollen handling (co-led with engineering group).
This Scientist position will progress PowerPollen(R) research theory and validation to enable scale up to large field applications. Executing against and enabling company goal achievement through lab and field operations.
The selected candidate will be based in or near the Des Moines, Iowa metro area (officed in Ankeny, IA) with frequent travel to other Midwest regions. Consideration will be given for locating in or near Fargo, ND or Kearney, NE.
Duties and responsibilities
Primary job duties:
· Serve as the scientific lead in a collaboration focused on the development of wheat pollen and pollination technologies.
· Execute against precise science plans and company goals while gathering and providing solid input for process enhancement and improvement.
· Serve as liaison with internal and external contacts with regard to research objectives and activities.
· Collaborate with other researchers to develop protocols to advance our knowledge on plant reproductive physiology.
· Designing and conducting experiments independently.
· Manage research personnel at our agricultural testing sites.
· Generate and analyze data to develop understanding of pollen interactions with receptive plant tissues.
· Support data compilation, analysis, and generating technical reports and methods to support development of commercial applications in a timely manner.
· Establish,nurture and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders (including those with both companies involved in the wheat collaboration).
· Guide safe and effective testing processes with the proper control strategies.
· Assist with the development and scaling of technologies for commercial deployment and facilitate process up-scaling through management of lab, growth chamber and field activities.
· Remain continuously current with relevant technical literature and recent scientific advances in the field.
· Contribute in the identification and implementation of new research avenues. But also open to new ideas and critical feedback from colleagues.
· Presenting to company leadership on key areas of accountability, providing insight, lessons learned, enhancements, issues and resolution proposals.
· Guides and invests time with employees in order to contribute to the goals of the company and to encourage professional growth.
· Participate in strategic planning, budgetary, safety, quality, and workforce issues.
· Formal training and research experience in breeding and/or pollination technologies in important agricultural crops and/or cryogenics in any species, including agricultural crops, vegetables, horticulture, or the animal kingdom, including experience working in cryogenics in human cells.
· PhD in the life sciences. Post doc experience in cryogenics in life sciences and 3-5 years of industry experience in a science related role are preferred. MS with additional industry experience will be considered.
· Experience in generating data in controlled environments preferred.
· Independent researcher, very objective and data-driven that requires little direction.
· Willingness to travel in the midwest and potentially Puerto Rico 2 weeks per year.
· Attention to detail and the ability to work individually, within a multi-disciplinary team and with external partners.
· Capable of seeing a barrier or issue as an opportunity to overcome a challenge in the delivery of excellent results.
· Experience establishing high quality field and/or lab exeperiments for research purposes.
· Experience with plant cell analytical methods including flow cytometry, mass spec; single cell viability testing, and enzyme activity quantification. Familiarity with instrumental analysis.
· Relevant experience with isolating, culturing, and freezing cells will be an advantage.
· Capable of generating proper statistical designs for field and laboratory testing.
· Proficiency in Microsoft (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), and statistics/graphing software for data analysis and presentation.
· Strong organizational skills with the ability to multi-task, problem-solve, prioritize assignments, and adjust priorities to meet goals in a fast-paced environment
· Experience working in a start-up environment or experience and genuine interest in working in a rapidly evolving and changing atmosphere including comfort working with assigned areas of responsibility as well as helping others in their areas of expertise as needed.
· Demonstrated capability to quickly establish and maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders including ability to influence, negotiate and reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
· Skill in common agricultural practices, including management of field crops, and controlled environment facilities. Mechanical aptitude for making adjustments and identification of issues that require external support.
· Resourceful: able to build and maintain a network allowing for continued advancement and scaling of company capabilities. Driven, problem-solving attitude.
· Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to train others and work with untrained personnel. Able to communicate fluently in English and Spanish, in verbal and written form.
· Previous experience overseeing teams, crews including employees and contracted labor.
This position will work in varying conditions including normal laboratory setting to typical in-season agricultural environment. This includes working in crop fields when weather conditions are extremely hot/humid and insects are present and long periods of standing/walking may be required. The incumbernt should be capable and interested in working in an environment that includes indoor lab conditions and outdoor agricultural conditions throughout the year.
The position involves physical activity including lifting objects up to 50 pounds, walking on uneven terrain, ability to tolerate heat and humidity typical of local field conditions, with extended hours that will vary with crop development in different locales.
PowerPollen® is an equal opportunity employer.
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