Research Lead

Website Sensei Ag

About the job

About Sensei Ag

Sensei Ag is a market-changing AgTech company aiming to solve global gaps and inconsistencies in nutrition, food safety, and food security through the transformative power of data. Guided by the capabilities and insights of our founders, technology entrepreneur Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, we design, develop and deploy cutting-edge agricultural technologies to build a better, more stable food supply that is capable of feeding our entire world nutritionally-relevant, delicious, affordable meals.

Everything we do is evidence-led, radically transparent, always enriching.

You can read our story here or see some recent press: Business Wire, Condé Nast Traveler

The Role: Research Lead

In order to implement the Sensei Ag mission, joining a team of CEA and plant biology experts, and reporting to the Global Controlled Environment Research Lead, the Research Lead will oversee the day to day R&D growing operations for multiple crops in a controlled environment. The successful candidate will supervise all aspects of growing fresh fruits and vegetables from planting, cultivation and harvesting of the crops to managing the implementation of technical procedures. The supported research is an integral part of Sensei Ag’s business goals to become a leader in the Indoor Ag industry.

Bringing domain expertise in plant science and precision agriculture, the company’s core mission is to be a good farmer and grow a variety of sustainable, nourishing, accessible produce for all, pushing the limits to what food is currently available through CEA and establishing the Sensei Farms brand with customers and consumers. Environmental, climate, economic and market factors will inform the growing approach and subsequent R&D or utilization of the most appropriate growing structures, systems and technologies for the desired crops, location and commercial goals, commensurate with the corporate “buy, adapt, partner, or invent” hierarchy of technology sourcing strategies.

Sensei Ag’s unprecedented business and capital model, product suite, (consumer retail in-store units, seeds, software, robotics and indoor farms) and financing provide a unique environment and opportunity to shape the future of agriculture and tackle the CEA market holistically, not one segment at a time to compete with conventional farming.

The research lead is expected to have a minimum of 5 years of experience as a successful Grower in a controlled environment. A strong understanding of regulatory requirement, advanced horticultural practices, plant growth and physiology, and interaction with varying environmental conditions is essential. The successful candidate will have strong communication skills in English, written and oral.

Position Description

    • Work closely with research staff to understand and implement research protocols.
    • Provide insight and input for opportunities to improve plant performance, productivity and market value in collaboration with research, farm operations and commercial teams.
    • Maintain plant health by ensuring climate, irrigation, fertilization targets are met.
    • Design and implement an appropriate and compliant IPM program for R&D controlled environment space.
    • Oversee, train and assist research assistants and technicians who execute experimental protocols, including maintaining plant health, collecting phenotypic, nutritional/flavor and environmental data.
    • Proactively ensure supply of seedlings and materials for experiments.
    • Write and update SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) as required and associated documentation
    • Ensure proper hygiene and safety protocols are followed by team
    • Contribute to research proposal development, grant writing and project management.
    • May work at different research sites.

What You Bring

    • Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture or a related discipline and high-tech glass greenhouse growing experience is required. Master’s degree desired.
    • 5+ years experience in protected agriculture, with a strong emphasis in precision horticulture
    • Experience in executing R&D experiments, collecting and entering data desired.
    • Ability to work with databases, enter data and create reports desired.
    • Entrepreneurial spirit — someone who can simultaneously think big, but also grounded in the immediate, practical, get-stuff-done mindset of a startup.
    • Ability to be on call outside of standard work hours
    • Proven ability to work collaboratively in a dynamic team environment.
    • Effective interpersonal relations, exceptional communicator and ability to rapidly adapt and respond to changing priorities.

Desired Specialized Skills

    • Experience growing vegetable or fruiting crops in controlled environments.
    • Familiarity with environmental optimization in controlled environment systems
    • Experience working in a research environment.

Traits We Value

    • Appreciation for transforming health and the future of food
    • Smart, not arrogant
    • Humble and hardworking
    • Entrepreneurial, not risk averse
    • Kind and genuine
    • Grit and lots of it

Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Competitive medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401k and FSA plans
  • Cell phone bill reimbursement
  • Flexible PTO, vacation days and paid holidays
  • Paid parental leave

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Sensei Ag

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Sensei Ag

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