Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stonefruit, with the first product expected in early 2022. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.


As the Lead of Food Science within Pairwise, you will be responsible to drive overall strategy of food science innovation within the organization. As part of the product discovery team, you will lead development of sensory studies for products and drive understanding and focus on consumer preference within the R&D program. As a key responsibility, you will work cross-functionally in our matrixed environment to understand food trends and work with the R&D teams to target our product development. Your unique understanding of consumer preference will make you a strong partner with our marketing team. Finally, your understanding of food related quality metrics will make you a key partner for our quality and regulatory group.


Summary of Job Responsibilities:

  • Design, coordinate, conduct, analyze and interpret sensory studies internally and with outside partners.
  • Support initiatives to enhance capabilities and efficiencies of the sensory function within R&D and the broader organization.
  • Evaluate and apply new and existing sensory and consumer research methods to provide custom solutions to specific product development concerns.
  • Lead research by collaborating with cross-functional teams within R&D, Supply Chain, Commercial, Marketing, Regulatory and Finance.
  • Partner with cross-functional teams to develop accurate and detailed cost projections/analysis for new products.
  • Partner with Pairwise QA and QC to ensure food safety programs and systems are properly designed, effectively managed and comply with all labelling and safety regulations.
  • Work with Supply Chain and Manufacturing teams to ensure new product recipes and formulations can be efficiently scaled up to manufacturing processes and quality requirements.
  • Perform manufacturing process benchmarking analysis.
  • Perform scale-up trials for further development of formulas, preparation instructions, quality standards, physical analytic standards, yields, and time studies.
  • Oversee new product launch management, process optimization and project management.


Job Requirements:

  • Must have a Master’s degree in Food Science, PhD is preferred.
  • Mastery in sensory and consumer tools and techniques including preference mapping, drivers of liking, focus groups and 1-on-1 interviews.
  • Strong applied statistics knowledge and experience (multivariate statistics, DoE, statistical modeling).
  • Demonstrated experience in product life cycle management and stage gate processes.
  • Project Management.
  • Experience in processing, scale-up and manufacturing in the food industry, preferably with fresh produce.
  • Experience with product labelling and designing graphic layout and packaging material will be a plus.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading a team and performance management.