Job Title: Research Associate

Reporting to: Manager, Controlled Environment

Location: Durham, North Carolina

About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven, food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Pairwise was founded in 2017 by scientists at Harvard University, MIT, and Broad Institute who are eminent in the field of gene editing, as well as biotechnology industry pioneers. Our team is tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. We are 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 stone fruit, with the first product expected in 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

About This Role:

Pairwise is hiring a motivated research associate to join the controlled environment team and achieve a broad set of scientific/commercial goals. We are looking for associates with bachelor or master’s level training and the ability to work independently and as part of the team. Your contribution is critical to help Pairwise meet aggressive targets and build a culture where science is fun. We are looking for someone who is passionate about horticulture and growing diverse plants from seeds until maturity. The role is a mixture of growth chamber, greenhouse, data collection, and documentation responsibilities. The successful team member will learn new skills and help the group out where needed. Flexibility and attention to detail are critical for success in this role.

Essential Functions:

• Plant, maintain, and harvest physical plant inventory for the company’s projects. Activities involved are: o Seed preparation, priming, and sowing.

o Plantlet transplanting, sampling, acclimation, and tracking.

o Plant handling, watering, growing, scouting, and harvesting.

o Workspace sanitation.

• Traceability of plant inventory during the growing cycle. This includes: 1) following pipeline advancement decisions and actively communicate status of the plants to internal stakeholders; and 2) adding proper pipeline information to the database.

• Work closely with staff scientists to develop experimental strategy for targeted areas and bring those plans to life. Collect data from experiments when applicable.

• Utilize electronic tools to drive efficiencies in data collection and plant monitoring.

• Develop your skill sets and bring new techniques and methodologies into the Pairwise research sphere.

• Collaborate across multifunctional teams/crops to find new insights and implement continuous improvements.

• Coordinate and manage workload to accomplish daily tasks (individual and/or team).

• Must be able to lift 35 pounds.

• Capable of working in high temperature conditions in greenhouses.

Job Requirements:

• Bachelor or master’s degree in a relevant field, such as horticulture, plant science, agronomy, biology, botany, ecology, or any biological discipline requiring plant husbandry skills.

• Previous greenhouse work experience. This includes work with greenhouse control systems (Argus), fertigation systems, and pest management. Demonstrated horticultural skills in a professional setting or research in faculty labs is required.

• Knowledge and experience keeping accurate scientific records via LIMs and laboratory notebooks.

• Experience and knowledge in laboratory safety or greenhouse safety practices, including use of PPE, SDSs, and proper handling and disposal of laboratory waste.

• Ability to work collaboratively in a large research setting.

• Ability to work independently on individual experiments.


• Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!

• Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays.

• Casual work environment.

• Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies.

• A cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition.

EEO Statement:

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.