Job Title: Research Associate, Post-Harvest Processing

Reporting to: Lead, Post-Harvest Physiology

Location: Salinas area, CA, USA

About Pairwise:

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 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 looking to hire a capable specialist to oversee the leafy greens post-harvest processing activities, and in time, other post-harvest activities. The role would be part of the Post Harvest Physiology group, which plays a critical and time-sensitive role in the Pairwise product development process, specifically towards the optimization of shelf life and packaging. Within this team, the Post-Harvest Processing specialist is responsible for:

• Understanding and helping optimize the logistics required for successful execution of post-harvest processes in support of shelf-life optimization.

• Coordinating, ensuring seamless execution, evaluation and communication of all post-harvest processing activities achieved through contracted partners.

• Promote alignment of internal Pairwise stakeholders contributing to or dependent upon the post-harvest processing work and its outcomes.

• Effective coordination of data analysis for timely and data-driven decision-making in support of product development for R&D, and product launch for the Commercial organization.

The job requires a strong ability to execute through influence, prioritize, organize, and make daily operational decisions in a fast-moving environment. Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated track record of success in these areas. Your contribution will be critical to helping Pairwise meet its aggressive targets, while building a culture where science can be fun.

Essential Functions:

  • Medium and short-term planning and coordination and logistics of harvest and post-harvest activities with the Technology Development group.
  • Close interaction with, and management of, the day-to-day logistics and execution of activities through the contracted partner company to ensure on-time and on-spec delivery of data.
  • Leading and coordinating data analysis for effective and timely decision-making throughout the Pairwise organization.
  • The evaluation and codification of harvest and post-harvest process, including harvesting itself, shipping and cold chain, cleaning, processing, and packaging of leafy green products for R&D.
  • Key contributor in the improvement of harvest and post-harvest processes with the goal of optimizing product shelf life.

Required Education & Experience:

• 3+ years of experience in coordinating and executing Ag R&D operations

• Bachelor’s degree required in biology, plant science, botany, agronomy, horticulture, evolution, ecology, or other relevant agricultural or biological discipline. Masters would be preferred.

• Previous experience and an understanding of the technical requirements of leafy green production or processing is preferred

• Demonstrated experience of executing through influence and working with contract organizations

• Track record of clear communication to stakeholders

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle or feel, and techniques that require fine motor skills and repetitive motions. The employee is occasionally required to walk and function in uneven farm fields, outdoors in the sun, and in processing plant environments. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. The employee is regularly required to talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.


• 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.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Tegus we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

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