Job Title: Senior Field Research Specialist

Reporting to: Lead, Technical Development - Berries

Location: Watsonville, California


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 late 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.


About This Role:

We are hiring an experienced Senior Field Research Specialist to lead the organization and execution of the field research program resulting in product commercialization. The Senior Field Research Specialist will help set research priorities and then ensure the proper planning, design and execution of berry field trials along Coastal California, as well as Florida and Latin America in order to deliver high-quality data. 


You will be a key player in the advancement of products from R&D to Commercial. The role requires an advanced understanding of field evaluation and optimization activities, agronomy, and cropping systems. Many of the crop-specific aspects of the role will be learned on the job, therefore a key requirement will be a desire to be in the field up to 75% of the time, a demonstrated eagerness to learn and attention to detail. In addition to planning trials, a significant amount of the time in the field will be spent on data collection.


Additionally, you will communicate with contract labor or 3rd party research organizations, internal stakeholders and growers; therefore, we require demonstrated strong soft skills of communication with diverse audiences to represent the Pairwise brand.  You must be a self-starter with the ability to work without direct supervision.


This role often requires significant travel between trial locations and long days as well as occasional weekends to meet the needs of the field research program. You must be agile to adapt to changing R&D requirements as well as field conditions. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated success in these areas, particularly in berries. Your contribution is critical to help Pairwise meet its aggressive targets, while building a culture where science can be fun.


Essential Functions:

·       Identify, design, establish and manage the research projects aligned with commercialization priorities across berries.

·       Lead, coordinate, organize, and participate in the day-to-day execution of field research.

·       Evaluate field conditions daily to ensure optimal growing conditions and product quality.

·       Collect, organize, input and analyze high quality field and fruit quality/post-harvest data. 

·       Report key results in research reports, cultivar management guides and presentations.

·       Clearly communicate progress and develop cross-functional partnerships with Pairwise R&D, Commercial, Regulatory, Product Development teams and external service providers.

·       Align contract staff and contracting companies with the execution needs of the program.

·       Track inventory and order research supplies for trials as needed. 

·       Frequent day trips to research trial locations in Watsonville/Salinas Valley and Arroyo Grande will be required. 

·       Up to 30% overnight travel to growing regions around California, North Carolina, Florida and Latin America although the needs will vary greatly throughout the year.     

·       Flexibility with daily start and finish times as well as availability for occasional weekend work.

Required Education & Experience:

·       MSc degree in biology, plant science, botany, agronomy, horticulture, or other relevant biological discipline and 2-7 years research experience, or bachelor's with equivalent experience.

·       Must have experience developing research protocols and experimental design, R&D field evaluation and optimization of Ag products.

·       Ability to lead through influence and managing contract organizations.

·       Demonstrated ability to answer scientific questions and deliver commercial priorities.

·       Experience managing large data sets including organizing and curating data for statistical analysis.

·       Ability to speak Spanish preferred.

·       Experience in berries is preferred.

·       Passport or ability to get passport for international travel, required.



·       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 Pairwise 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.