Job Title: Intern, Food Science & Product Development

Reporting to: Scientist, Food Science

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:

We are seeking passionate, engaging, ready-to-learn interns to join us for Summer 2023. We are looking for interns with majors in: Food science, chemistry, nutrition or other relevant discipline. Pairwise offers the opportunity of getting to work with industry leading scientists and professionals in a cutting edge, industry changing, food+tech company. Our interns will be integrated with our teams here at Pairwise to allow for hands on learning in a fast-paced start-up environment. Interns will also have season long cap-stone projects that will add real value and help the team resolve real-world challenges they are currently facing. We like to have fun at Pairwise, so the summer won’t be all work and no play! Pairwise interns will not only have “Intern Only” meeting sessions to talk about their experience and share thoughts and feedback with each other, but will also have events to help with career and educational planning, and team building trips to share in the fun of summer in North Carolina.

Food Science Intern:

This position will be part of the Food Science team responsible for evaluating, characterizing and developing consumer facing food products utilizing our novel salad greens and berries. The Food Science Intern will conduct research and analyze data to increase understanding of the sensorial attributes of our materials, prototypes, and finished products. You will take part in product development by preparing benchtop samples, conducting sensory testing, coordinating lab and kitchen equipment usage, and cleaning up. We are looking forward to having you joining our exciting journey and having an impact on us venturing into the fresh produce space. You will work with the Lead of Food Science and be part of the ongoing effort towards understanding the food industry trends and seeking business opportunities. There will be active collaboration with commercial and marketing teams to incorporate consumer feedback on product experience and claims positioning.

Essential Functions/Responsibilities:

• Evaluates different types of food products as part of the day-to-day taste tests.

• Prepares samples including logistics arrangement for sensory testing, product development, tasting tours and other business needs.

• Provides accurate and timely summaries of experiments performed including data compilation, equipment settings, process parameters, recipe contents, etc.

• Communicates results or observations, making special notes of unexpected observations to stakeholders. Helps analyze data, prepares and shares reports to enable data-based decision making for food science and product development.

• Arranges logistics for processing pilot scale sample preparation.

• Maintains food science laboratory general housekeeping to ensure clean and safe work environment and handles supply inventory management for smooth operation in the food science laboratory.

• Ships and receives test materials including doing the inventory management.

• Follows standard operating procedures (SOP) for collecting and documenting data for sensory evaluations.

• Creates Excel templates for dilution calculations and create solutions for training or tasting.

• May help out with other projects and business needs.

Required Education & Experience:

• A student currently enrolled in a Bachelors, Masters or PhD program in one of the following disciplines:

o Food science, chemistry, nutrition or other relevant discipline.

• Knowledge/experience of sensory testing, data collecting and statistical analysis, basic laboratory instruments and procedures.

• Knowledge/experience of handling fresh produce while understanding and complying with GMP’s, food safety, quality, and legality.

• Knowledge of common food processes (fresh produce is a plus), food ingredient functionality and ingredient interactions.

• Basic wet bench chemistry skills – measuring, dissolving, and making dilutions. Previous lab work experience is preferred.

• Good sense of basic smell and taste.

• Solid problem-solving skills, attention to detail, high degree or organization, and curiosity.

• High level of autonomy, be able to work with minimal supervision. Ability to work independently on individual experiments and projects.

• Proactive, self-starter with a willingness to pitch in and help.

• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and excellent follow-up.

• An ability to work in a fast paced, cross-functional team environment with a strong sense of urgency, ability to be agile, multi-task and manage priorities.

• Proficiency in typical computer applications such as the MS Office Suite, including Teams, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint.


• Paid internship experience in a field relevant to your studies!

• Real-world, industry work experience.

• 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.