Research Associate (Vertical Farming)
The Leaf Lab
The Leaf Lab, located just outside of Cambridge, is the home of our innovative R&D activities. At the Leaf Lab, we are on a mission to constantly improve how we grow plants for existing customers alongside identifying new varieties that solve genuine customer problems. We look at all elements of the production process, from plant genetics to how we handle our products after they have been packed. We make sure we’re giving our customers the best possible products with the lowest environmental impact.
The Leaf Lab team has the following values:
Explore: Finding the world’s best plants
We believe that the world's best plants hold the key to unlocking a sustainable and vibrant future. We want to find the best way to grow plants that solve real-world problems, improve lives and protect our planet.
Innovate: Leading the world in plant science
At the forefront of plant science, our team is dedicated to developing innovative solutions that harness the power of the world's most exceptional plants. Join us as we find innovative and creative ways to lead the way in sustainable agriculture, creating a brighter future for our planet and its inhabitants.
Collaborate: Changing the world through teamwork
To go fast you go alone, to go far you go together. We believe that to do great things you need to work with great people and that at the core of that is great teamwork. We value the ability to work independently but not at the expense of being a team player.
Create: Bringing to life the future of growing
We are committed to delivering innovative solutions. We take ground-breaking ideas and turn them into real-world solutions, revolutionizing the future of growing.
We are looking for an ALL-ROUND superstar with a passion for growing plants and making a difference. We’re looking for people to join the Leaf Lab who want to be part of a team that is committed to delivering world-class innovative research and development. This is a high ambiguity, high-change environment, where good judgement, flexibility and open communication are key. We know that with our collective efforts, we can solve complex problems, and shape the future of crop production. If you're ready to take on the challenge and work towards growing the best plants better, then we want you on our team!
On a given day, you will be involved in the ongoing R&D at the Leaf Lab, participating in everything from trial preparation, growing of crops, maintenance of equipment, data collection and analysis, and liaising with external partners. You have exceptional enthusiasm and attention to detail, can switch between multiple tasks quickly and deal with challenges calmly and efficiently. You love to push yourself intellectually and professionally to solve new problems and learn new things to help the team deliver on our mission to grow the world's best plants and make a difference in the world! Sometimes this can be challenging but know that you will be part of a team that believes in you and your abilities and will do what they can to support you.
This role reports to our Lab Team Lead and is based at the Leaf Lab, just outside of Cambridge, UK. This is a 5-day working week. It may include working weekends or parts thereof, but this is to be shared equally amongst the team. You will need to have the flexibility to work these when required.
Your areas of knowledge and expertise that matter most for this role:
- Background knowledge in plant science e.g., master’s degree onwards or equivalent to 3 years plus commercial horticultural research
- Professional experience in plant research or commercial science
- Independent and solution focused
- Adaptable and agile in a changing environment.
- Interest or experience in:
- Sensor development
- Computer vision and image analysis
- Plant microbiology
- Plant breeding and plant genetics
- Nutrient analysis and antioxidant assays
All the responsibilities we will trust you with:
- Assisting with general upkeep, calibration, and maintenance of the growing and research equipment, including hydroponic irrigation systems, sensors, and other specialist equipment.
- Trail implementation including trial setup, in-trial data collection including monitoring of nutrient dynamics, environmental conditions, plant health and agronomic performance, post-harvest plant analysis including organoleptic assessments, antioxidant assays and shelf-life studies.
- Working with the team to contribute to the ongoing improvement of our processes and procedures to make sure we can do our job safely and effectively.
Working in our Leaf Lab involves manual handling and working with chemicals. As you can imagine, you will need to adhere to all health and safety and food safety protocols and contribute towards our good safety culture at each of our sites as this is a core part of the role.
What’s in it for you?
- Be part of a great business – you will be in one of the fastest growing and most exciting businesses in the vertical farming industry.
- Recognised as one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023.
- Be part of a great team – you will work with and learn from a friendly, smart, growing, and passionate team who care about each other and the business.
- Grow yourself – a chance to develop yourself and make the role your own as the business and team builds, broadening your knowledge and capabilities to push you to the next level.
- Share our passion for driving change for good – sustainable production is at the heart of what we do and we’re on the journey to B Corp certification.
- Competitive base salary
- Annual bonus based on company, team and personal performance.
- Employee incentivisation scheme.
- 25 days holiday.
- Income Protection
- Employee Health Scheme provided by Vitality at Work.
- Enhanced maternity and paternity leave.
- Pension (5% employer contribution)
- Employee benefits programme with Bravo Benefits.
- Cycle to Work Scheme