South San Francisco, United States

Posted on: 2022-05-16

Category: food

Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

Research Associate Plant Pathology

About the company:

Plenty is a new kind of farm for a new kind of world. We’re on a mission to bring healthy food to the world while protecting the environment. Our pesticide-free, non-GMO leafy greens taste fresh-picked from the garden because they were. We grow and deliver locally, cutting transportation miles and reducing emissions. Plenty’s indoor farms mean fresh produce is always in season.

We are a team of growers, plant scientists, engineers, artists, foodies and plant romantics working to improve the lives of plants, people, and the planet. We currently operate in South San Francisco, CA, and Laramie, WY. Our new Compton, CA site set to open in 2021 will be the world’s first, high-capacity indoor vertical farm.

Plenty believes food justice is social justice. Equal access to healthy, nutritious food is fundamental to a quality life. We build farms in communities that need better access to food and jobs. Plenty provides living-wage, year-round jobs along with flavorful, nutrient-rich food to the communities we serve. We use automation and robotics so machines do the backbreaking labor while people perform new kinds of skilled agricultural, science and high-tech jobs.

Now is the time to help Plenty achieve its mission to feed the world healthy food in a sustainable way. We are a start-up with expanding career growth opportunities.

We are actively seeking those who embody our core values: find a way, down to earth, & grow together. These values guide how we work together as teammates, approach innovation and engage with customers. Does this sound like you? Join the mission as we improve human and planetary health by increasing access to craveable fruits and vegetables.

About Plenty

Plenty is on a mission to make fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables more accessible to everyone.  Our cutting-edge indoor, vertical farms produce extraordinary yields using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need.  Nutrient-rich, mouth-watering and locally grown, our crops help people, communities and our planet to be healthier and more resilient.

The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do this.  We are a collaborative and innovative bunch.  We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously.  We’re down to Earth, we grow together, and we always find a way.  Most importantly, we’re here to improve the lives of plants, people and our planet.  

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Research Associate (RA) Plant Pathology to join our Plant Pathology team. The Plant Pathology team will examine plant disease diagnosis and support farm productions by contributing to various microbial related research projects. In this role, you will be responsible for the sample organization processing and examination of the plant disease diagnosis tests for leafy green and fruiting crops in our farms. You are also responsible for data collection and the test report.

What you'll do

  • Support and examine plant disease diagnosis with molecular biology tools
  • Communicate test results with key stakeholders on a timely basis
  • Support the research experiment plans and executions for microbial related research projects
  • Work closely with scientists, engineers, and farm operations to translate scientific findings into farm productions
  • Assist in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data
  • Assist establishment of lab protocol and SOPs for laboratory equipments and the test method
  • Maintain the laboratory inventory, related paperwork (MSDS/SDS and waste management record)
  • Follow all biosafety rules and regulations while working assignments in the laboratory

What you'll bring to the table

  • MS or BS in Plant Pathology, Microbiology, BioEngineering, Plant Biology, Molecular Biology, or related field
  • At least 1 year of full-time research experience in industrial or academic setting
  • Experience in plant disease diagnosis, including working with fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens
  • Experience in molecular biology techniques; gDNA extraction, RNA extraction, protein extraction, PCR, qRT-PCR, and ELISA 
  • Comfortable to work in basic laboratory environment and use scientific equipment
  • Ability to work computer software such as Microsoft Office and Google Drives
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work with cross functional teams
  • Passionate for growing healthy plants

Type of role


What we can offer 

  • Compensation: we’ll pay you a competitive salary on a biweekly basis, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K 
  • Health & well-being: we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters 
  • Food: in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together: learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment: we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off: we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave: 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition  

Food safety requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All employees must show proof of COVID vaccination before starting work, other than in limited circumstances where the law requires an exception
  • Comply with GMP/GAPS in the Facility
  • Conduct monitoring activities to assure finished products comply with food safety and quality specifications
  • Assist in the maintenance of Food Safety and Quality system