About the position

This Senior Scientist/Research Manager position is an exciting position in an innovative agricultural biotechnology (AgBio) company. AgriViro is committed to providing farmers with yield-enhancing biological products that exceed their expectations while avoiding the environmental harm caused by other products. AgriViro is seeking a dynamic, energetic, motivated individual that can make a significant contribution to our biological product R&D. This position may be ideal for you if you are highly skilled and passionate about innovative AgBio and sustainable agriculture. The Senior Scientist/Research Manager is a vital member of the R&D team that develops cutting-edge microbial biopesticides.

Job Responsibilities

In the context of AgriViro’s biopesticide and biological product R&D:

  • Develop, execute and manage sophisticated research projects. With limited guidance from senior team members, formulate hypotheses, design and conduct impactful experiments, generate reproducible data, interpret and analyse results, and modify hypotheses as needed.
  • Manage product development from exploration to proof-of-concept to process scale-up.
  • Maintain excellent records of experimental results.
  • Analyse research data using powerful analytical methods that enable clear decision making.
  • Write and present research reports.
  • Improve laboratory and plant processes and procedures.
  • Comply with laboratory safety procedures and OHS&E policies.
  • Work and collaborate with other members of the R&D team and other functions across the company.
  • Manage and coordinate R&D (especially important responsibility for the Research Manager post).
  • Perform administrative and routine functions associated with R&D.
  • Interact with external companies and service providers as required.
  • Keep abreast of new discoveries and technologies in biopesticide and biological product R&D.
  • Manage and provide guidance to junior researchers and technicians and mentor their professional development.

Qualifications, skills, expertise and attributes

We are keen to hear from you if you possess some or most of the following:

  • Qualifications:
    • PhD in biotechnology, microbiology, pharmacology, entomology or a related field, or
    • MSc in biotechnology, microbiology, pharmacology, entomology or a related field and at least 3 years’ work experience in an R&D environment (ideally a commercial environment), or
    • BSc (Hons) in biotechnology, microbiology, pharmacology, entomology or a related field and at least 5 years’ work experience in an R&D environment (ideally a commercial environment).
  • The ideal candidate would have experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas:
    • Formulation sciences (preferably skilled in the conception and development of formulations for agricultural or microbial products).
    • R&D of microbial or biological products.
    • Insect pathogens, bioassays and biopesticides.
    • Microbial liquid fermentation, including downstream processing and operation of pilot-scale equipment.
    • Molecular biology.
  • Proven ability to develop, execute and manage sophisticated research projects.
  • Strong analytical skills and ideally a good working knowledge of core statistical methods.
  • Proven ability to work independently and develop solutions independently, but also be a good team player.
  • Excellent planning and time management skills.
  • Well-developed presentation, communication and inter-personal skills.
  • Excellent computer skills and the ability to write highly-technical reports, but also succinctly synthesise and summarise research results.
  • Proven experience in laboratory and/or research management and associated administrative duties.
  • A passion for laboratory-based, wet-lab research and the generation of empirical data.
  • Proven experience in managing, mentoring and providing guidance to other researchers or technicians.
  • The desire and drive to go the extra mile to seek creative solutions and achieve desired outcomes.
  • Energetic, inquisitive, committed, adaptable, and have a positive attitude.

Appointment and Work Environment

The successful candidate may be appointed at the level of Senior Scientist or Research Manager depending on qualifications and previous work experience. The appointee will be based in the Johannesburg/Sandton area; however, depending on the areas of expertise and company requirements, the appointee may be based in the Cape Town/Stellenbosch area. Travel should be minimal and is expected to account for less than 5% of the job. The work for this position is mainly conducted in a laboratory/plant and office environment. A market-related salary will be offered and there may be an opportunity to participate in an employee share scheme. This position has the potential for career development and more significant responsibilities aligned with the long-term strategic growth of the company.

How to Apply

Submit your CV and cover letter to careers@agriviro.com; use “Senior Scientist/Research Manager” in the email subject area. Only candidates that meet the desired requirements need apply. Correspondence will be entered into with shortlisted candidates only. If you have not heard from us within 3 weeks of the closing date, you may assume your application was unsuccessful. AgriViro reserves the right to not make an appointment if a suitable candidate is not found. Shortlisted applicants must be available for an in-person or online interview.

Applications close on 19 June 2023.