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Lead Scientist, Fermentation 49 views

Engineer a new paradigm in food production

The Good Food Institute is a nonprofit think tank working to make the global food system better for the planet, people, and animals. Alongside scientists, businesses, and policymakers, GFI’s teams focus on making plant-based and cultivated meat delicious, affordable, and accessible. Powered by philanthropy, GFI is an international network of organizations advancing alternative proteins as an essential solution needed to meet the world’s climate, global health, food security, and biodiversity goals.

How You Will Make a Difference

In this role, you will have the opportunity to lead technical landscaping for proteins and ingredients derived from microbial fermentation, identify key challenges, and articulate solutions to accelerate the industry. Your analyses will help create a roadmap for improving the quality of alternative protein products and growing their market share. You will ensure that efforts and funding are allocated toward the highest-impact research areas to accelerate the adoption of fermentation-derived proteins and transform agriculture toward more sustainable systems. Working with key academic, nonprofit, and industry stakeholders, you will help fermentation-derived alternative protein products dominate the marketplace as quickly as possible. The Lead Scientist, Fermentation will be responsible for:

  • Managing a fermentation scientist on SciTech’s Technical Opportunities and Solutions subteam, who will serve as an additional subject matter expert in the same technical domain. There is the possibility of the team expanding in the future.
  • Leading technical analyses of the role of fermentation in alternative protein applications that culminate in white papers, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed articles.
  • Overseeing build out of explanatory materials for the fermentation sector to familiarize non-technical and early-stage technical stakeholders with the opportunities and needs within this alternative protein production pillar, such as curriculum materials, webpage explainers, and literature libraries.
  • Forecasting future bottlenecks that may inhibit the long-term growth of the alternative protein industry and proposing solutions to proactively alleviate these bottlenecks.
  • Identifying the key areas requiring the most focused research and building connections to motivate academic research that addresses these knowledge gaps.
  • Serving as lead technical support for externally contracted analyses of the fermentation sector.
  • Leading support efforts for the SciTech research funding team by engaging high-priority funders and government agencies to direct capital toward the highest-impact areas of alternative protein R&D, including serving as a grant proposal reviewer for internal and external funding opportunities.
  • Supporting a viable regulatory framework for fermentation-derived products in the U.S. and globally by collaborating across GFI departments and with industry stakeholders.
  • Providing subject matter expertise as a trusted consultant for researchers, companies, investors, foundations, and government agencies to guide external strategic decision-making surrounding fermentation technology and advance the alternative protein industry.
  • Serving as a trusted public-facing fermentation expert for the industry by speaking at conferences, seminars, and workshops.
  • Informing strategic decisions through insights derived from deep industry analysis and examining parallel models for accelerating emerging industries.
  • Building GFI’s capacity to serve as a knowledge hub for the industry and as a connector and force multiplier.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.

Who We’re Looking For 

The Lead Scientist, Fermentation must have:

  • A Ph.D. in a relevant scientific field and at least 2 years of industry experience.
  • Exceptional writing skills for technical and general audiences.
  • Adept public speaking skills.
  • Experience translating scientific information into formats for non-scientific professionals.
  • A functional understanding of the principles, methods, equipment, and techniques used in fermentation for alternative protein applications, with preferred familiarity with scale-up and commercial translation.
  • Familiarity with navigating the regulatory landscape for fermentation-derived products, especially in food and agriculture.
  • Experience managing others, with the ability to mentor and inspire team members.
  • Preferred: working exposure or formal training in techno-economic analyses, life cycle assessments, supply chain management, and science policy.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to nurturing this on your team and throughout GFI.
  • Comfort working remotely and in a rapidly growing and evolving organization.
  • Strong support for GFI’s philosophy and mission; demonstrated interest in plant based & other alt proteins, public health, environmentalism, climate change, animal protection, or hunger relief.
  • A commitment to GFI’s values: believe change is possible, do the most good we can, share knowledge freely, act on evidence, and invite everyone to the table.

We want the best people and we don’t want biases holding us back. We strongly encourage people of every race, color, orientation, age, gender, origin, and ability to apply. Because we value a diverse workplace, we prioritize an inclusive climate absent of discrimination and harassment during the application process and after you join the team.

Research indicates that men tend to apply for jobs when they meet just 60% of the criteria, while women and people from other marginalized groups only apply if they are a 100% match. If you are passionate about GFI’s mission and think you have what it takes to be successful in this role even if you don’t check all the boxes, please apply. We’d appreciate the opportunity to consider your application.

The Fine Print

  • Terms of employment: Full-time, exempt
  • Reports to: Simone Costa, Associate Director of Strategy & Innovation
  • Location: Remote; United States
  • Travel: Up to two weeks per year for company retreats; up to one additional trip per quarter for conferences or stakeholder meetings.
  • Benefits: Working from home, full medical coverage, optional dental and vision packages, a 401(k) plan with employer match, flexible holiday and vacation plans, opportunity for advancement, respectful managers, and supportive colleagues.
  • This is a U.S.-based position: In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.
  • COVID vaccination policyGFI requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be requested before the start of employment. GFI will consider requests for accommodations or exemptions from this policy on a case by case basis, in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Salary: $100,000-$110,000

Application Deadline: June 24, 2022


Decided not to apply? If after reviewing this job description, you have decided not to apply, please let us know why by completing this short survey:

Interested in working at the Good Food Institute? Join us for the Career Opportunities Webinar to learn more about our work and ask questions about specific job opportunities! See upcoming webinar dates and more information at

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  • Active Jobs 13 Jobs
  • Company Address 1380 Monroe St. NW #229 Washington DC 20010
  • City Washington DC
  • Location District of Columbia
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