Research Associate, Chemistry

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0002366
  • Experience Years: 0-3 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Research Associate (RA) will facilitate analytical chemistry techniques within Driscoll's Chemistry department to address fruit quality and flavor attributes for plant breeding, molecular genetics, sensory, and postharvest groups. Primarily, this role will work within a small creative team to develop and perform metabolite phenotyping experiments for all Driscoll's berry crops, while ensuring a steady flow of key operation metrics and results. The RA will be responsible for an analytical chemistry platform used to profile fruit metabolites associated with fruit quality and flavor. Likewise, this role will assist in the completion of complex projects involving cross-functional teams through discovery and application methods, workflow optimization, and informatic techniques. This is an exciting research opportunity to explore the genetic potential and diversity of flavor in the development of superior Driscoll's berry varieties.


  • Develop, perform, and optimize extraction techniques for fruit metabolite profiling in Driscoll's four berry crops.
  • Operate and maintain analytical instrumentation such as GC-MS.
  • Interpret, quantitate, and report on chromatography and mass spectrometry data using statistical, data visualization techniques.
  • Maintain, organize, and manage a high volume of sample capacity and data output.
  • Keep a stocked, clean, and orderly laboratory to promote safety and productivity.
    Support and promote safety through the guidance of the chemical hygiene and safety team.
  • Establish working relationships with sensory analysts, molecular geneticists, plant breeders, and postharvest biologists within Driscoll's to deliver the analyses and key results needed.
  • Draft reports and presentations that document established experimental procedures and results.
  • Establish collaborative relationships with other researchers in the field through attendance at workshops, conferences, and symposia.
  • Keep an up-to-date digital lab notebook and contribute to SOP development/upkeep.
  • Follow company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical, business-like manner in all interactions with employees, governmental agencies, growers, customers, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree in analytical chemistry, plant biochemistry, food science, or related field required. Master’s degree in related field preferred.
  • Two years minimum experience in operating, maintaining, and analyzing data from GC-MS.
  • Prior knowledge of analytical workflows, instrument methods, and data analysis nice to see; sample preparation for headspace and/or liquid phase analysis is desired.
  • Flavor/fragrance, metabolism, or biochemistry research knowledge is desired.
  • Experience with high-throughput analytical chemistry and data management is desired but not required.
  • Excellent communication skills; including written, verbal, and presentation skills are required.
  • Individual must demonstrate the ability to successfully work in a cross-functional team environment and develop a strong trust within all working relationships.
  • Individual must be organized, proactive, and self-motivated.
  • A valid driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
  • Some domestic and international travel may be required.

About Driscolls

Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.

Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.

Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.

Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.