Senior Research Associate – Controlled Environments

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Job Description


At Corteva Agriscience, you will help us grow what’s next. No matter what your role, you will be part of a team that is building the future of agriculture – solving the world’s food problems through innovation, technology, and putting people and environment first.

Corteva Agriscience is seeking a responsible and highly motivated Senior Research Associate to join the Controlled Environments team at our Johnston, Iowa research facility. We offer all the benefits that a Fortune 500 company has to offer while also providing a community feel. The inclusive, motivated team in Johnston offers a safe and innovative work environment that allows for personal and professional growth.

We are looking for candidates who take initiative, love to learn and work hard.

Responsibilities – What You Will Do:

  • Follow all safety procedures and ergonomic best practices while also ensuring the compliance of fellow team members
  • Biotechnology Event Creation Pipeline Team member (40% of role)
    • Represent Controlled Environments in the Biotechnology Event Creation Pipeline Team by having a deep understanding of greenhouse processes, pipelines, and capacities
    • Collaborate with cross-functional teams on timelines and experiment needs
    • Communicate project changes and updates with team members and collaborators to meet pipeline and project needs
    • Participate in weekly planning discussions regarding capacity of teams and labs
    • Utilize in-house developed software tools to forecast and plan greenhouse resources
  • Space allocation (30% of role)
    • Manage growth chamber and greenhouse space for a diverse and complex population of plant material and experiments within the Mendel facility
    • Collaborate with team members and research partners on project and experiment needs
    • Drive continued development of a space tracking system to enhance space management and utilization, enable forecasting capability, and track critical metrics
  • Strategic Initiative Projects (20% of role)
    • Lead and participate in process improvement and internal research projects
    • Analyze process metrics to suggest and implement improvements for continuous operational excellence
    • Develop automated reports and metric dashboards to create forecasting tools, resource usage and efficiency reports
  • Greenhouse tasks (10% of role)
    • Learn and maintain a knowledge of standard tasks such as plant care, harvesting, and tissue sampling
    • Support greenhouse tasks when necessary and as schedule permits


Requirements – Who You Are:

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in biology, genetics, plant science, agronomy, or related field and 5+ years of experience in a greenhouse or laboratory setting,

Or, Master’s degree in similar field with 2+ years relevant experience


  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills are required
  • Proven ability to work individually and as a member of a dynamic, diverse, and cross-functional team
  • Robust computer skills, including experience using MS Office products, and ability to learn internal data systems
  • Proficiency with data analytics desired. Knowledge of data visualization tools such as Spotfire or PowerBI preferred
  • Demonstrate ability to multi-task and manage competing priorities
  • Capacity to creatively solve problems, implement solutions, and foster a culture of continuous operational excellence
  • High-throughput experience in a laboratory or greenhouse setting desired. Knowledge of pipeline functions, such as controlled environments, transformation, vector construction, and/or analytical labs, preferred
  • Be self-motivated, proactive, and adaptable. A positive attitude is a must
  • Please note there is no relocation allowance or visa sponsorship available for this position.

We care about you and we care that you’re comfortable. While there’s no place like home, Corteva comes close.

Our Campus:
Our Johnston, Iowa campus is home to 2,500 employees whose mission is simple – to feed the world. While our employees are busy working to solve world hunger and ensure environmental sustainability, we’re taking care of them by offering convenience and comfort during the workday with an onsite fitness center, coffee shop and top-notch cafeteria touting a grill, deli, fresh salad bar and a variety of healthy menu options. Need some fresh air during your work day? Take advantage of our beautiful, tree-lined walking trails or relax by the pond. We also offer countless opportunities to connect with your colleagues through community volunteerism, sports teams and parties, and holiday events. Did we mention you’ll be working in state-of-the art buildings with the latest technology with colleagues from all over the world? Join us in bringing food into homes around the world, while we make you feel at home while you’re at work.

Our Community:
Des Moines, Iowa is the fastest-growing major metropolitan area in the Midwest with a nationally ranked high quality of living. It’s nicknamed the Silicon Prairie for its place as an up-and-coming hot spot for technology. Living here means Saturdays at the nationally renowned Downtown Farmers’ Market, sporting events, a robust downtown night life and access to one of the most artistic medium sized cities. If you enjoy the outdoors, Des Moines offers beautiful nature trails for a casual walking, running or biking adventures.
It means going to a job you love and coming home to a community of friends and family. Communities care about their residents and residents care about their communities, making a difference for everyone who lives here. This is a place where culture flourishes and opportunities grow, where a work-life balance can be achieved, where education is unmatched, and award-winning arts and entertainment are right around the corner.


Benefits – How We’ll Support You:


  • Numerous development opportunities offered to build your skills
  • Be part of a company with a higher purpose and contribute to making the world a better place
  • Health benefits for you and your family on your first day of employment
  • Four weeks of paid time off and two weeks of well-being pay per year, plus paid holidays
  • Excellent parental leave which includes a minimum of 16 weeks for mother and father
  • Future planning with our competitive retirement savings plan and tuition reimbursement program
  • Learn more about our total rewards package here – Corteva Benefits
  • Check out life at Corteva!


Are you a good match? Apply today! We seek applicants from all backgrounds to ensure we get the best, most creative talent on our team.



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