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Freelance Scientist Job Available
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Freelance Scientist Job Available

Freelance Scientist Needed
for Plant-based Meat Industry Analysis

Engineer a New Paradigm in Food Production

Timeframe: up to 120 hours, to be completed by December 31, 2018

The Good Food Institute (GFI) is on the forefront of the movement to use food technology and markets to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, from climate change and global hunger to antibiotic efficacy and the exploitation of billions of animals annually. The work of GFI’s Science and Technology team is expanding the frontiers of plant-based and clean meat until they render factory farming obsolete.

How You Will Make a Difference

GFI’s Science and Technology team develops and promotes the science of plant-based and clean meat. As global experts in this sector, they work to ensure that a roadmap exists for plant-based and clean meat; that the best scientists are engaged in plant-based and clean meat R&D; and that significant funds are directed toward scientific endeavors to transform agriculture away from the industrial farming of animals. To provide key academic, nonprofit, and industry stakeholders with actionable information on where to focus research efforts related to plant-based meat, GFI’s Science and Technology team is conducting a comprehensive analysis of the plant-based meat industry. This work will culminate in white papers, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed articles.

Who We’re Looking For

We are seeking smart, thoughtful, and creative self-starters who want to push back against climate change, transform industrial animal agriculture, and develop healthy and humane foods that are accessible to everyone.

The plant-based meat industry analysis is segmented into three key technology areas:

  1. Crop characterization and optimization
    • The technologies and methods used to characterize crops for their suitability in providing ingredients for plant-based meats. These include agronomic, biological (genotype and phenotype data), nutritional (macronutrients, micronutrients), food science functionality (e.g. solubility, gelling), and protein structuring ability.
    • The technologies and methods, such as precision breeding and editing, to optimize the nutritional, functional, and structuring ability of various crops, while also considering how to make the agronomic characteristics (yield, drought and flood tolerance, disease resistance, etc.) as desirable as possible.
  2. Raw material optimization
    • Technologies and processes for fractionation and functionalization of raw materials. Fractionation methods include chemical isolation of raw materials (e.g. soaking, enzymatic separation, solvents) and mechanical methods to separate and isolate raw materials (e.g. decortication, milling, sieving). Functionalization methods include biological and chemical processes (e.g. fermentation, enzymatic hydrolyzation, germination, depigmentation) and mechanical methods to enhance raw material function (e.g. extrusion, couette cell, high hydrostatic pressure).
  3. End product composition and process optimization
    • This includes all the technologies and processes to bring together plant-based raw materials in the best way to create a plant-based meat with optimal taste, texture, mouthfeel, aroma, and other sensory attributes. Examples of this include optimizing flavor and functionality of the end product through unique ingredients (e.g. soy leghemoglobin), recapitulating the consumer experience of cooking through molecular analysis of animal meat, and improving taste and texture through fat encapsulation.

We are currently looking for a scientist with expertise in one or more of these areas to undertake an analysis of the current state of the industry and academic research, identify areas for future research and innovation to advance the science of plant-based meat, and compile these findings into a draft publication. The scientist must have:

  • A Ph.D. in a relevant scientific field, or the equivalent (e.g. a master’s degree plus at least three years of experience in R&D in a relevant industry).
  • Exceptional writing skills a plus.
  • Experience analyzing scientific literature and conducting literature reviews.
  • A proven track record in translating scientific information into formats for lay professionals.  
  • Functional understanding of the principles, methods, equipment, and techniques used in plant-based meat research, manufacturing, and the generation of raw materials for this industry.

A background in food science or experience working with plant-based meat, egg, or dairy companies is desired but not necessary.

Key Deliverables:

A summary of research findings and the current state of the industry. A summary of opportunities for research and innovation that would advance the plant-based meat industry. These summaries must be provided in a draft scientific publication format that includes references (See here for an example).

The final product will be a peer-reviewed article or white paper. Depending on their areas of expertise, contractors may be asked to participate in writing the final paper. All contractors will be given credit on this final publication.

Important: We are looking for a candidate who can complete this project by the end of 2018. Please do not apply if you do not have time in your schedule. We are under a deadline.

TO APPLY:

Please provide the following materials to Anastasia Orth, Team Expansion Leader (AnastasiaO@gfi.org), to be considered for this contract engagement. We will be reviewing applicants on a rolling basis, so apply early. Please put the words “Submission for Freelance Scientist - [First and Last Name]” in the subject line of your email. Attach materials to the email or share via link.

  • Cover letter.
  • Resume — be sure to detail your specific relevant research/writing work experience.
  • Pricing — we would prefer to structure this project as an hourly rate. Please provide your hourly rate
  • Answers to the following 3 questions:
    1. Please describe how your background has prepared you to analyze and summarize the published research in one or more of these plant-based meat technology areas:
      1. Crop characterization and optimization
      2. Raw material optimization
      3. End product composition and process optimization
    2. Please describe one key technical challenge preventing widespread adoption of plant-based meat.
    3. Provide a brief outline of a research project to investigate potential solutions to the challenge you described in question 2.
  • Feel free to include any additional material that you think we should see, e.g., any work product of which you’re particularly proud. Please provide a brief explanation of each file/link.