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jobs description

Do you want to contribute to creating a more sustainable society? Would you like to be part of an inspiring team that supports the development of excellent and impactful research projects together with our key stakeholders?

The Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Biotech programme area is looking for a Senior Scientific Manager with a background in plant science, agriculture, or a related academic discipline specialized within plant breeding, crop improvement, or adjacent fields. The candidate should preferably have experience with translation of fundamental research findings, and establishment of partnerships or collaborative consortia across sectors.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) is a philanthropic organisation with the overall vision of benefitting the health of people and the planet. A central part of NNF's strategy is to support the green transition of society, particularly focussing on the agri-food system and climate change mitigation technologies. Agriculture is faced with... numerous interlinked challenges including climate change and decreasing soil health. Simultaneously, agricultural production must lower environmental footprints while maintaining high productivity. To this end, bridging fundamental plant science discoveries and plant breeding to deliver improved varieties to farmers constitutes an important lever for securing food production and cropping system resilience.

Biotech is a strategic programme area in the NNF with the aim of advancing research and technology within biotechnology, agriculture, and food sciences. Our aspiration is to promote the development of a more sustainable world by supporting advancements that benefits people and the sustainability of society. This includes supporting activities enabling food systems transformation to provide healthy food for all and improve sustainability.

The Job

As Senior Scientific Manager you will, in collaboration with colleagues, develop and manage a variety of research initiatives in close dialog with key stakeholders from academia, industry, and public- and private institutions. You will also support and provide expertise to adjacent areas within Biotech and NNF more broadly, e.g., within cropping systems, agricultural value chains, and crop nutritional quality in relation to plant-based food.

You will be responsible for building and managing a portfolio of projects related to crop improvement, and potentially other areas, and will support grant holders during the entire project lifetimes to ensure high quality outputs and impact. In this role, you will contribute to setting the strategic direction of the NNF's portfolio of projects within agriculture.

Your tasks will include to:
• Lead development of strategic initiatives related to plant science and crop improvement.
• Identify gaps and opportunities for research and innovation that have significant impact potential and translate these into research projects or initiatives.
• Manage and interact with internal as well as external stakeholders from academia, industry, government, international research institutions, and NGO’s regarding development of projects.
• Prepare and write internal presentations and/or documents, such as position papers, and recommendations to NNF Project Portfolio Board and Board of Directors.
• Maintain a high level of domain knowledge within plant science, crop improvement and related areas of relevance.
• Establish partnerships, build national and international networks, and support communities within the Ag-Food research and innovation ecosystem with a special focus on crop improvement.
• Manage projects, including day-to-day operations and implementation of initiatives.
• Support open competition programmes across the Foundation and of relevance to the agriculture.

The Biotech area currently consists of 17 highly qualified and passionate colleagues working in teams. The Senior Scientific Manager will become member of the Agriculture team and will report to the team leader. As a team, we strive for the highest quality in our work and give each other feedback in a trust-based working environment. We value creativity, common inspiration, teamwork, and a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.

To be a good fit for this job, you must thrive working with project management activities across projects and organisations in collaboration with colleagues and external stakeholders.

We imagine that you hold a PhD degree within plant science, agriculture, or another academic discipline of relevance to crop improvement and/or adjacent fields. You have a minimum 10 years of relevant work experience in academia and/or the industry, alternatively from a private or public institution. Ideally you have experience with bridging the gap from scientific discovery towards pre-breeding and/or development of cultivars for farmers, either in a commercial or non-profit setting (e.g. international research centres, academia, or public breeding programs).

Furthermore, you ideally possess most of the below qualifications:
• Strong scientific insights into technical and scientific aspects relevant for plant breeding, e.g., genomics, high-throughput phenotyping, data science, breeding techniques, genome-editing.
• Global network within academia, industry, or public- and private organisations of relevance to plant breeding and sustainable agriculture.
• Proficient project management skills and ability to manage several complex projects simultaneously.
• Familiarity with scientific and research issues pertinent to crop breeding in various geographical locations, including adoption and scaling of new varieties, value chains, and drivers of introducing traits into crops to promote sustainability and resilience.
• Experience in establishing larger consortia across sectors, disciplines, and societal actors.
• Experience from an international environment.
• Understanding of the national academic community including the research and innovation ecosystem.
• Fluency in written and spoken English.

Personal Qualifications

We are looking for a Senior Scientific Manager with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain good relations and partnerships. The candidate should be a team-player, while also being comfortable working independently and making decisions on issues related to administration of grants, projects, and communication. Beyond this, we are looking for a Senior Scientific Manager who is:
• Professional, quality-conscious, and impact-oriented
• Proactive with an innovative mindset
• Curiosity-driven and inventive
• Visionary and goal-oriented

Application and Information

For more information, please contact Senior Scientific Lead, Agriculture, Thomas de Bang on email tdb@novo.dk. We encourage you to upload your application as soon as possible and no later than 7 July 2024. Interviews will be held during August (weeks 33 and 34) and expected start date is 1 October 2024.

To apply, please upload your CV, cover letter, and University transcripts by clicking on the “Apply” button.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Novo Nordisk Foundation dates back to 1922 and is an independent Danish foundation with corporate interests. Our vision is to contribute significantly to research and development that improves the lives of people and the sustainability of society.

Since 2010, the Foundation has donated more than DKK 30 billion primarily for research at public institutions and hospitals in Denmark and the other Nordic Countries. The Foundation gets its income from ownership of the Novo Group companies and more than 130 other life science companies.

In the coming years, the Foundation will broaden its scope and increase its grants for scientific, humanitarian and social purposes. As a consequence, we are a growing organisation, which means new job openings and exciting opportunities for employees to be a part of forming the future of the Foundation
Hellerup Denmark


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