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RA II - Food Science-ROC00048 - Maryland


SBU/Central Function into which the role reports: Mars Botanical

Position Title: Research Assistant II - Food Applications

Reports To: Research Manager Food Applications  

Date of Job Evaluation:


Purpose of Role:

The Research Assistant II (Food) position is an integral part of the laboratory support team, and is accountable for delivering against the project objectives set for the Food Applications group within Mars Botanical. It is expected that the position supports the product development efforts and some of the science-driven activities through the design, execution and interpretation of experiments.


The position requires a positive, 'can-do' attitude and strong technical skills. He/she must have experience handling multiple tasks while maintaining composure under pressure as well as to be able to communicate effectively. He/she should also be proactive in developing and/or validating food characterization techniques in support of research and product development projects.


Principal Accountabilities

         This position will be responsible for development of a wide range of food systems for the delivery of active compounds. He/she will work in partnership within a multidisciplinary team that aims to develop and/or adapt methods for the quantitative analysis of such compounds in a variety of food matrices. The associate will work in a hypothesis-driven mode, that is, with a clear definition of objectives, testing protocols and expectation(s) of the outcomes. The associate will be capable of writing SOP's, preparing reports and/or presentations and to effectively communicate results.  

         The associate is expected to work on problems of moderate scope and technical difficulty where analysis of situation or data requires review of identifiable factors related to ordinary laboratory experiments. The associate may be responsible for leading and coordinating the testing with other groups where appropriate.

         Maintain accurate, complete logs/records of experiments and samples in the standard lab notebook.

         Execute project plans in accordance with project timelines agreed with the research management team.

         Possesses the ability to troubleshoot problems independently. Develops a logical approach to identify and understand problems.

         Keep abreast with developing technologies by engaging in disciplined and constant survey of the literature and by, when appropriate, attend meetings, industry conferences and training classes.

         Ensure proper safety practices are followed in all testing and experiments as well as comply fully with all applicable directives regarding health, safety and environmental policies.


Mission Critical Competencies:

         Action oriented: enjoys working hard, not fearful of acting with minimum planning

         Listening: accurate in restating the case of others

         Boss relationships: not tense in boss's presence, easy to challenge and develop

         Organized: arranges information and files in a useful manner, can orchestrate multiple activities at once to accomplish a goal

         Dealing with ambiguity: can effectively cope with change, isn't upset when things are up in the air

         Composure: can be counted on hold things together during tough times, can handle stress

         Creativity: comes up with new and unique solutions to problems



Key Functional Skills/Knowledge

         The incumbent will have a solid foundation in food chemistry and a working knowledge in food processing operations (e.g. emulsification, spray drying, powder agglomeration, pasteurization, sterilization, etc.). Strong background in flavonoids is considered a plus.

         From an instrumental point of view the incumbent must dominate at least two of the following techniques: rheology (large and small deformation), DSC, light scattering, HPLC, electrophoresis.

         Must be comfortable using standard computer software (e.g. MS Office) as well as specialized one (e.g. Origin, MathLab) as to analyze data wherever appropriate.

         Must have excellent oral/written communication skills as well as strong technical, analytical and problem solving skills.

         Strong interpersonal communication skills as the incumbent should be able to work cooperatively and effectively with others.

         Develops project timelines, creates technical proposals and reports and makes recommendations.

         Proactively seeks technical development with an emphasis on learning procedures, techniques, and instrumentation.  Works to understand the theoretical and scientific principles relevant to his/her project(s).


Key Experiences

         Experience in food applications a plus, some analytical would be good, food chemistry must be strong


Desired Education

         BSc in Food Science and MSc in Chemistry or related fields. MSc degree is a must.


Decision Making Authority, Recommendations and Impact

         Practices are guided by policies and procedures of Mars Symbioscience, Mars Incorporated, Federal and State regulations.


         The associate interacts closely with the supervisor.  Tasks are carried out as per protocol and typically works on multiple tasks or works with little guidance on the development of new analytical techniques.



Domestic travel and occasional international travel may be required for training and off-site experimentation. Travel is expected to stay within 10% (i.e. maximum 5 weeks/year).


People Management Responsibility (per org charts)



 Research and Development

Primary Location



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