Founded in 2015, Hazel Technologies Inc. is a USDA-funded company that develops new technologies to extend the quality and shelf life of fresh produce in the global supply chain. The Chicago-based early-stage agricultural technology company is on a mission to reduce food waste. Shippers, growers, and retailers are always looking for new ways to ship food further, enter new markets, extend the growing season, and have less food rejected at the retail level. Hazel Technologies’ products address these needs by adding significant and measurable value throughout our customer’s food supply chains.

Hazel Technologies is searching for a self-motivated and experienced scientist to lead personnel within the R&D group. This role will involve direct support and training of staff as well as mentorship of team members, personnel resource allocation, and daily oversight of the R&D team.


Position Description

The Director of R&D will report directly to the CTO. This position will be critical to the function of the R&D team. Responsible for productivity of the team, the Manager is tasked to support all research efforts and staff members within the group. The chemistry Manager will work collaboratively with departments across Hazel including product management and product development management to produce and enhance top quality products and bring them to market. A data driven and experimental, entrepreneurial mindset is key to this role and a successful candidate will bring a passion for research and scientific rigor.



  • Manage R&D team personnel.
  • Coordinate resources for cross-department projects.
  • Scientific leadership and mentorship.
  • Guide research staff in personal and professional development.
  • Scientific quality control. Ensure robust experiments and data are produced to further Hazel business goals.
  • With lab manager, promote a culture of safety and a productive work environment.
  • Manage incoming experimental requests, assign requests to appropriate team members, and support project timelines
  • Support team through hiring and mentorship of staff. Conduct bi-annual reviews with all team members, set bi-annual objectives, and monitor work product output through weekly check ins. Help staff prioritize work and assist in removal of barriers to project success.
  • Provide experimental design support and quality control of the scientific process. Review experimental plans to ensure efficient use of resources. Review experiment data and reports. Guide in data interpretation and presentation.
  • Be a subject matter experiment on Hazel products and systems. Be available to support a team consisting of agronomists, biologists, chemists, and engineers with questions about product mechanisms / use case, experimental methodology, and lab structure.
  • Work closely with Product Development, production, and Regulatory teams to support role out of new products. i.e. design internal and external trials, design quality methods, reformulate products to meet revenue and sustainability targets.
  • Oversee analytical chemistry and wet labs to ensure equipment and spaces are highly functional for research.
  • Manage team budget, including especially laboratory facilities and indirect cost budgets. Oversee identification of new capital equipment. Approve expenses for chemistry team members.
  • Support and continue to develop organized file structure within R&D team. Implement data storage updates across the team.



  • Five to eight years of professional management experience in chemistry in an industrial setting
  • PhD in chemistry or relevant discipline
  • Hands-on laboratory skills in a relevant discipline, including for example: wet lab techniques, analytical sample preparation, chemical synthesis, materials characterization, molecular biology, and chemical engineering methods.
  • Demonstrated excellence in research through publications, patents, and/or product launches
  • High scientific communication skills displayed through both writing and presentations (to team members with scientific and nonscientific backgrounds)
  • Exceedingly organized. Ability to pivot quickly to meet company needs
  • Demonstrated ability to bring out the best in team members
  • Independently-minded manager comfortable with acting in the best interest of the team
  • Passion to support a growing company and a developing team
  • Must be in or willing to relocate to Chicago area and be onsite daily at Hazel laboratory facilities



  • Experience in transfer for products from R&D to commercial stage
  • Experience working in a “matrix” organization, where people and project managers work together to find fit for individual contributors with projects and allocate resources.
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and/or Good Experimental Practice (GEP) knowledge and experience
  • Experience in the Agricultural sciences or in the analysis of Agricultural Technology products
  • Previous work at a startup company
  • Technical skill on analytical instrumentation (GC, GCMS, HPLC, TGA, etc)
  • Experience mentoring other managers

Equal Opportunity Employer

Hazel Technologies is an equal opportunity employer, committed to our diversity and inclusiveness. We will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, nationality, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age. We strongly encourage women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA community, people with disabilities and veterans to apply.

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