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Senior Scientist - Consumer Sensory Insights

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Job Description

Job Description


This role is a function within the CSI department located within the NPTC-STL organization.


Reports to Department Leader under minimal supervision


Indirectly supervises assigned technician staff


Main purpose of job:


This position is responsible for advancing sensory and consumer science capabilities for pet food, treats and litter categories. Successful candidate will lead the effective design, execution and analysis of sensory and consumer evaluation methods in support of Nestle Purina PetCare’s innovation and renovation projects in the R&D environment.  Working in collaboration with cross-functional teams and global business stakeholders, this position will create actionable conclusions and persuasive recommendations to guide product development based on how the human senses modulate consumer perception of our products.


Essential functions:


Expertise Driven Product Innovation and Renovation


• Engage client base to advise and provide sensory and consumer product insight for product categories assigned.

• Establishing cross-functional partnerships with Product Development, Quality, Marketing, Strategic Business Unit and Innovation functions.  15%


Deliver Operational Excellence


• Manage all aspects of sensory descriptive panels at the site including, but not limited to, test plan design and execution, data reporting, presentation and repository coordination, global sensory/consumer glossary management and harmonization, reference management, basic and product specific training, panel assessment and performance feedback.

• Coordinate test execution with external research vendors as appropriate (contract management, screener, questionnaire, test plan, product preparation protocols, etc.)

• Conduct data analysis and interpretation in context of historical organizational knowledge.

• Effectively lead utilization of community based consumer panel and create recommendations to expand departmental consumer understanding capabilities.

• Evaluate, enhance, develop and apply new and existing sensory and consumer research methods to provide custom solutions to specific product development concerns.

• Lead and/or support initiatives to enhance capabilities and efficiencies of the sensory function within R&D.  55%

Promote Consumer-Centric Mindset

• Act as an advocate to broaden organizational understanding and valued innovation and renovation application of sensory and consumer product evaluation principles through structured awareness and training activities. 10%

Department Strategy and Team Development

• Actively support creation and execution of departmental annual objectives, initiatives and long-term strategies.

• Mentor and inspire junior team members 10%


• Actively share best practices throughout the organization

• Contribute to the Nestle Consumer and Sensory Community as appropriate

• Keep current with scientific discipline 10%

Additional responsibilities:


- Successfully develop and maintain good ways of working with associates, affiliated labs and pilot facilities

- Actively participate in cross training as needed to learn new skills required for sensory and consumer advances and professional development

- Conduct activities in compliance with all required company policies and procedures

- Actively practice safety  and good laboratory practices in the workplace

- Continued development of scientific skills

- Additional duties as assigned

Educational and Professional Qualifications:


- BS degree in sensory science, food science, psychology or statistics from an accredited university

- 8-10+ years’ experience leading descriptive sensory and consumer product testing panels with a coordination role in sensory panel activities (panels, technicians, support staff)

- Experience leading in-home product use tests and consumer-focused central location tests (quantitative and qualitative)

- Strong statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting skills

Additional qualifications desired:


- MS or PhD degree in sensory science or related field

- Experience in product development, ideation or design activities

Personal qualities:


- Adaptable, flexible work style

- Demonstrated curiosity

- Patience and rigor

Professional skills:


- Excellent teamwork, interpersonal and organizational skills

- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills

- Strong computer literacy with sensory software experience

- Pro-active/self-starter

- Strong observational skills

- Learning agile

- Strong influencing skills

Job: Senior Scientist - Consumer Sensory Insights
Primary Location: Saint Louis, MO US
Other Location:
Career Area: Professional
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