Chief (Soil) Science Officer (CSO)

Full time

Closing date

How to Apply

Chief (Soil) Science Officer (CSO)

Full time

At Soil Benchmark, our mission is to help farmers improve their soil health by enabling them to benchmark their existing soil data.

In the UK, 70% of our soils are farmed. ‘Conventional’ agriculture – in the UK and globally – has driven soil degradation because farmers lack both the information and the incentives to look after their soils. Not only does this damage farm productivity, but has catastrophic environmental impacts, from water quality and flood prevention to GHG emissions and biodiversity.

At the same time farmers generate huge amounts of soil data every year, to meet regulatory requirements and to inform fertiliser applications. But this potential resource remains siloed on individual farms.

Our thesis is that by aggregating this existing soil data, as well as farm management and yield data, alongside a variety of other background data sets (eg climate, local water quality, biodiversity), and then analysing this data at scale, we can provide actionable farm management insights to improve soil health. The data farmers share will build a uniquely valuable dataset with the power to change incentives throughout the agri-food supply chain.

We have been successful in our FIP research starter pilot EoI application, and are partnering with 3 world class partners to carry out this DEFRA funded project (NIAB, ADAS, and BGS). We have also been accepted onto the Geovation accelerator program run by OrdnanceSurvey, providing further funding, as well as access to OS data and technical support.

We are now looking to hire a Chief (Soil) Science Officer (CSO), as we look to build our Minimum Viable Product. This role will involve working with a number of pilot farmers, on a limited range of soil types, to test our thesis – ie see if we are indeed able to generate useful insights by analysing farm soil data at scale.

The ideal candidate will:

  • have relevant soil science degree (ideally finishing up PhD/postdoc) and/or be BASIS/FACTS trained agronomist
  • have GIS / soil mapping / pedology experience
  • want to make a tangible difference to soil health outcomes
  • be happy in a start-up environment where what they are doing/building (but not the overall mission) will likely evolve as we iterate towards product-market fit

This is a unique opportunity to join – as a key employee – an early-stage start-up that is already getting traction, and make a tangible contribution to turning around the degradation of our soils. Package will include salary and generous equity options. Get in touch to find out more!

Closing date

How to Apply