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Data Science Lead

Durham, NC / Full Time

August 26

About Syngenta

Syngenta Group is a global leader in agriculture; rooted in science and dedicated to bringing plant potential to life. Each of our 53,000 employees in more than 100 countries work together to solve one of humanity’s most pressing challenges: growing more food with fewer resources. A diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace environment are enablers of our ambition to be the most collaborative and trusted team in agriculture. Our employees reflect the diversity of our customers, the markets where we operate and the communities which we serve. No matter what your position, you will have a vital role in safely feeding the world and taking care of our planet. Join us and help shape the future of agriculture.


At Syngenta Seeds business unit, we are working to build the most collaborative and trusted team in agriculture that provides leading seeds innovations to enhance the prosperity of farmers around the globe. We are seeking a Biostatistics Lead with a passion for utilizing their statistical and applied mathematical skills to help transform our Seeds product development pipeline through enhanced experimental designs and analytics. As a Biostatistics Lead you will work collaboratively on the design, analysis and implementation of industry-leading experimental designs and biometric capabilities to improve decision making for Syngenta Seeds Research and Development. 

The ideal candidate should combine creativeness and strong scientific leadership and use her/his knowledge and experience in data science (data mining, machine learning, compute vision) and applied mathematics to revolutionize our seeds development pipeline and enable best in class insights and decision making. Successful candidates will need to demonstrate accountability, scientific and technical leadership, continuous development, collaboration/networking skills and strong communication and storytelling skills. As Data Science Lead you will be responsible for the creation of new data sciences capabilities for the business by envisioning and executing strategies that will influence improvement of the business's performance by enabling informed decision making. You will manage several teams and be a part of a dynamic leadership team that supports innovation and development in an Analytics and Data Science large domain aiming transforming our business. 


•   Develops, coordinates, and provides data science leadership and support for related projects in Breeding Innovation Pipelines at the Seeds Development Function level

•   Requires in-depth knowledge and experience in Data Mining, Machine Learning and Compute Vision including mastery of techniques/methods/scientific theories and subject matter expertise

•   Typically works on complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors and potentially the design of new analytics approaches

•   Responsible for development of new and improvement of existing processes, products and systems in defining, designing and enhancing our ability to support data-driven decisions in a broad range of contexts

•   Identify data needs and provide recommendations for the development of the global data strategy

•   Manages the work efforts of several teams and additional individuals from other functions and mentors staff. Completes performance appraisals of team leaders

•   Serves as a data science lead in large-sized project teams with cross-functional team members and global impact

•   Extensive awareness of all activities within Syngenta is expected

•   Often provide some input to functional or departmental strategy to support decisions guided by functional strategies and priorities

•   Networks and collaborates with technical leaders from diverse technical backgrounds within seeds development, analytics and data science, IT, and product managers to build and enable end to end solutions

•   In charge of the communication to Seeds R&D stakeholders (technical and non-technical audiences) of analytical results to develop enhancement opportunities, share key learnings and to support implementation of innovative approaches

•   Works independently with little guidance in any situations

Knowledge, experience & capabilities


•   Ph.D. in Data Science or Applied Mathematics

•   Technical understanding of plant breeding and environmental trialing

•   10+ years of experience in data science methods applied to the design and analysis of experiments; including programming, multivariate statistics, probability, and spatial statistics

•   Significant experience in designing new analytics approaches customized with regards to specific constraints

•   Formal training and/or experience in data mining, meta-analysis, machine learning, deep learning, AI, stochastic/mathematical simulation models

•   Experience using a programming language (Python, C/C++, Matlab) or a computer language (R, Python, SQL) to manipulate data and draw insights from large data sets

•   Experience with visualization and rapid prototyping tools (e.g. R Shiny, Spotfire, Power BI)

•   Proven interpersonal and excellent communication skills in order to communicate with stakeholders and collaborate with R&D colleagues

•   Experience with Agile methodology

•   Experience providing insights, conclusions and recommendations based on data analyses

•   Critical thinking and experienced problem solver

Critical technical, professional and personal capabilities

•   A passion for delivering disruptive innovation

•   Excellent problem analysis and problem solving

•   Enthusiastic, communicative, collaborative and results oriented

•   Ability to reduce complexity by focusing on meaningful business outcomes

•   Ability to work through ambiguity and uncertainty to deliver results

•   Ability to work effectively across disciplines in a global matrix with diverse cultures and skillsets

•   Ability to collaborate effectively with internal and external partners

Critical leadership capabilities

•   Typically manages small to mid-sized teams of professionals and/or junior managers

•   Adapts plans and delivers results in potentially fast changing businesses and/or regulatory environments, has accountability for results of own area

•   May provide some input to functional or departmental strategy

•   Controls resources and policy formation in area of responsibility

•   Often exercises full management responsibilities (e.g., hire, remuneration,performance management)

We expect employees to align to our values, including:

•   Focus on customer success and profitable market share growth when making decisions

•   Work together to deliver – one team, one plan

•   Trust each other and hold each other accountable

•   Work across boundaries

•   Work to develop their abilities

•   Say what they think and feel to benefit from diverse perspectives

•   Live by our Code of Conduct

•   Give and welcome prompt, actionable and constructive feedback

•   Energized by our work and celebrate our achievements

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