Hiring: Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs

Title:                    Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs

Location:            Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Reports to:         President

Status:                 Full-Time  


Do you dream of making a difference through plant biology? Are you ready to take a gratifying adventure in the world of biotech research? Okanagan Specialty Fruits® (OSF), a vertically-integrated company, is paving an unchartered path with molecular biology. Home to the original nonbrowning Arctic® apple, OSF is looking for a visionary director to drive research efforts. Join OSF and help us shape the future of bioengineering.


Leading the market with Arctic® branded fruit products that consistently deliver exceptional eating experience to consumers through transparent stakeholder outreach, communication and innovative science.


The Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs is highly motivated and multi-disciplined with research, research planning and analytical skills. The Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for the design and leadership of scientific direction and growth of OSF current tree fruit cultivars plus new product development; to constantly navigate and engage the ever-growing body of scientific knowledge and understanding, while managing the freedom to operate and regulatory issues demanded by a commercially-oriented business. This includes all aspects of commercial product development, including product conceptualization, product / vector design, freedom-to-operate, project planning and execution, scientific guidance, laboratory and staff development, regulatory planning, regulatory submission preparation and management of on-going regulatory submissions, leading to the development of improved, commercially-valuable, tree fruit species for Okanagan Specialty Fruits. Reporting directly to the President, this position will plan and direct all research and regulatory activities and interface with OSF colleagues and external partners to support the Company’s overall goals.


Provide leadership, oversight, and direction of OSF’s new product development goals by:

  • Seeking and Synthesizing new research findings in a cross-section of scientific literature to identify new techniques and strategies to enable OSF to develop improved, minimally impacted fruit tree cultivars (i.e. apple, cherry, etc.). Overseeing the preparation and maintenance of a database of scientific literature guiding and supporting our research approach. Continuously improving skills related to work and update knowledge and techniques by participating in webinars, conferences, workshops, courses, and group discussions.
  • Focusing and Directing research to enrich current OSF product design and lead the development of new and original products and opportunities by pursuing and guiding discussions or formal planning sessions (i.e. annual planning) with staff or OSF collaborators identified under non-disclosure agreements to improve product design. Preparing concise, referenced written arguments for new strategies, reviewing and leading productive discussion of the benefits of these strategies with the session participants. Overseeing the bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Contributing to industry and stakeholder matters as they arise.
  • Being the Driving Force Behind all Aspects of OSF’s Regulatory Submissions to Canadian (CFIA-PBO, CFIA-AFD and Health Canada) or United States (FDA, USDA-ARS-BRS) regulatory agencies. This requires a broad general knowledge of regulatory requirements for each agency, planning, collection and analysis of datasets for molecular characterization, agronomic, phenotypic and nutritional and compositional analysis to support food, feed and environmental safety assessments. Includes arranging pre-submission consultations, preparation of submissions, submission to relevant agencies, attending meetings to address deficiencies and ongoing management of submissions. Achieving the successful deregulation of OSF’s developed products is paramount to corporate success.
  • Reporting and Communicating Clearly by maintaining accurate and timely documentation of research and regulatory work, including the preparation regulatory submissions and sharing results (verbal or written) with relevant stakeholders (staff, management or external collaborators) with a level of detail sufficient for the intended audience to perform their duties. Capturing value in a commercial setting, which may include the development of standard operating procedures to describe key procedures, development of regulatory or intellectual property submissions or submission of articles for publication.
  • Developing and Maintaining Cohesive Research Team acting as leader, guide, coach and mentor for research and development team members and taking an active role in the development plan for more junior team members. Ensuring research staff have a clear understanding of the product objectives and development timelines and activities. Conducting annual performance review. Overseeing activity scheduling to ensure balance between development and research activities.
  • Supporting Internal Research / Product Development contributing to experimental design, statistical analysis, reporting and recommendations for field and product development.
  • Performing Other Duties as Assigned


  • Ph.D from a recognized university in a field of the natural sciences related to the duties of the position, or the employer-approved alternative.
  • >10 years of relevant experience in a product-oriented research and development laboratory.


  • Being laser-focused on how all aspects of the job support and feed into new product development.
  • Read and review a significant amount of scientific literature both pertaining to specific concerns of OSF product development and in all supporting bodies of knowledge.
  • Proven success in writing and editing professional research documents.
  • Proven success in navigating new products through the regulatory system.
  • Inquisitive and sharp mind; demonstrated aptitude for analyzing and interpreting data and interpreting new data and quickly integrating into work plans when the information is identified to be advantageous.
  • A high level of personal initiative and demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills; the ability to successfully interact with a variety of people on different levels including colleagues and collaborators.
  • Proven writing skills; the ability to successfully write and edit professional research documents.
  • Sound organizational skills: the ability to work productively in a fast-paced environment; the ability to manage a multi-faceted workload under strict deadlines. The ability to prioritize activities and relay the priorities to the lab team.
  • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work productively in a team environment & independently; the willingness to meet unexpected demands.
  • Ability to act with sensitivity and discretion while working with highly confidential information.
  • High-level computer skills; internet search engines, molecular biology (e.g. Geneious), statistical analysis (e.g. R, SOFA) MS Word, MS Excel.

Please submit cover letter and resume to careers@okspecialtyfruits.com. Position will remain open until suitable candidate is found.

Molecular Biology, Director, Plant Science, Biotech Research