Research Scientist – Decision Support Systems

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is recruiting for a Research Scientist – Decision Support Systems to work in an industry-driven research environment. Vineland is an uniquely Canadian results-oriented organization dedicated to horticulture science and innovation. We deliver innovative products, solutions and services through an integrated and collaborative cross-country network to advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Our people are the most important asset in achieving our goals and are known in the world for excellence in science and entrepreneurship. Our staff enjoys an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Vineland welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Reporting to the Director, Automation, the Research Scientist, Decision Support Systems is a core role within Vineland’s automation group with supervisory responsibilities of other researchers, engineers and technical staff
  • The Research Scientist is appointed to lead research and development in an area of specialized scientific or engineering expertise. The individual is required to maintain a strong up-to-date knowledge of the field and make a significant intellectual contribution to the delivery of Vineland’s innovation goals.
  • As a decision support system’s expert you will use mathematical, analytical and optimization techniques to create machine learning algorithms by which robotic and automation systems perform functions that involve picking crops, aiding decisions of picking and much more
  • The multi-disciplinary, integrated nature of Vineland’s research programs requires a flexible, team focused mind-set and a solid understanding of organizational goals and priorities. Scientists are expected to be outstanding role models of Vineland’s core values of Excellence, Integrity, Entrepreneurial spirit, Openness, Collaborative and Impact-driven.
  • This role combines multiple areas of expertise (vision, data science, mechatronics & control systems) with specialization in decision support systems for robotics and automation solutions

Key duties and responsibilities:


  • Drawing on expertise from a variety of disciplines including deep learning, reinforcement learning, computer vision, language, safety, control, robotics, develop solutions (hardware & software) for decision support systems
  • Provide intellectual leadership in their field and contribute to the design and execution of Vineland’s R&D activities
  • Provide guidance, training and oversight to technical staff as required
  • Prepare plans, budgets, analysis and reports to aid in execution and communication of R&D activities
  • Prepare business case, budgets and rationale for new projects, present opportunity analysis to senior management and proposals for grant or industry funding
  • Maintain a high level of quality control in their area of expertise including (but not limited to) experimental design; methods of data collection and analysis; reporting and record keeping
  • Maintain a strong awareness of issues and opportunities in the horticulture sector, generate new ideas and pursue the development of projects that deliver on Vineland’s innovation goals
  • Participate in the creation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property
  • Maintain a strong up-to-date knowledge of technological advancements and competition in their field
  • Participate in the scientific community via conferences, peer-reviewed publication, adjunct university faculty status and/or graduate student supervision
  • Actively seek and assess opportunities to apply advanced analytics to optimize performance
  • Lead end-to-end design and implementation of machine learning and data analytics solutions for automation solutions to optimize productivity, safety and performance
  • Identify, profile and analyze large, complex, multi-dimensional datasets with a variety of tools to draw relevant insights
  • Use data science techniques to find data patterns, anomalies and optimization opportunities through analytical solutions
  • Solve complex business problems by designing, developing and implementing sustainable advanced analytics solutions
  • Solid background in mathematics with the ability to implement algorithms (focused on machine learning). Familiarity with various techniques, such as integer programming, fuzzy logic, neural networks, Support Vector Machines (SVMs), genetic algorithms and more.

Collaborator and Client Relations

  • Build collaborative relationships in the science and technology community that strengthen Vineland’s R&D teams
  • Build and maintain relationships with clients and industry partners to gain input, support, investment, service contracts or commercial relationships as the role requires
  • Communicate results and represent Vineland at scientific, industry, government and public events

Human Resources

  • A scientist is likely to participate on more than one R&D team and may be accountable to Program Leaders in addition to their own direct supervisor
  • Manage staff that may include other scientists, postdocs, engineers, technical staff and interns as required. HR responsibilities include: hiring, performance management, training and professional development, vacation and sick leave
  • Foster an open, productive and collaborative work environment
  • Set annual targets and hold staff accountable for meeting milestones and developmental goals
  • Maintain a safe and healthy work environment and ensure policies and procedures are followed

Management and Administration

  • Administer and adhere to organizational processes and policies
  • Interface with the Director, business staff and/or senior management to develop R&D plans, proposals, intellectual property filings, commercialization strategies and other material that facilitates the innovation process
  • Prepare reports, proposals, plans and presentations for internal and external audiences


  • PhD (preferred), Masters in science or engineering in a relevant discipline
  • Minimum of one to two years of project delivery experience in a relevant area
  • Experience working on cross-functional teams
  • Supervisory experience with strong interpersonal skills
  • Superior ability to communicate technical information in written and oral communications to a range of different audiences
  • Up-to-date technical knowledge and awareness of new developments in field
  • Sound working knowledge of budgeting and financial management
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to engage in the business side of R&D
  • Familiarity with intellectual property (IP) concepts
  • Self-assured, confident, self-motivated and goal-oriented
  • Strategic, insightful, creative and adaptable

Additional desirable qualifications, skills and abilities:

  • PhD in machine learning, robotics or computer science with one year of commercial experience
  • Relevant experience to the position such as post-doctoral roles, a proven track record of publications or artificial intelligence
  • High-level software development experience in languages such as (Python, C/++)
  • Experience working with sensors such as LiDAR and cameras
  • Solid experience with object detection, computer vision and path planning
Full Time Position
Closing Date: September 25, 2020
Location: 4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, L0R 2E0

Apply Today

Please fill out the online application for this position. You will receive confirmation that your application has been received. Only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Our people are the most important asset in achieving our goals and are known in the world for excellence in science and entrepreneurship.

Our staff enjoys outstanding benefits and an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing all set against a backdrop of natural beauty.

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