Director, R&D Project Management and Research Operations

Department:  Research and Development
Date:  Dec 28, 2021


FMC Corporation is a global agricultural sciences company dedicated to helping growers produce food, feed, fiber and fuel for an expanding world population while adapting to a changing environment. FMC's innovative crop protection solutions – including biologicals, crop nutrition, digital and precision agriculture – enable growers, crop advisers and turf and pest management professionals to address their toughest challenges economically while protecting the environment. With approximately 6,400 employees at more than 100 sites worldwide, FMC is committed to discovering new herbicide, insecticide and fungicide active ingredients, product formulations and pioneering technologies that are consistently better for the planet.


FMC is a globally diverse organization that offers its employees exciting opportunities to work on challenging projects that are important to the achievement of our strategic objectives.  With a corporate culture of innovation, integrity, responsibility and customer intimacy, we foster “The Right Chemistry” in everything we do. We are looking for people to join us in creating, developing, and improving our products, our processes, and our markets. If you are ready to make a difference every day, FMC is ready to talk to you.  Visit FMC to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter


This position has dual responsibility for R&D project portfolio management and for providing oversight for research operations.  In the role as Director of R&D Project Management and Research Operations, the incumbent is responsible for providing oversight and driving the portfolio of proprietary research & development projects to ensure the highest return for our R&D investment, and to cultivate a team of project managers that are able to deliver a steady stream of high quality R&D projects while effectively managing stakeholder engagement.    


The successful candidate will also provide leadership to the Research Operations team which provides support across R&D as a shared service, and includes maintenance, analytics and reporting from an enterprise project portfolio management software system.  In addition, the team is responsible for sourcing, awarding and tracking of research studies with 3rd party organizations.  Furthermore, this team has oversight in partnership with R&D finance for R&D capital equipment planning and plan administration.  The Director is a member of the Global R&D leadership team and will contribute to the overall strategy of R&D in collaboration their peers who are leading teams of professional in various scientific disciplines. 


  • Lead an organization of approximately 15-20 consisting of approximately 6-7 direct reports 
  • Ensure organization is properly resourced to meet the priorities of the new product development pipeline and placement of external research studies
  • The portfolio of projects has well defined, multi-year plans with key milestones and anticipated resource requirements and a business case that supports the desired return on investment
  • Project plans are maintained in the selected enterprise project management system and this system is maintained as the single, reliable source of information on the R&D portfolio
  • Conduct portfolio analysis to make recommendation to executive leadership to balance enterprise resources versus project priorities 
  • Lead semi-annual project portfolio reviews and a quarterly governance council with the executive leadership team 
  • Lead an annual rolling 5-year capital planning process for R&D equipment and optimize plan to insure near terms goals are achieved while balancing financial resources and impact on expense budget
  • Conduct analysis on past performance and the evolution of product portfolio, contribute to predictive models forecasting the future value of the R&D portfolio and investments that facilitate strategic and operational portfolio prioritization
  • Collaborate with cross functional stakeholders including strategic marketing, regulatory affairs, supply chain, procurement, legal and finance on project portfolio related matters
  • External benchmarking and Implementation of portfolio management best practices and tools
  • Hire, develop and maintain a team of high performing project managers with the agility to respond to changing priorities and comfortable presenting and interacting with executive leadership



  • Advanced degree in a relevant agricultural sciences field preferred (Biology, Plant Science, Entomology, Weed Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related field) with PMP certification or equivalent preferred
  • The candidate should expect to obtain PMP certification during the first year if not already completed
  • Requires 5+ years of relevant leadership and project management experience directed towards new product development
  • Experience working with multidiscipline new product development teams 
  • Experience working with diverse, highly educated group of scientific, financial, and marketing professionals
  • Experience in portfolio management, including financial modeling and decision analysis
  • Experienced with agriculture business and strategic planning with a preference for incumbent to have participated as member of a research and/or business leadership team  


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Self-motivated, enthusiasm and a positive attitude
  • Able to learn on the fly, bring creative solutions to complex problems and not get lost in the details
  • Able to quickly assess situations, recognize problems, discern root causes, separate fact from ‘noise’ and develop approaches based on true organizational requirements
  • Background in life science industry with preference for experience in crop protection industry
  • Project / program management skills including the ability to efficiently evaluate, prioritize and handle multiple and changing programs/projects and priorities.
  • Able to demonstrate a familiarity with financial metrics used to determine project opportunity and risk
  • Knowledge of the Ag markets, products and distribution channels considered a plus
  • Skilled in influencing and managing various stakeholders with the ability to work effectively with all levels of organization and communicate effectively across various disciplines


Full vaccination against COVID-19 is a condition of employment. Full vaccination means that two weeks have passed since the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (i.e., Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after a single dose of a one-dose vaccine (i.e., Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). All applicants will be required to show proof of their vaccination status upon receipt of an offer of employment. Exemptions will be granted only to those applicants who are unable to take the vaccine due to medical reasons or a sincerely held religious belief.   FMC will work with those who apply for and are granted exemptions in an effort to identify reasonable accommodations which will permit those individuals to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions.


At FMC, diversity and inclusion are in our DNA. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to creating an inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive – regardless of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, color, age, religion or religious creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law. FMC also supports employee participation in company employee resource groups that celebrate the diverse backgrounds of our workforce by providing communities for employees to connect with each other and raise awareness throughout FMC. FMC complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, please contact our Talent Acquisition department