Science and Technology Manager – Gut microbiome, Future Health & Wellness

Posted: 20 Feb 2020
Location: Sharnbrook, United Kingdom
Closes: 7 Mar 2020
Reference: URUVGLOBAL1315

Location: Colworth, UK

Salary: Up to £46,000 plus excellent benefits

Background and Context

We believe that Brands with Purpose Grow, People with Purpose Thrive, and Companies with Purpose Last. Unilever has a simple but clear purpose – to make sustainable living commonplace.

Foods & Refreshment is one of the three Divisions of Unilever, and aims to delight consumers with foods, beverages and ice-cream that “Taste Good, Feel Good, and are a Force for Good”, with brands like Knorr, Hellmann’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Lipton, PG Tips and many more.

To support our purpose and delight our consumers, innovations are key. Innovations build on Science and Technology to address needs of today and inspire innovation for the future.

The Foods and Refreshment Science and Technology (F&R S&T) team is responsible to develop new technologies and insights that lead to sustainable competitive advantage across our Foods, Ice-cream and Beverages Categories. We do this through strong business partnering and working in a vast network or ecosystem of academic and commercial partners.

Aligned to the Unilever ambition to “improve people’s health, confidence and well-being”, the Future Health & Wellness team leverage ecosystems to bring the outside in, building the scientific understanding and translating that for the benefit of our brands via substantiated products and claims.

The team is spread across two of Unilever’s R&D sites, at Wageningen (NL) and Colworth (UK), with those based at the two locations working seamlessly together. This role will be based at Colworth (UK).

Gut microbiome is an emerging science area, the understanding of which will be a critical enabler for so many nutrition benefit areas. As such, we are looking to employ a research scientist with experience in this area and the ability to apply this to the benefit of consumers via food and beverage products.  

Main Accountabilities

The S&T Manager, working alongside other team members, will take responsibility for a number of projects related to the gut microbiome science area within the Future Health & Wellness Program. She/he will be responsible for landing the science within projects across a range of timelines from those that will launch in the near future through to future innovations. Projects may be global, regional or local, and may deliver to one brand, one category or numerous categories across Foods and Refreshment.

The role will require:

Science Leadership

The role holder will be expected to show leadership of the gut microbiome science area and how this relates to benefit areas relevant to Unilever’s Foods & Refreshment business, building her/his knowledge on the topic so that she/he can:

  • Define, shape and execute the program and its content
  • Contribute to the workstreams of other team members
  • Be the science lead in internal cross-functional teams

Translation of the science

A key role will be to translate the science into meaningful messages and content understandable by a variety or audiences across the organization including non-scientists and non-experts.


The role holder will be expected to develop strong links with our core and extended team members. In addition, they will:

  • Represent Unilever as an expert in external forums
  • Build and maintain external networks to engage and work with external partners, be they Key Opinion Leaders, expert academics or suppliers
  • Provide expert scientific support for close-to-market innovation projects and generating ideas and technology solutions to land in longer term innovation pipeline
  • Provide the science input to nutrition-related issues both internal and external

The role will not involve laboratory work.

About You

  • Proven experience in human gut microbiome area and its application to nutrition related benefit areas
  • Established network of academic experts in the gut microbiome science field an advantage
  • Good appreciation of using and interpreting multi-omics data in the context of human gut microbiome studies
  • MSc or higher (ideally PhD level) in relevant subject (e.g. Nutrition, Microbiome Science, Gut Health etc.)
  • Proven experience in leading projects
  • Proven track record of delivery and demonstrated success
  • Evidence of translating science into consumer relevant propositions (ideally in the food and beverage sector) would be beneficial
  • Knowledge of food and beverage industry desirable
  • Fluent in English


Key strengths

  • Agile and flexible
  • Consumer understanding
  • Curious and courageous
  • Confident networker, fun team player
  • Good influencing and communications skills (written and verbal)
  • Ability to convince and defend own agenda in front of internal stakeholders (within R&D and Marketing teams)
  • Growth Mindset
  • Bias For Action
  • Accountability & Responsibility 
  • Ability to use technical judgement to guide team activities and program direction
  • Ability to work in cross-disciplinary teams and in multi-cultural environments, with internal and external networks
  • Ability to keep abreast of new developments and opportunities within own program area – and able to harness in business-relevant ways.

Key Interfaces

  • Leaders and senior leaders across R&D
  • Academics and Key Opinion Leaders
  • Suppliers and SME’s
  • Marketing teams


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