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Director, Breeding

Division: Science & Innovation
Hours: 40 hours per week, Monday – Friday

Job location: Comox, British Columbia
Employment type: Full-time permanent employment onsite

About Aurora
We’re a global cannabis company with operations across Europe and North and South America. We’re driven by our passion to help people improve their lives and have a diverse team who bring their best every day, so Aurora can be the cannabis provider of choice for patients and consumers.  We love our work, and we especially love our high quality, innovative brands that make up the Aurora family – from Aurora, Aurora Drift, San Rafael ’71, Greybeard and Whistler. 


Our people combined with our collective passion for the industry is what makes Aurora a special place to work and defines what we call our “A-Team”. We are a high-performing team of cannabis experts, innovators, and champions, that work, learn and win together. We think BIG, act BOLD and execute with PURPOSE in all that we do, and will stop at nothing to cultivate the ultimate cannabis experience for our community.


About Occo
We are a genetics licensing brand owned by Aurora, where our mission is Better Cannabis for a Better World. We take the world’s best cannabis germplasm and use cutting edge breeding and genomics work to develop elite, new cultivars for the cannabis industry.  We use IP laws to carefully protect our innovation, then license the technology throughout Canada and the rest of the world. Our work drives continual improvement in customer experience and grower economics.


Job summary
We’re searching for dynamic professional to join our state-of-the-art research facility in Comox BC, as a Director, Breeding in our Science and Innovation Division. In this role, you will lead one of the largest cannabis breeding programs, that focuses on identifying new photoperiod-sensitive cultivars (clonally propagated) and transforms the way the world uses cannabis. Sound interesting? Here is a little more…

As the Director, Breeding, you will…

  • Lead one of the largest cannabis breeding efforts and team globally, delivering both clonally and seed propagated new varieties
  • Improve the breeding process and Occo’s catalog of cannabis genetics by developing new cultivars that emphasize traits sought by both consumers and growers
  • Coordinate evaluation and data collection of new cultivars at client sites
  • Develop populations for mapping novel traits, carry out phenotyping, development, and validation of markers
  • Enable and use markers to increase the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of breeding efforts 
  • Catalog and maintain Occo’s germplasm library, and lead the acquisition of new germplasm to expand the breeding program’s access to key traits
  • Liaise with Occo’s business development operations to drive the successful adoption and monetization of brand cultivars
  • Build and maximize the value of intellectual property, including utility patents, plant patents, plant breeders’ rights, in conjunction with Legal
  • Stay abreast of scientific developments related to cannabis and advise leadership and teams on new scientific areas and technologies for Aurora’s science program
  • Develop and sustain partnerships and collaborations with academic and industry partners that further Occo’s scientific and business objectives
  • Actively promote compliance with all applicable regulatory and quality assurance systems
  • Provide operational support by assisting with budget planning, hiring and training of new staff members and conducting performance reviews for direct reports
  • Travel to and liaise with Aurora Canadian production sites (Whistler - Pemberton, Thrive, River and Ridge – Southern Ontario) and other Science and Innovation team members to support breeding efforts and provide technical support to Occo’s external clients

You will be setup for success if you have…

  • A Ph.D. in plant breeding or closely related plant science discipline
  • 3-5 years minimum of experience in a related role (we also welcome an equivalent combination of experience, education, and training)
  • Strong technical skills in data management, statistics, genomics, and plant biology

Bonus points if you have…

  • Breeding experience with cannabis or hemp

You’re the ideal candidate if you are…  

  • A compassionate leader who can build cross-functional relationships to satisfy objectives and nurture high-performing teams
  • A curious professional who leads with a scientific approach to challenge the status quo and inspire innovation at all levels of the organization
  • A vibrant communicator who can convey scientific terms in simple formats to increase engagement towards initiatives and influence others
  • A dynamic strategist who can transform technical ideas into world-class innovations that drive business value
  • A quick adaptor who thrives in ambiguous environments with evolving priorities and embraces life-long learning


What we offer

  • Competitive compensation: we will motivate you to go above and beyond with competitive compensation, stock options, an RRSP program and annual bonuses
  • Work-Life Integration: we champion work-life balance with a wealth of resources, such as flexible hours, paid vacation time, meeting-free-Friday-afternoons and more
  • Flexible Benefits: we offer customizable benefit options for you and any dependents, including health, dental, fertility, life insurance, and LTD coverage, personal or health care spending accounts and of course - industry leading medical cannabis coverage
  • Career Growth: we will invest in your professional development with initiatives like our tuition assistance program, virtual learning activities, and annual performance reviews


Next steps
Apply today by submitting your resume through our website. You can expect your application to be reviewed by our Talent Acquisition Team and we will contact you if we see a fit via email. 


Think you’re the ideal candidate but you don’t meet all the requirements? Apply anyways. We would love to review your application to see if you’re the right fit or find you an alternative opportunity. Not the role for you? Share this posting with your network while subscribing to our Talent Community to learn more about upcoming opportunities (hot tip: if you are an Aurora employee, take advantage of the employee referral program by sharing this posting with someone in your network! If they are the successful candidate, you may be eligible for a bonus!).


Diversity and inclusion
At Aurora, we are proud to foster and celebrate a diverse community of professionals! We take pride in nurturing an inclusive culture that empowers our people to be their authentic selves, celebrate their differences and love where they work. 


Our diverse community combined with our inclusive culture, is what sets us apart in the industry and equips our A-Team with superpowers – and this is why, we encourage all candidates to apply for job opportunities regardless of race, national origin, colour, religion, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital and family status, disability, or any other identifying characteristic. If you require accommodation (including, but not limited to, an accessible interview site or alternate format of job posting) during the recruitment and selection process, please do not hesitate to let our team know!


Health and safety
Our mission at Aurora has always been to improve the health and wellness of our core community. We strive to create a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment for our team and strongly believe introducing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy will help us achieve this. 

As of February 2022, Aurora has introduced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees and as a condition of employment, all candidates must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or receive an approved medical or human rights accommodation prior to commencing employment with Aurora. If proof of vaccination is not provided or a request for accommodation is not approved, the offer of employment will be rescinded.

If applicable, Aurora Human Resources will contact you via your email address provided. We do not contact candidates over Facebook or other Social Media apps. You will never be requested to provide confidential information such as banking information or your Social Insurance Number in the interview process.






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