Trainee Sensory Panel Manager - Reading
Looking to grow and develop your career and skills in Sensory Research? Then this may be the opportunity you are looking for...
We’re searching for a someone to join as a Trainee Panel Leader and build their career here at MMR.
MMR is an independent, global consumer and sensory research agency specialising in food, drink, personal and household care research. This means that when you join us, you’ll have the chance to work with well-known brands to help create, shape and develop products and packs.
We are global leaders, guiding innovation for our clients – partnering with over 50% of the top 100 global food and drink brands. Our head office is in a beautiful 18th century barn in Wallingford - a picturesque village in between Oxford and Reading. We also have offices in London, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Sao Paulo and Durban.
Our team of over 280 highly engaged, multi-disciplined employees are primarily dynamic research professionals, sensory experts and data scientists. We’re a diverse bunch, with backgrounds in R&D, insight, marketing, sensory science, data sciences and psychology.
This role is in our Sensory Science Centre, on the Reading University Campus.
The successful individual will support the Sensory Panel Manager, ensuring the
smooth running of the panel sessions, and will assist in the day-to-day management of our Sensory
Panelists. The Trainee Panel Leader will ultimately develop the necessary skills to lead panel sessions
independently, to create engaging proposals and write clients reports efficiently, and become a proficient
Full training will be provided for the successful candidate.
The role includes:
- Panel leading - helping to run panel sessions as you learn the skills required to, in time, lead the panel independently. This will include panel moderating, panelist performance tracking and creating descriptive language glossaries
- Providing cover for our other sensory panels (including for other MMR Sensory Panel Leaders when trained) when required. This may be in other UK locations
- Running recruitment screening sessions, making up screening solutions/products, screening and interviewing suitable candidates, and helping train new panellists to the required performance standards
- Assisting in the management of the panels schedule, ensuring that the results are delivered in a timely manner to clients
- Taking responsibility for the daily running of the Sensory Panels and to ensure that all resources are deployed effectively with the ultimate objective of meeting the clients’ requirements
Proposal and Report Writing
- Creating engaging proposals (from timing, cost and design) and reports for clients reports in both Excel and PowerPoint
- Liaising with our Indian based MMR Project Support teama, sending out data for charting and checking the resultant charts. This includes planning and coordinating data being sent to MMR’s statistical team and then out to India
- Analysing training check data, develop retraining plans and ensure robust data
- Ensuring that ALL projects files are saved on the MMR shared drives
- Ensuring that every project has an accurate briefing document (Sensory Project Request or Sensory Project Control Sheet) and that this is received before a project starts
Other responsibilities will include:
- Assisting the Panel Manager in all aspects of the running of the Reading Sensory Panel, including arranging the weekly planning meeting
- Taking responsibility for the creation and checking of Compusense @hand files, enabling all elements of SSC work to be programmed into the software, and managing all issues generated by @hands
- Being responsible for sourcing and managing the delivery of products for research to the SSC, for checking that all of the products required are ready for research and ensuring that they are inventoried on arrival and stored correctly. This includes storing and preparing samples for both training and profiling sessions
- Preparing samples/materials for panel training and profiling
- Running profiling sessions in the booths including preparation of all materials and samples, serving of samples, data collection and cleaning the booths afterwards
- Monitoring the quality of food samples and test procedure and ensure appropriate records are maintained (including temperature logs for freezers/fridges, cooking logs, inventory logs with BB/Use by dates etc.)
- Ensuring the Sensory Panel working area is prepared appropriately in good time for each session and cleared/cleaned after
- Ensuring that all activities carried out comply with basic food hygiene standards in order to work safely within the laboratory. Basic food hygiene training will be provided.
With MMR’s focus on developing new and better research methods and sophisticated analysis techniques, there's the opportunity to gain experience of several novel and exciting approaches to conducting research and interpreting data.
You will be:
- A strong team player – you should be able to maintain open and honest relationships colleagues building trust and confidence. You will need to be able to work well both independently and as part of a team
- A self-starter who likes to take initiatives and demonstrates flexibility in a dynamic environment (including flexibility in time worked)
- A self-manager - able to switch between tasks according to business needs, coping with changing priorities and keeping the Assistant Panel Leaders and the Sensory Manager informed of possible issues. Your exeptional organizational and time management skills and ability to multi-task will enable you to both prioritize your own workload and implement effective administrative processes.
- In possession of excellent interpersonal and communication skills (fluent in written / spoken English is critical)
You will have:
- A real passion for working in sensory research
- Logical, analytical mind
- Natural passion for seeking out the most effective and efficient ways of working and being prepared to speak up about your ideas
- Great attention to detail – should be able to check own work and others’ work for inconsistencies and take the necessary action to rectify any errors/problems
- An aptitude for food preparation with limited supervision needed
- A level of computer literacy – be competent in Word, Excel and email. Training will be given in the relevant software packages
- A Bachelor’s degree, ideally in a relevant field, such as Food Science, Sensory Science, Experimental Psychology and Sociology
- Ideally you'll have some experience of working with expert trained sensory panels or have moderated qualitative groups
- Foundation in sensory Principles (MMR/IFST or US IFT) (we can train you in this)
- Basic Food Hygiene qualification (again, something we can train you in)
Your Career Path:
Promotion to panel leader requires regular demonstration of the following skills.
- Creating reports independently
- Complete self-management of the panels
- Generation of timelines and planning of sensory projects
- Self-sufficiency in designing and planning projects including the development of assessment protocols and sensory lexicons
- Ability to conduct consensus profiling, discrimination tests and other sensory techniques
- Ability to management problems when they arise
- Ability to manage Compusense @hand enabling all elements of SSC work to be programmed into the software and management of all the problems generated by @hand
- Run and interpret taste tests
- Ability to plan in recruitment and organize recruitment
- Interaction with the US Sensory and Consumer teams as one of our sensory experts, and with Global Sensory team for efficient information management and high consistency of sensory operations globally
- The planning and conduct of panelist’s screening, performance monitoring, tracking, feedback and training
- Demonstrative ability to interpret and report on taste test results and panel performance reports
MMR offers an open, diverse and non-hierarchical environment, where bespoke MMR Academy training is offered at every level. We also offer exciting secondment opportunities at our other global locations, as well as a selection of fantastic employee benefits.
MMR delivers a class leading set of marketing science tools and approaches, many of which are proprietary to MMR. We are endorsed by our global client base for our agility, technical expertise and willingness to adapt research solutions to directly focus on specific client challenges. We’ve built a reputation of providing innovative statistical analysis and techniques, coupled with optimal research design consultancy, that successfully delivers against our clients’ specific business objectives.
MMR is an Equal Opportunity employer