Dozens of workers at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie have been told their jobs are at risk.
The institute said in a statement redundancies were necessary because of “funding constraints” but has not yet said how many jobs will be going.
There are also 550 people employed in its office in Aberdeen.
The centre carries out research into agriculture, soil and land use.
A spokesman said: “The James Hutton Institute is undergoing significant change in how it undertakes its science activities to address the growing need to work in ever more inter-disciplinary and collaborative ways.
“It has been reviewing its science capacity to align itself more fully with future opportunities, which includes addressing climate change, the forthcoming investment through the Tay Cities Deal and access to new funding sources.
“A revised operating model has been developed in tandem with defining a structure that is affordable to address the current funding constraints.
“Unfortunately, this requires a reduction in the number of staff positions and accordingly a programme of redundancies will be undertaken.
“The board and management are deeply sensitive to the impact a redundancy programme will inevitably have on staff at a personal level, the wider community, and on the work of the institute.
“We have held initial discussions with the management team and have been offering robust feedback on their proposals so far. “From our initial engagement, it is clear that the employer will make significant efforts to ensure that any redundancies are voluntary.”
The news is the second big blow for the local area in a number of days, after Tesco announced on Tuesday that one of its city centre stores would be closing due to the building’s lease not being renewed by the landlord.