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Senior Research Associate, Microbiology

Sound Agriculture
Emeryville, California, US
Closing date
Dec 3, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Genetics, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Sound Agriculture is an innovator in bio-inspired chemistry and plant genetics. We leverage natural plant diversity to grow crops more sustainably and create differentiated, nutritious food. Sound is a Series C startup funded by leading investors in food and agriculture such as Leaps by Bayer, Northpond Ventures, S2G Ventures, Fall Line Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Group Ventures.

We are seeking an experienced Microbiologist (Senior Research Associate, Microbiology) to play a key role in the development of a microbial screening platform. In this role, the Microbiologist will support the discovery and development of new and existing Sound products, contributing to the development of solutions that improve soil nutrient and carbon utilization sustainably. The Microbiologist will report to the Director of Chemical Biology and will be based at our headquarters in Emeryville, California.

  • Responsible for all aspects of the curation of a microbial collection
  • Maintain documentation relevant to regulatory and safety of microbial strains
  • Develop and execute QC process for preservation of microbial collection
  • Coordinate with Chemical Biology team use and expansion of collection
  • Collaborate in the development and validation of microbial assays
  • Support testing of materials using microbial assays
  • Summarize data and generate conclusions

Skills & Experience
  • BS or MS degree in microbiology, molecular biology or related field with multi-year lab experience in the maintenance or curation of microbial strains
  • Demonstrable experience in evaluating microbes using biochemical and/or morphological assays
  • Hands-on experience with diverse taxonomies across bacterial and/or fungal species
  • Excellent sterile technique
  • Understanding of beneficial plant and soil associated microbiome is preferred
  • Experience working with agronomically relevant plants is a plus
  • Working knowledge of statistics for assay qualification
  • Strong organizational skills and initiative to drive process improvement
  • Good team player who thrives in a highly collaborative environment

This role demonstrates our company values by:
  • Boldness: Work with challenging microbial species that others may shy away from
  • Ownership: Drive the implementation of a high quality soil microbial collection to support our growing microbial screening platform
  • Respect: Respect the impact that the quality and accessibility of the microbial collection has in driving the pipeline
  • Creativity: Identify robust ways to work with highly diverse soil microbes without being limited by the "culturability" label

Our Offer
  • Opportunity to work in an early-stage, disruptive startup with a talented, experienced, and growing team of dedicated individuals
  • Competitive compensation package
  • Performance bonus structure
  • Comprehensive health care plans that include Medical, Dental and Vision coverage
  • Flex Spending Account (Healthcare, Dependent Care & Commuter Benefit)
  • 401k Plan
  • Generous vacation policy
  • Regular team events and engagement activities (we actually like hanging out with each other!)

Sound is based in Emeryville, CA with a number of employees working remotely. We have a mission driven culture and a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. We are looking for someone to join the team who will bring a passion for sustainability along with a deep expertise in the business of food and agriculture.
Equal Employment Opportunity
We seek a diverse pool of applicants and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, ancestry, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, Veteran status, marital status, or any other protected status.

Sound participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the United States. If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, Sound is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before Sound takes any action, including terminating your employment.


Biological Technicians


Bachelor's Degree

Job type

Full time
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