Sound is an innovator of 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 S2G Ventures, Fall Line Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Ventures.

We are looking for a Research Scientist to lead on-demand breeding projects for various crops. The successful candidate will implement and validate new processes and technologies to operationalize and scale-up existing workflows (e.g. liquid handling automation, equipment, software tools, etc). The Research Scientist will collaborate with Data Science and Synthetic Biology teams to advance projects in the pipeline. This role also plays an important role in maintaining good client relationships by presenting data monthly to external partners. This is an opportunity to work with a rapidly growing, fast-paced and dynamic company. The Research Scientist will report to the Molecular Foundry Manager and will be based in our laboratory in Emeryville, California. This position will be onsite.


  • Collaboratively implement, operationalize, and improve new and existing high-throughput workflows to advance the on-demand breeding platform.
  • Design and execute experiments to test hypotheses and mine scientific literature to guide experimental design.
  • Serve as a technical lead for various on-demand breeding projects in interesting crops.
  • Use statistical analysis software to analyze datasets and communicate results to diverse audiences.
  • Provide mentorship and train more junior researchers (may include direct line management responsibilities depending on experience).
  • Maintain good relationships with external partners.
  • Maintain safe practices in the laboratory.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and strong record keeping skills.
  • Promote a positive and inclusive work environment.

Skills & Experience

  • A PhD, or equivalent experience with 1 – 2 years of relevant industrial experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, plant biology, or related fields.
  • Molecular biology techniques including: PCR, DNA and RNA extraction, RT-qPCR, and NGS.
  • Competent in using statistical tools to strengthen experimental design and enable data analysis (Excel, JMP, Spotfire, R, Python, etc).
  • Understanding of plant genetics and gene regulation.
  • Experience with laboratory automation (Tecan, Beckman, Hamilton, etc.) to enable process scale-up preferred but not required.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Proven track record of collaboration and teamwork in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Self-motivated and passionate about your work.
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and tasks.
  • Desire to be part of a rapidly evolving organization, which requires flexibility and a willingness to learn new techniques and concepts.

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.