Research Associate, Microbiology

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 seeking a motivated entry-level microbiologist to join our fast-paced, multi­dis­ci­pli­nary Discovery team, identifying promising new products and refining the existing Source product line. The primary responsibilities of this role will be to implement and develop assays to test the responses of soil microorganisms and plants when introduced to novel agricultural biotechnologies. Successful candidates will test and refine new assays in collaboration with managers and the Discovery team, as well as scale existing assays for product development and testing. The position is based in Emeryville, California.


  • Plan and execute molecular and whole-organism plant and microbial response assays
  • Perform experimental design, setup, execution, and analysis
  • Generate technical reports and share progress at internal and external meetings
  • Develop and maintain standard operating procedures
  • Work with biology team and company leadership to develop novel concepts, compounds, and technologies that advance our strategic goals

Skills & Experience

  • BS in microbiology, plant biology, molecular biology, soil science or related fields
  • Experience with growing microbial cultures, microbial and plant molecular biology, growing and maintaining plants in greenhouses or indoor settings
  • Familiarity with concepts in microbial ecology and physiology, plant biology, soil science, and molecular biology preferred
  • At least 1 – 2 yrs bench experience – industry experience preferred but applicants will also be considered from academic backgrounds (experience either from positions after completion of undergraduate studies – eg Masters program or research position, or candidates with sufficient wet-lab training and demonstration of independent research during their undergraduate studies)
  • Experience with programming and data analysis (python and/​or r) a plus
  • Strong problem solving and communication skills, ability to work in a team environment

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.