Research Associate I/II

  • Pivot Bio
  • Berkeley, California
  • Feb 04, 2022

Job Description

About Pivot Bio:

Fueled by an innovative drive and a deep understanding of the soil microbiome, Pivot Bio is pioneering game-changing advances in agriculture. Our first commercial product harnesses the power of naturally-occurring microbes to provide nutrients to crops. We are dedicated to providing new sustainable ways for farmers to improve yield as they work to help feed the world’s growing population. Read/Hear more about Pivot Bio on Forbes or PBS News Hour.
Position: Research Associate I/II - Microbial Isolation

Location: Berkeley, CA

Pivot Bio is looking for a Research Associate I/II to join our Microbial Isolation Team. As a critical member of the team, this role will optimize and run our high-throughput microbial isolation pipeline. The ideal candidate for this position combines a passion for microbial ecology with an engineering mindset dedicated to developing efficient and robust methods to target and assess both well-described and unknown sources of diversity. Responsibilities:

  • End-to-end microbial isolation targeting maximal diversity centered around target phenotypes
  • Optimization and performance assessment of isolation selection and screening tools
  • Data capture and analysis including development of analytical tools to assess pipeline performance
  • Support execution of soil and root microbial colonization assays
  • Workflow process development in collaboration with Automation Engineers, Microbiology and Culture Collection scientists

Qualifications and Experience:

  • BS in microbiology, molecular biology, soil & microbial ecology, biochemistry, or biotechnology with 2-5 years of relevant laboratory experience, MS with 0-2 years of relevant laboratory experience, or equivalent related experience
  • Experience with fundamental microbiology techniques, including sterile technique, streaking, dilution plating, and bacterial cell culture, as well as experience cultivating diverse microbes
  • Experience with fundamental molecular biology techniques such as DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA sequence analysis
  • Experience designing and running experiments for process optimization or method development
  • Data organization, analysis, and reporting with Microsoft Excel; experience with Spotfire, JMP, R, Python, or similar tools is a plus
  • High throughput process development; experience with liquid handlers and other robotic tools is a plus
  • Experience with NGS sequencing, particularly genome or microbiome analysis a plus
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

What we offer:

  • Competitive package in a disruptive startup
  • Stock options
  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance with employer-paid premiums
  • Life, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability policies
  • Employee Assistance Program with free referrals and discounts
  • 401(k) plan, 3% Match
  • Commuter benefits
  • Annual Training & Development support
  • Flexible vacation policy with a generous holiday schedule
  • Exciting opportunity to work with a talented and fun team

Organization Type


Organization Size



Food & Agriculture

Drawdown solutions

Nutrient Management