Website Switch Bioworks

The living fertilizer company

About us: Switch Bioworks is an early stage biotech startup that spun out of Stanford. Our mission is to feed a growing world sustainably by displacing industrial nitrogen fertilizer that is damaging the planet. To do this, we’ve developed and patented a new technology based on synthetic biology and the natural plant microbiome. We are looking for talent to help us realize our vision. Some call it a moonshot. We call it an earthshot.

About the position: As a synthetic biology Scientist, you’re coming in on the ground floor to help lead our charge in developing genetic tools and circuits for non-model organisms that switch in soil and on plants with real-world relevant inducers. You will work with research associates and scientists to design and build fertilizer producing strains, test their performance in response to stimuli in vitro, and study their effect on plant growth promotion and community composition in the rhizosphere. As an early team member, you will also proactively shape the scientific and strategic vision of the company.

Characteristics of a successful candidate:

  • Ability to work full-time in the US and be on-site in the California Bay Area.
  • PhD in life sciences or similar level of experience, including publication of impactful papers. (Note: to properly acknowledge significant experience you might have beyond this, we will bring you on as a Scientist II or Senior Scientist).
  • Expertise in all or most of the following: synthetic biology, microbiology, strain engineering (stable chromosome modifications), design-build-test of plasmids and genetic circuits according to specs, parallel characterization of genetic parts, nitrogen fixation, plant-microbe interactions.
  • Preferred (but not required): experience in growing, sequencing, and engineering non-run-of-the-mill microbes; experience in growing and handling plants (gnotobiotic hydroponics or soil).
  • An independent thinker, able to contribute new ideas and read the literature.
  • Excellent presentation, writing, and data analysis skills; ability to clearly communicate technical information to colleagues.
  • A team player, including excitement to recruit, train, and work with research associates.
  • An execution-focused self-starter – a generalist problem solver with drive to acquire new skills as needed.
  • Positive can-do attitude.

Want to learn more or apply? E-mail the following to (1) your resume, (2) a paragraph or cover letter about why you’re excited to join Switch, (3) when you’d want to start. We’ll take it from there!

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