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 looking for a Scientist I, On-Demand Breeding, to join our team working on our On-Demand Breeding platform. The successful candidate will implement and improve our existing processes and workflows (e.g. new molecular assays, liquid handling automation, equipment, software tools, etc) whilst working on a combination of fundamental science research and client projects with external partners in various crops. The Scientist I, On-Demand Breeding, will collaborate with Data Science and Foundry teams to advance projects in the pipeline. This is an opportunity to work with a rapidly growing, fast-paced and dynamic company.

This role reports to the Research Manager and is based in our laboratory in Emeryville, California. This position is 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.


Targeted Skills & Experience

  • A PhD, or equivalent experience, in plant biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or related fields.
  • Expert in molecular biology techniques
  • 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.


This role demonstrates our core values by:

  • Boldness: You lean on experience and make logical, results-based suggestions towards the direction of the On-Demand Breeding platform.  
  • Ownership: You take initiative by looking ahead and preparing for the next steps in the pipeline. You are resourceful and search out appropriate literature. You call the shots when appropriate and return data complete with a report that summarizes the findings.  You document findings, maintain well curated notes, contribute to the current structure of organized information and file new documents in the appropriate places.
  • Respect: You demonstrate passion for the projects and tasks that have been assigned, no matter how big or small.  You are open to learning new software, protocols, and procedures.  You exhibit due diligence in reading or researching a procedure prior to training to acquire maximum benefit from the experience.  
  • Creativity: You come up with creative solutions to solve biological problems and make processes more efficient.

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.


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