Why you should join us:

At Sound Agriculture, we believe our food system can nourish consumers while benefiting farming communities and the planet. Through a deeper understanding of plant and microbial biology, we are leveraging the natural power of plants to make agriculture more agile and resilient. Our work focuses on developing nutrient efficiency products and modernizing plant breeding to improve the way we farm and the food we eat.

Sound is a Series D startup funded by leading investors in food and agriculture including Leaps by Bayer, Syngenta Group Ventures, S2G Ventures, BMO Impact Investment Fund, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Fall Line Capital, Cavallo Ventures, FootPrint Coalition and Northpond Ventures.

What you'll do:

We are looking for a full-time Research Associate, Plant Biology to execute plant physiology experiments and assays under both greenhouse and laboratory settings. The focus of these projects is to elucidate the mode of action of small molecules in signaling or regulating plant growth and/or nutrient utilization. Success in this role will require significant hands-on experience in plant growth and maintenance, collection of relevant in-planta information, and data management and analyses.

The Research Associate, Plant Biology reports to a Research Scientist on the ChemBio team. This role is based on-site, working in both our Emeryville, California laboratory and our Albany, California greenhouse space.

Compensation Target:

$75,440-82,000 base salary; equivalent for Research Associate II
Bonus target 10%

Bonuses are earned based on annual company and individual performance and are prorated based on start date. 

Sound reserves the ability to adjust the compensation range based on the final candidate’s experience, skillset, and geography. In addition to on target earnings, we offer above average equity grants for the industry as we believe that every employee should have a stake in the company’s growth. If you’re above this compensation target, we encourage you to reach out and discuss the entire package and opportunity before deciding not to pursue this position. 



  • Design, execute and maintain greenhouse and controlled environment experiments for the evaluation of the mode of action of small molecules on plant growth promotion 
  • Collect plant phenotypic data by employing spectrophotometric sensors, imaging, and other automated technologies 
  • Maintain and monitor plant health and growth including seeding, fertilizing, spraying, pest, and disease management
  • Collect data, perform basic statistical analysis, and build reports 
  • Keep abreast of relevant scientific literature for process improvement and workflow optimization

Targeted Skills & Experience

  • BS degree in Plant Biology, Plant Science, or Agronomy with 5 years relevant experience or MS degree with 2 years relevant experience
  • Extensive greenhouse and controlled environment experience (Industry experience preferred), especially growing corn, soy, and other crops of interest
  • Basic knowledge of experimental design and statistical analysis
  • Ability to work in a greenhouse setting with various temperature and humidity conditions
  • Works independently and in a team setting, strong initiative, and results-orientation

This role demonstrates our core values by: 

  • Boldness: Proactively execute new ideas and processes in the greenhouse and laboratory to efficiently evaluate plant growth-promoting effects of small molecules
  • Ownership: Take responsibility for setting up, maintaining, collecting, and analyzing data for projects of different scope  
  • Tenacity: Strongly dedicated to goal execution and exhibits flexibility in changing priorities
  • Creativity: Innovatively look for ways to accelerate the development and efficiency of workflows to increase experimental cycles in the greenhouse and controlled environment


What we offer:

  • Opportunity to work in a disruptive startup with a talented, experienced, and growing team of dedicated individuals
  • Competitive total rewards package, including equity
  • Performance bonus structure or uncapped commission plan for sales positions
  • Comprehensive health care plans that include Medical, Dental and Vision coverage
  • Flex Spending Account (Healthcare, Dependent Care & Commuter Benefit)
  • 401(k) with company match
  • Generous flexible paid time off
  • Paid parental leave
  • Mental health and wellbeing benefits 
  • In-person and virtual events and engagement activities (we actually like hanging out with each other!) (e.g. First Fridays, Meditation, Potlucks, Cultural Events, Running and Climbing groups, Photo Contests, weekly Team lunch, etc.)


Sound Agriculture does not accept unsolicited resumes from individual recruiters or third party recruiting agencies responding to job postings. We will not respond to unsolicited requests to submit candidates.


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.


Apply for this Job

* Required
resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
cover_letter chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)

Demographic Questionnaire

Sound Agriculture is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive organization. We analyze the data provided in the answers to the questions below to identify areas of improvement in our hiring process. Your responses are not associated with your specific application and are not used in the hiring decision. Data is accessed in aggregate only (not linked to any individual).

We recognize that individuals may identify with one or more of the options for each of the questions below, and that our individual identities are more nuanced and unique than survey options represent. As you complete this survey, we request you select the option that you feel best represents you.

I identify my ethnicity as: (Select one) *

I identify my gender as: (Select one) *

I identify as transgender: (Select one) *

I identify my sexual orientation as: (Select one) *

I have a physical disability: (Select one) *

I am neurodivergent (a neurocognitive variation like ADHD, autism, anxiety, etc): (Select one) *

Veteran status: (Select one) *