Research Support
BE-Biological Systems & Eng
93124 Requisition #

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL), Biological Systems and Engineering Division has an opening for a Senior Research Associate (SRA) to join the Design, Implementation, Validation, and Automation (DIVA) team.


The DIVA team provides DNA construction and sequence validation services to the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Agile BioFoundry (ABF) teams at the Emery Station East (ESE4) Facility. The SRA will be responsible for providing technical support and development of different molecular cloning approaches as well as perform DNA sequencing services using high throughput automated methodologies. This includes the maintenance and operation of robotic instruments, record keeping for DNA construction and validation, and general lab duties such as inventory, ordering, and stocking supplies. The SRA will also contribute to the preparation of periodic reports and will present results at scientific and technical meetings.


What You Will Do:

  • Follow Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) guidelines to ensure safety at the lab and office spaces.
  • Perform routine molecular biology and microbiology work including DNA/RNA preps, (q)PCR, DNA gel extraction, in vitro and in vivo DNA assembly, transformation, and colony screening.
  • Perform DNA construction and next-generation DNA sequencing as part of in-house services.
  • Under basic instruction, design and perform experiments, summarize results, and provide conclusions on R&D projects.
  • Work with robotic automation equipment including liquid handlers (e.g., Biomek, RoboLector, Mantis), acoustic printers (e.g., Echo 550), DNA analysis and extraction (e.g., Zag, Nimbus SS) and microbial colony picker (e.g., QPix 460).
  • Work with automation engineers to define automated method prototypes, test for equivalency with manual processes, and iterate until required performance is achieved.
  • Perform basic lab duties, including maintaining and purchasing reagents/supplies/consumables, and organizing personal lab bench space as well as common areas.
  • Prepare media, buffers, and stock solutions.
  • Maintain electronic records of experimental designs and results/data.
  • Prepare and/or contribute to periodic reports and technical presentations.
  • Work with archivists and shipping/receiving staff to archive and ship microbial strains and DNA.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Troubleshoot and identify technical problems in molecular cloning and next-generation sequencing.
  • Contribute to data and text in publications and software/invention disclosures

What is Required:

  • B.S. degree preferred and 2-5 years of experience with increasing responsibility in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, or related field.
  • Ability to promote a physically and psychologically safe, inclusive, and respectful working environment.
  • Strong experience with molecular and microbiological techniques including nucleic acid preparation (e.g., genomic DNA and plasmids), (q)PCR, DNA gel electrophoresis, restriction digestion, ligation, transformation, colony picking and screening.
  • Demonstrated ability to work autonomously as well as part of a diverse team.
  • Good understanding of how scientific principles apply to problem being studied, with ability to analyze, draw conclusions from data, and to provide solutions.
  • Strong detail-oriented organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated efficient time management skills and the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication (written, verbal, nonverbal, and visual) skills.
  • Proficiency with basic office software (e.g., Google Docs, Excel, PowerPoint).

Desired Qualifications:

  • M.S. degree in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, or related field.
  • Demonstrated experience with in vivo (e.g., Saccharomycetaceae) DNA assembly methods.
  • Experience writing and revising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Demonstrated experience with molecular biology library preparation.
  • Experience with eukaryotic metabolic engineering, gene regulation, and/or genome engineering.
  • Demonstrated experience with robotic instruments (including troubleshooting automated methods).
  • Experience in scripting/programming languages (e.g., Python) and the use of various biological, analytical, and statistical software tools.
  • Experience mentoring/training/leading the work of internship students.


  • This is a (full-time/part-time) career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at Berkeley Lab. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.
  • Work will be primarily performed at: EmeryStation East — Bldg. 978, 5885 Hollis St., 4th floor, Emeryville, CA.

Learn about us!

Biological Systems and Engineering Division

Vision: To lead efforts that combine the power of biology with the tools of engineering to develop sustainable energy and biomanufacturing solutions and improve human health.

Mission: Advance a mechanistic and predictive understanding of complex biological systems over multiple scales in terms of their responses to manipulation, stress, disease and environmental challenges and translate this knowledge using engineering principles to develop resilient systems, tools, and processes for the efficient production of fuels, chemicals, materials, tissues, and therapeutics.


Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities.  To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here.


Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.  Click here to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.


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Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments.

Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab’s mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:
Know your rights, click here for the supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law." and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.


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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides accommodation to otherwise qualified internal and external applicants who are disabled or become disabled and need assistance with the application process. Internal and external applicants that need such assistance may contact the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to request accommodation by telephone at 510-486-7635, by email to eeoaa@lbl.gov or by U.S. mail at EEO/AA Office, One Cyclotron Road, MS90R-2121, Berkeley, CA 94720. These methods of contact have been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants requesting accommodation.