Pivot Bio

Berkeley, CA, United States

Posted on: 2022-06-16

Category: agritech

Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

Formulation Lab Research Associate I

About the company:

Pivot Bio is the leading nitrogen innovator providing farmers and the world with a better nitrogen for improved productivity and sustainability

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 products harness the power of naturally occurring microbes to provide nutrients to crops and new sustainable ways for farmers to reduce the usage of fertilizers as they work to help feed the world’s growing population.

Read/Hear more about Pivot Bio on Forbes or PBS News Hour. 

Position: Formulation Lab Research Associate I 

Location: Berkeley, CA with occasional work at our Hayward, CA facility 

We are looking for a strong researcher who thrives in the laboratory. The successful candidate should be willing to learn and support innovation, while maintaining excellent laboratory practices. Reporting to the formulation scientist, and working primarily in our beautiful new facility in Berkeley, the candidate will be responsible for supporting the development of innovative formulations intended to deliver microbial actives that improve nitrogen use efficiency in corn. Prior experience with drying technologies including freeze drying and spray drying is a plus. The candidate should have a strong foundation in chemistry, a working knowledge of microbiology, an eye for detail, skill with troubleshooting laboratory equipment, and excellent verbal and written communication skills. We expect the candidate to thrive in a fast-paced environment, adapt to changing research objectives, and operate independently with minimal oversight. If this is you, you will enjoy the satisfaction of being a crucial member of a growing team innovating the most cutting edge products in ag biologicals.    


  • Work in a laboratory setting to generate liquid and dry microbial formulations 
  • Operate and maintain lab-scale processing equipment 
  • Maintain samples in an organized manner while conducting long term shelf-life studies  
  • Evaluate high volumes of samples in a quick turnaround manner, producing replicable results that are statistically relevant 
  • Plate and count microbes using aseptic technique 
  • Analyze samples for water activity, moisture content, viscosity, pH 
  • Collect, enter, and analyze data 
  • Follow standard operating procedures to execute assays 
  • Troubleshoot and assist with developing protocol (SOP) iterations, including proactively finding ways to incorporate automation techniques   
  • Attend and contribute to R&D meetings 
  • As needed, be able to drive to/from the Hayward and Berkeley locations  


  • Bachelor of science degree in life sciences, chemistry, biotechnology, food science, biological systems engineering, biochemical engineering, or related field or equivalent relevant experience. 
  • 1 - 2 years experience in a fast-paced industry research lab environment 
  • Experience with sterile/aseptic technique for handling microbes 
  • Comfortable with standard microbiology techniques including CFU/viability plating and cell counting 
  • Excellent communication - ability to understand the needs of others and clearly explain ideas 
  • Attention to detail, skilled in making observations and documenting anomalies 
  • Strong problem solving and troubleshooting skills 
  • Able to perform physically repetitive tasks like pipetting 
  • Able to work 8-hour workdays and 5-day work weeks 
  • A valid driver’s license and personal vehicle 

***Must be authorized to work in the United States 

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