Scientist, COVID-19 Diagnostic Development (6-month paid internship)

Boston, MA /
Internships and Co-ops /
For this role, we’re seeking industry and academic scientists to help ensure the success of our large-scale COVID-19 efforts.  Due to the pandemic, we recognize that many in this community are unable to carry out their current research programs - and therefore may be available to utilize their expertise to support this critical initiative.

This is a paid internship for an approximate 6-month duration, although exact end dates may be flexible.

Ginkgo has developed a SARS-CoV-2 screening service - Concentric by Ginkgo - that is designed to provide broader access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing solutions.  This effort is supported by partners such as Illumina and the National Institutes of Health, including one of the first awards under NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program.  We’re building increased Foundry capacity to support high rates of testing frequency for our clients, offering an end-to-end, onsite testing service designed to test large communities of individuals.  Performed at high-scale and high-throughput, this additional testing capacity will be essential for organizations, institutions, and companies to be able to reconvene their teams and reopen their communities.

To help deploy this new COVID-19 testing service, we’re looking for experienced molecular biologists to join us for a 6-month paid internship.  With your extensive experience in NGS sample prep, you’ll have a key role in helping to create and improve the molecular biology workflows for our NGS diagnostics.  Plus, you share Ginkgo’s drive to find long-term solutions to this global crisis, and are eager to help contribute to the COVID-19 response.


    • Assist our diagnostic development team with the creation and improvement of molecular biology workflows for Concentric by Ginkgo’s NGS diagnostics.  Specifically, this will support two key stages in this process:  “pre-NGS” (sample handling, RNA extraction, PCR prep, etc.) and “NGS” (library preparation, primer design, etc.).
    • Develop and execute experimental plans with extreme attention to detail and adherence to deadlines.
    • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to translate molecular biology protocols to high-throughput robotics.

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • MS, in-progress PhD, or PhD in molecular biology or related field
    • Extensive experience with NGS sample preparation, including RNA protocols and RT-PCR methods development
    • Expertise in high-throughput automation, including Illumina library preparation
    • Strong knowledge of BSL2 laboratory protocols
    • High level of efficiency, self-motivation, and comfort in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
    • Extremely process-oriented mindset, with an acute attention to detail
    • Preferred, but not essential:  experience with NGS bioinformatics and/or working with clinical samples

To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
Ginkgo Bioworks Awarded $40MM NIH RADx-ATP Contract to Expand High Throughput SARS-CoV-2 Testing (PR Newswire)
Ginkgo Bioworks CEO on scaling up Covid-19 testing: ‘If we try, we can win’ (CNBC)
Ginkgo raises $70 million to ramp up COVID-19 testing for employers, universities (Boston Globe)
Ginkgo Bioworks Redirects Its Biotech Platform to Coronavirus (Wall Street Journal)
Ginkgo Bioworks Provides Support on Process Optimization to Moderna for COVID-19 Response (PRNewswire)
The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)
Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)
Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.