Automation Padawan (1-year paid internship)

Boston, MA
Internships and Co-ops
Intern
Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer.  Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more.  Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms.  Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Padawans (what we call interns) at Ginkgo work on projects just as ambitious as the Jedis (what we call full-time employees). Because of this, we’re looking for the best scientists and engineers who are excited by the challenges of scaling and improving our foundry in our Padawans. Because it touches nearly every part of the foundry, the Automation Team is integral to Ginkgo’s vision for the future. We are creating integrated robotic workcells, designing processes around walkup robotic systems, improving how data is handled, working with scientists on scaling their processes, and much more. All the work we do is in service of increasing Ginkgo’s capacity in terms of the number of strains engineered and the diversity of species and products we can handle. It’s an enormous challenge and we need people who are eager to get started. You’ll be working hand-in-hand with biologists, software developers, and other engineers to co-develop the wetware, hardware, and software infrastructure that underpin the foundry.

This is a one year, full-time internship. We've found that three-month summer internships are too short for someone to get up to speed and be productive in our organism engineering foundry. Applicants are taken on a rolling basis. We suggest you apply two months before your intended start date. Undergraduate applicants are typically seniors looking for post-graduation plans and graduate applicants should be planning to graduate within a year. The Padawan position is also a good way for someone with less industry experience to get a chance to see if Ginkgo is a good fit.

Responsibilities

    • Developing automated experimental workflows for genetic engineering processes, strain cultivation, sample preparation, and multi-omics analysis
    • Writing software to drive operation of laboratory instruments and robotics
    • Validating and QC'ing automated protocols
    • Writing software for data acquisition, retrieval, and processing
    • Operating automation equipment with biologists
    • Training automation users on workflows and best practices
    • Supporting and maintaining automation hardware
    • Designing and building integrated automation infrastructure, including workcells for executing high-throughput processes, as well as flexible distributed automation tooling

Requirements

    • Ability to work at Ginkgo Bioworks for up to one year as a Padawan
    • Experience with laboratory automation systems and experimental workflow development
    • Software development capability, especially pertaining to hardware control
    • Practical knowledge of high-throughput biological processes
    • Experience in hardware development, integration, and testing
To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
Ginkgo Bioworks secures $275 million in Series D, valuing the company at over $1 billion (TechCrunch)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)
Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Pour Into Hacking Microbes (Forbes)

We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry and it needs to change.  Our goal is to help drive that change.  We hope to continue to build a company whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with engineers from all walks of life.  Making biology easier to engineer is a tough nut to crack –  we can’t afford to leave any talent untapped.  

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