Automation Padawan (1 year paid internship)

Boston, MA
Internships and Co-ops

Ginkgo Bioworks is the first YCombinator biotech company and a spin out of MIT. Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. We engineer organisms to address fundamental challenges the world is facing today. We aren't trying to study biology, we are trying to build it - constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house foundry of synthetic biology technologies to design and build new organisms.

We are looking for the *best* engineers, scientists, and hackers. You don't need to be a biologist; we can teach you biology. You do need to be a fast learner, passionate, brilliant, and tenacious.

You will be working in the foundry with a mix of operations and development in collaboration with Ginkgo jedis. Our foundry encompasses high throughput genetic engineering of microbes as well as high resolution analytics to assess cell performance; you will be responsible for helping to transition and adapt protocols and new unit operations to run on Ginkgo's automated platforms. Most importantly, you should be passionate about making biology easier to engineer.

This full-time internship is paid and typical duration is 12-15 months.


    • Automation Padawans working on the build team in the foundry will work on moving and improving unit operations and workflows associated with strain construction across multiple hosts and products onto Ginkgo's automated platforms.
    • Automation Padawans working on the test team in the foundry will work on moving and improving unit operations associated with strain testing including cultivation, sample extraction, assays and analytics onto Ginkgo's automated platforms.
    • Developing automated experimental workflows.
    • Writing software to drive operation of laboratory instruments and robotics.
    • Writing software for data acquisition, retrieval and processing
    • Validating and QC'ing automated protocols.


    • This is a one year, full-time internship. [Unfortunately, we've found that 3 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 2 months before your intended start date.
    • Undergraduate applicants are typically seniors looking for post-graduation plans.
    • Graduate applicants must be planning to graduate within a year.
    • Previous biology lab experience strongly preferred.
    • Previous experience with hardware or software hacking is a plus.

To learn more about Ginkgo, check us out on Medium and BuzzFeed

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.