Research Associate/ Senior Research Associate | Fermentation

San Leandro, California /
Fermentation /
At New Culture, we are making cow cheese without the cow. Dairy cheese is unsustainable and plant-based cheeses don’t work. Ours are sustainable, healthy, ethical, and indistinguishable from current dairy options in taste, texture, and function. Using fermentation to produce dairy proteins, food science to combine those proteins with natural ingredients, and traditional cheesemaking methods to make any cheese of choice, we are bringing about a new culture for the cheese industry.
We are a Bay Area-based, venture-backed startup in an exciting growth and rapid expansion phase. We are looking for a Research Associate, Fermentation to join us in leading the global transformation to an animal-free dairy future. As an early member of the team, you will have significant influence and responsibility in determining the success and trajectory of New Culture. The ideal candidate is looking for a new challenge in a fast-moving collaborative environment and has experience in benchtop fermentation process development, ideally for protein and/or food production. 

What you will be doing

    • Plan and execute benchtop fermentation experiments independently for strain validation, process development, and media optimization
    • Prepare necessary media and stock solutions for fermentation experiments
    • Setup, sterilize, clean benchtop bioreactors, and perform routine maintenance if necessary
    • Monitor fermentation through sampling, checking online parameters, and offline measurements
    • Collect samples and perform routine biochemical assays and analysis
    • Analyze fermentation data, write summary reports, and present project results in team meetings
    • Maintain fermentation run indexes and records
    • Identify potential improvements to the fermentation processes and design experiments necessary to justify process changes
    • Troubleshoot, communicate, and collaborate with other team members to resolve equipment and process issues as they arise in the operation of bioreactors and lab equipment
    • Perform downscaled (shake flask, microwell plate, Biolector) experiments to help optimize process parameters and media components
    • Facilitate tech transfers and scale up/down projects to CROs/CMOs
    • Ensure alignment with other areas of science such as microbiology and downstream processing
    • Develop and maintain SOPs
    • Maintain safe practices and work environment

What we expect from you

    • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Microbiology, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical or Biochemical Engineering, or related field with 1-5 years of relevant industry or academic experience
    • Hands-on experience with various types of fermentation processes (batch, fed-batch, continuous; aerobic and anaerobic), fermentation equipment and scale, control and analysis software
    • Ability to correlate microbial physiology with process performance in the bioreactors
    • Willingness to work with a flexible schedule and extended hours when needed
    • Ability to deliver high-quality work under constraints of time and budget
    • Ability to work closely in a team of interdisciplinary and intercultural individuals

Even better if you had

    • Experience with data visualization and analysis tools such as Python, SpotFire, R, and/or JMP
    • Scale-up experience
    • Downstream processing experience
    • Prior involvement with startups and/or small businesses
How to know you are a great fit:

We look for candidates who are team players, learners, doers, and hungry to make a difference in the world. Creativity and resourcefulness, honesty and empathy go a long way. Our five core values guide us on our path to achieving our mission. 

Determination with Kindness | Have the resolve, the drive, and the will to succeed, but do it with empathy, encouragement, and compassion. In the face of adversity we will only excel as a team by keeping kindness at the forefront of everything we do.

Tenacity with Transparency | Creativity, persistence, questioning, and crazy ideas to solve hard problems are essential to our work. We do all of this out in the open while being honest and forthright about the new things we’re trying, getting feedback and input from our teammates along the way. 

Teamwork with Rigor | Hold yourself and those around you to high standards and understand how your responsibilities are interconnected with others’. As much as you rely on your teammates, they’re relying on you, and only with consistent communication and rigorous teamwork will we achieve our goals together.

Speed with Focus | We move quickly, exploring new opportunities and incorporating new results to make progress rapidly. Remaining focused throughout our experiments means making thoughtful decisions, listening to a range of perspectives, and moving forward as a unified team once we’ve committed to the path ahead.

Love the Product (not just the science) | Our science breakthroughs are always in the pursuit of better products. It’s by selling delicious dairy that we will bring about a successful future for New Culture and a positive impact for our customers and the planet.

New Culture is committed to promoting and creating a diverse, inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Diversity is the foundation of what we do at New Culture, enabling us to build a company that celebrates what makes each of us unique.