Job: Lab Technician

Department: DPB – Plant Biology

Salary: $58,240-$62,400

Location: Stanford, CA

Carnegie Institution for Science & Stanford University, California 94305, USA
1 year with potential extensions up to 5 years

Earliest starting date: October 1 2021, flexible closing date: accepting applications until filled, but will start assessing applications on September 1, 2021.


The Burlacot lab is opening on October 1,2021 at the Department of Plant Biology of the Carnegie Institution for Science. We will start a scientific journey in the study of the molecular mechanisms that allow photosynthesis to be the major CO2 cycling mechanism in the atmosphere. We are seeking a molecular biology and algal physiology Lab Technician to help set up the lab and start new research programs in algal biology. We aim to recruit highly motivated and creative people with strong training in microbiology and molecular biology. 

Our lab aims to understand the acclimation of photosynthesis to environmental fluctuations and the dynamics of the molecular mechanisms involved. The questions that our lab aims to address are: How are microalgae dynamically reacting to environmental fluctuations? How do molecular mechanisms of photosynthesis dynamically interact to optimize cell survival and growth under fluctuating conditions? How do the different time scales of photosynthetic energy transfers combine at various time scales of light fluctuations? What genes are important for acclimation to such fluctuations? Can we modify key enzymes to make photosynthesis more robust to some environments? 

The lab will develop high throughput screening tools to quantify photosynthesis response to environmental changes in a variety of mutants of the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The hired technician will be involved in the development of the lab in all technical aspects and be responsible for the maintenance and characterization of algal strains as well as assisting in the main lab projects. The incumbent is expected to work independently after s/he is trained for individual techniques if not already familiar.

Equal opportunity employer

Carnegie is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable laws. We aim to have a vibrantly diverse lab, which is essential to tackle scientific questions from different creative angles. The main requirement for this position is that you are passionate about the topics above and are excited to set up a new lab environment so please apply! 


  • Bachelor degree in microbiology, Plant science, cell biology or a related field.
  • Good skills in microbiology and molecular biology.
  • Basic lab skills, preparing solutions, and sterile technique.
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint required.
  • Willingness to take responsibilities in a small team and to actively contribute to develop the lab organisation.
  • Willingness to take part in building a dynamic, inclusive and interactive lab atmosphere.
  • Willingness to develop synergistic interactions with other labs from the Carnegie Institution for Science and from Stanford University.
  • Programming skills: ability to develop and implement simple codes in Python and/or Mathlab will be appreciated. 
  • Prior experience with microalgae or plants is a plus but is not necessary.

Additional information

This is a full-time position with a competitive annual salary and benefits. The lab is located at the Carnegie Institution on the Stanford University campus. The initial position will be for one year with potential renewal of up to five years depending upon performance. 

The Department of Plant Biology of the Carnegie Institution for Science (formerly known as the Carnegie Institution of Washington) is a private endowment U.S.-based non-profit, located on the campus of Stanford University since 1928. Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery to serve as a home to exceptional individuals – men and women – with imagination and extraordinary dedication capable of working at the cutting edge of their fields. Today, Carnegie scientists work in six scientific departments on the west and east coasts and at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Carnegie investigators have made key discoveries in plant biology, including early experiments of local adaptation (Clausen, Keck, Hiesey), the discovery of transposable elements (McClintock), plant ecophysiology at global scales (Berry, Field), the discovery of key photosynthesis and phototropism genes (Grossman, Briggs), or The Arabidopsis Information Resource TAIR (Rhee, Somerville). The Department of Plant Biology ( and Global Ecology ( have state-of-the-art facilities for molecular genetic studies of algae, photosynthesis measurements, and growing facilities. 


Informal inquiries about this position can be made by emailing Adrien Burlacot at To be formally considered, please include: (1) a cover letter, (2) CV, and (3) one referee to whom I can ask for a letter of recommendation. Please submit your application by clicking the blue “Apply Now” box below.