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Associate Professor - Synthetic Biology

J. Craig Venter Institute
Rockville, Maryland
Salary Range: $140,000.00 To 175,000.00 Annually
Closing date
2 Jul 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Faculty Member
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Position Summary 

We seek an Associate Professor in the department of Synthetic Biology ( We invite applications for those with experience emerging genetic and physical engineering to produce new (and, therefore, synthetic) life forms. To develop organisms with novel or enhanced characteristics, this emerging field of study combines biology, engineering, and related disciplines' knowledge and techniques to design chemically synthesized DNA. This position is responsible for initiating and managing innovative research projects in areas related to the strategic goals of JCVI.  

Associate Professors are expected to be research and project leaders for independently funded projects (as PIs or co-PIs) and to serve as leaders and major contributors for larger team projects involving multiple Professors. They are recognized nationally and internationally as important contributors to their research field.  

This position will report to Dr. Sanjay Vashee, Director, Rockville Campus, and Professor, Synthetic Biology. 

Job Location: Rockville, Maryland

To apply:

Learn More About Us:

Essential Functions

  • As a Principal Professor, initiates, seeks outside funding for, and manages an independent research portfolio comprising R01 type research grants and/or team projects in defined areas related to the goals of the Institute. 
  • Significantly contributes to the conceptualization and writing of research proposals in order to obtain grant/contract funding. 
  • Identifies research project needs and ensures projects are brought to successful completion. 
  • Designs and executes/implements scientific experiments/tools; analyzes and interprets experimental results. 
  • Trains and supervises other faculty members, staff scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and/or research associates, and/or students, and/or data specialists assigned to the Department. They also function as mentors for junior faculty and other scientific staff to promote career development, increase productivity, and provide new research opportunities.  
  • Attends scientific meetings and trainings to keep abreast of latest scientific findings and developments.  
  • Publishes results of scientific work in peer-reviewed journals or equivalent on a consistent basis. 
  • Keeps current on research efforts in specific scientific discipline and advances knowledge of related scientific fields through continued reading of literature. 
  • Attends and participates in national and international scientific meetings. 
  • Participates in JCVI laboratory meetings and scientific working groups. 
  • Responsible for the integration of environmental, health and safety protocols into work activities. This includes reporting potential hazards and when necessary, helping to implement solutions to ensure safety and respect for the environment. 
  • Supervises staff to provide guidance and counseling for effective employee relations to include performance appraisals, regular performance feedback and direction. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Strictly adheres to all documented JCVI policies and procedures to include conducting all functions required of Institute employees (i.e., completion of timesheets in an accurate and timely manner).


  • M.D. or Ph.D. in relevant scientific Field such as Synthetic Biology or Engineering Biology required. Minimum of five years post-doctoral experience performing duties similar to the above. Supervisory experience preferred. Individuals who do not hold a Ph.D. or M.D. but with comparable experience in a relevant field and have demonstrated exceptional scientific accomplishments and technology development may also be eligible.  
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively supervise staff. 
  • High level of discretion for confidential work and information; ability to appropriately manage critical information and sensitive situations. 
  • Must play a significant role in obtaining funding for research projects. 
  • Demonstrated ability to lead projects from beginning to successful completion. 
  • Has an established publications record in their field. 
  • Must be able to initiate and conduct investigations in relevant scientific areas. 
  • Must be able to formulate experimental hypotheses and analyze and interpret scientific data. 
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills. 
  • Strong computer aptitude, including experience with word processing and/or spreadsheet software and/or data analysis and database software. 
  • Familiarity with standard laboratory safety procedures and equipment. 
  • Excellent organization and time management skills. 
  • Flexibility to manage a variety of tasks and shift priorities simultaneously. 
  • Strong people skills: ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and external contacts; ability to work as an effective team member. 
  • Cooperative and service-oriented attitude; must be able to work under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor. 
  • Ability to use sound judgment to effectively solve problems within the scope of the position. 
  • High level of initiative and ability to work with minimum supervision. 

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a teammate encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Moderate noise (i.e., business office with computers, phone, and printers, light traffic)
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period of time.
  • Ability to stand and/or sit for an extended period of time while working in the lab. 

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard reach, stoop kneel to install computer equipment.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer and lab work.
  • Light to moderate lifting is required.

J. Craig Venter Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.


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4120 Capricorn Lane
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