Research Associate, Downstream Processing

Research Associate, Downstream Processing 150 150 checkerspot

Title: Research Associate, Downstream Processing

Type: Full-time

Location: Alameda, CA

Supervisor: Senior Scientist, Process Development


We seek a motivated, organized and detail-oriented candidate to join our team as a Research Associate, Downstream Processing. This position will assist in a multitude of process functions in a downstream processing lab within a process development department.  Basic laboratory and safety experience is highly desirable as is basic knowledge of separation techniques, drying and extraction techniques, and knowledge of GMP’s. This is a highly collaborative, cross functional role that requires establishing trusting relationships with Checkerspot’s internal leaders, stakeholders and external partners.


  • Plan and execute downstream processing and oil recovery operations in a team environment including set-up, operations, sampling, analysis, interpretation, reporting, and presentation of data
  • Assess, evaluate and characterize process performance based on collected data
  • Work closely with contract manufacturing organizations with some willingness to travel
  • Assist in testing and optimization of new equipment and/or processes
  • Collaborate cross functionally with team members and stakeholders to develop economically viable, commercially relevant fermentation processes
  • Create SOP’s and other process documentation for newly developed approaches
  • Drive a culture of safety and maintaining an orderly lab

Downstream processing unit operations include:

    • Drum Drying
    • Centrifugation
    • Solvent Extraction
    • Distillation
    • Beadmill operations


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioprocess Engineering, or equivalent years of experience. Post-educational fermentation and/or downstream processing experience highly desirable, including set-up, operation, and maintenance of lab and/or pilot-scale equipment.
  • Experience in a GMP environment is desirable
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data; troubleshoot critical issues
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Ability to communicate well with scientists and engineers in multiple disciplines
  • Ability to successfully work in a project-driven and team-oriented environment
  • Ability to function effectively in a fast paced, mission oriented environment, with multiple competing priorities
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs (raw materials) with assistance