HPI Project Manager, Plant Molecular & Cellular Biology Laboratory of Dr. Wolfgang Busch

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • May 02, 2022
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

The Salk Institute's Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI), Project Manager will be responsible for all aspects of Salk's Harnessing Plants Initiative focused on using plant biology to substantially increase plant derived durable soil and wetlands carbon sequestration and improved soil health. The Project Manager will be responsible for managing the HPI project and related research activities in six world class Principal Investigator ("PI") laboratories, spanning plant biology, genetics, epigenetics, biochemistry, genomics, soil science, and associated greenhouse facilities, and multiple academic and commercial collaboration partner relationships.


Project Management (50%)

  • Partners closely with Crops Transformation Project Manager and the Leadership Team to develop project plans and ensure project team is on track. 
  • Identifies synergies and cross-collaboration opportunities within HPI, brings these to the attention of PIs, facilitates cross-collaborations.
  • Ensures appropriate approvals are in place for compliance. 
  • Prepares and maintains reports.
  • Assists with data management & sample tracking.
  • Determine experimental needs and purchase equipment.
  • Participates in discussions regarding project progress and goal setting.
  • Assists with Crops Transformation Management, including tracking of transformants from Tsegaye pipeline and Covercress pipeline. Can also include crop transformations from external facilities.
  • Manages gene candidates and constructs. Manages construct database and generational seed lines.
  • Serves as liaison between labs, bioinformatics analyses, and crop pipeline for experiments.

Administrative Support (20%)

  • Serves as liaison with Salk internal departments.
  • Assists with event planning and external visits.
  • Writes scientific reports and project materials.
  • Prepares HPI materials and information for internal and external meetings.
  • Assigns tasks to UpWork professionals.

Personnel Supervision (20%)

  • Collaborates with PIs to identify recruitment needs and works with HR and T&A for recruitment processing.
  • Supervises and supports lab personnel, such as research assistants and scientists.
  • Acts as first point of contact for workplace personnel matters and coordinates with HR as needed.

Field Site and Greenhouse Operations (10%)

  • Assists with field site experiments; coordinates materials, resources, and makes pipeline more fluid.
  • Assists with study data acquisition.
  • Performs root washing and sample preparation from field as needed.
  • Performs greenhouse experiments as needed.
  • Serves as liaison between field sites, greenhouses, and labs.



  • 5+ years of related experience
  • 3+ years of experience in plant biology or related field
  • Proven experience in a role that requires strong leadership skills and which interfaces directly with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience in plant biology, plant breeding and transformation techniques, and crop or soil science.



  • BA/BS in a biological science, or related discipline, or equivalent combination of equivalent work experience.
  • Experience in scientific project/study management in an academic or industry research setting.



Strong project management skills.

  • Strong presentation and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent strategic thinking and advising skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to successfully facilitate cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to effectively interact with all levels internally and externally to build credibility and relationships.
  • Ability to manage project goals and priorities with exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Proficient in advanced techniques with relevant software: MS Project, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc. in addition to experience working within shared work environments.
  • Ability to anticipate risks and proactively create contingency plans in collaboration with project teams.
  • Ability to generate analyses of timeline, resource, and budget information that facilitates scenario planning, contingency planning, risk assessment and management, problem solving, and decision-making.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign confidentiality agreement.


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, working in confined areas, and working inside.

Application Details

Apply Here: https://www.salk.edu/about/careers/


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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