Sandia National Laboratories is the nation's premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:
Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)
Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance
World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:
These benefits vary by job classification.
What Your Job Will Be Like
Are you looking to do creative research that addresses civilizations' major challenges such as climate change and infectious disease? Would you be excited to work in a multidisciplinary team, interacting with world class scientists across multiple national labs and universities? Sandia/California's Systems Biology Department is seeking bioinformaticians/computational biologists to join our research team. The selected applicant will engage in fundamental work improving the characterization of mobile elements and horizontal gene transfer across the bacterial kingdom, and help develop applied technologies derived from this knowledge base such as new synthetic biology and gene editing methods and vectors, and advanced phage therapy.
On any given day, you may be called on to:
Devise innovative computational approaches to expand and annotate the world's largest well-curated database of microbial genomic islands
Work with experimental colleagues to design, model and analyze high-throughput screens and advanced synthetic biology constructs
Mentor technologists and interns
Work collaboratively to execute, track and refine project plans with an integrated multidisciplinary team that may include members from national labs, universities and industry
Communicate your research through writing scientific papers, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and presenting findings at seminars and conferences
Contribute to the creation and development of new scientific research proposals
The Postdoctoral Appointee works onsite in California. The salary is set for this position at $104,900 annually (updated from $99,000 on 8/25/23).
Qualifications We Require
Recent PhD in one of the following:
Bioinformatics or computational biology, or related field
Biochemistry, microbiology, evolutionary biology or a related field coupled with strong skills in bioinformatics/computational biology and experience in computer programming
Computer or information sciences with an emphasis in biology as evidenced by relevant publications and/or thesis work
Experience with prokaryotic genomics, genetics and/or molecular biology
Proven record of high technical accomplishment and written communication (e.g. as evidenced by publication in high-impact scientific journals) and/or strong verbal communication and data presentation skills (e.g., as demonstrated through scientific conference presentations)
Qualifications We Desire
A strong background in microbiology, including studies of microbiomes, genome evolution, microbial communities and bacteriophages
Bioinformatics skills and familiarity with related software tools for phylogenetics, comparative genomics, genome assembly and genome annotation
Strong background in statistics, machine learning and data science with applications to biological data analysis (e.g., from next-generations sequencing or high-throughput screening methods)
Strong programming and database skills (e.g., Python, Perl, C++, MySQL)
Experience with genome engineering and synthetic biology or with high-throughput functional genomics screens (e.g., CRISPR or transposon based)
Computational biology skills and experience with protein engineering, phage display or directed evolution methods
About Our Team
The Systems Biology Department, located in Livermore, California is a diverse research group with a focus on both basic and applied biological research. We seek to address problems with strong ties to national security, including as biodefense and health security, and climate and energy security. We do this using innovative research approaches in microbiology, virology, synthetic biology, immunology, and bioinformatics. We incorporate advanced technology development including CRISPR/Cas technologies, advanced omics, and advanced materials and nanotechnology. We also seek to develop the science-based needed to produce clean, efficient, and cost-effective biofuels and other bioproducts on a commercial scale. Our department is part of the highly multidisciplinary Applied Biosciences and Engineering Group, comprised of researchers with expertise in many disciplines of biology (molecular biology, microbiology, virology, immunology and biochemistry), chemistry (analytical, organic and physical), computational science (bioinformatics, machine learning, computational chemistry), and engineering(chemical, mechanical and biomedical).
This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the 'posting date'. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.
This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.
Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.
If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.
Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.
NNSA Requirements for MedPEDs
If you have a Medical Portable Electronic Device (MedPED), such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, drug-releasing pump, hearing aids, or diagnostic equipment and other equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves, if employed by Sandia National Laboratories you may be required to comply with NNSA security requirements for MedPEDs.
If you have a MedPED and you are selected for an on-site interview at Sandia National Laboratories, there may be additional steps necessary to ensure compliance with NNSA security requirements prior to the interview date.
This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.
Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.