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Principal Biochemist

Principal Biochemist

  • Location United States of America - California - San Diego
  • Travel required Up to 10% travel should be expected with this role
  • Job category Research & Technology Group
  • Relocation available This role is eligible for relocation within country
  • Job type Professionals
  • Job code RQ067074
  • Experience level Senior
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Job summary


Innovation & Engineering

Job Family Group:

Research & Technology Group

Job Summary:

This is an opportunity to join us in creating, growing, and delivering innovation to reimagine energy for people and our planet.

The advanced bio & physical sciences for low carbon energy (AB&PS) team is the central research organisation for biosciences, chemistry, materials sciences, fundamental biofuels pathways, green hydrogen/ electrochemistry, and the science of carbon capture and the bp Biosciences Center (BSC) in San Diego, Ca, is one of bp’s global research hubs. The Center stays closely connected to bp businesses and external technologies, and ensures the expertise required to progress opportunities through the early stages of technology development. The Center also advises businesses on biological issues and partnership opportunities. The team in San Diego is comprised of flexible, agile, multiskilled, innovative members that work collaboratively across the research portfolio.

This position will report to the synthetic biology lead. The initial focus of research activities will be to support the biosciences programs requiring biochemistry & bio-catalysis expertise. The successful candidate will lead efforts for enzyme discovery, characterization and engineering, as well as efforts for assay development and method automation. The individual will join a group of interactive scientists and should have strong communication skills and outstanding inter-disciplinary problem solving and critical thinking skills, with a strong interest in the pursuit of scientific discovery. This position requires hands on work at the bench with a recent experience of delivering experimental results.

Job Description:

Key accountabilities

  • Serve as subject matter expert for enzymology, protein biochemistry, protein expression and purification, and enzyme engineering.
  • Lead the implementation and investigation of innovative workflows to expand enzyme improvement capabilities, including computational approaches.
  • Design, conduct and analyze lab-based experiments to evaluate and improve biocatalysts, leveraging high throughput and automation capabilities.
  • Collaborate closely with biosciences, bioenergy, and computational sciences capability teams to deliver project goals.
  • Advise on strategies for bioprocess improvements.
  • Analyze, organize, and present data to the scientific and leadership teams.
  • Write internal scientific and external reports.
  • Work in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary environment, both independently and within a project team
  • Promote safety initiatives and champion compliance with bp’s Code of Conduct.
  • Serve as mentor to junior scientists.

Essential Criteria and Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelors/Masters/PhD degree (12+ years) degree from the following fields: enzymology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biology, synthetic biology, chemistry or related fields
  • Experience must be proven by a track record of publications.
  • Must have a high level of technical knowledge and skills in a broad range of biochemistry and/or enzymology-related fields including biochemical pathways, protein engineering, enzyme mechanism/kinetics, complex assay development, and protein expression, purification, and characterization.
  • Ability to provide expert advice and innovation to develop solutions to complex technical issues.
  • Design and execute experiments, interpretation of data from multiple sources.
  • Participate in project strategy development and implementation, including developing intellectual property.
  • Ability to prioritize responsibilities, show flexibility in response to changed priorities and work effectively in a multi-tasking, fast pace, and matrix environment.
  • Strong organizational skills, being able to handle multiple projects at the same time.
  • Ability to work safely and independently. Adept at formulating new standard operating procedures as well as reliable and accurate execution of tasks following SOPs outlined by others.
  • Must be motivated, be an independent thinker, possess excellent interpersonal skills, communicate well within and between teams and be able to work under tight deadlines.

Desirable Criteria and Qualifications:

  • Experience working in and maintaining a biosafety level two facility.
  • Experience with protein production systems at medium and pilot-scale
  • Experience in analytical chemistry techniques e.g. HPLC, LC-MS, or GC-MS
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics and enzyme computational design
  • Knowledge of biochemical pathways for a range of substrates
  • Understanding of the scale-up from lab scale to pilot scale


  • Travel – up to 10%.

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion:

At bp you have the opportunity to be part of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) which believe in the power of inclusion, deeper connections, and shared experiences. They provide a place for employees to learn and share knowledge, to connect, and to improve. The BRGs focus on and encourage talent engagement, development, and retention while creating a broadened sense of community and inclusion for bp employees. The groups cultivate leadership growth by involving employees in developmental opportunities they would not otherwise have access to. Formal and informal mentoring also help employees develop their professional goals and connect with colleagues. The BRGs’ commitment to growth at all levels helps employees feel more engaged and energized. The BRGs break down barriers so we can all do better together. Examples of BRGs include (but are not limited to):

  • bpWIN (bp Women’s International Network)
  • Pride
  • Working parents
  • PEN (Positively Ethnic Network)
  • bpInclusia (bp’s Asian community)
  • bpEnergía (bp’s Latin community)

Why join us

At bp, we support our people to learn and grow in a diverse and exciting environment. We believe that our team is strengthened by diversity. We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment in which everyone is respected and treated fairly.

There are many aspects of our employees’ lives that are important, so we offer benefits to enable your work to fit with your life. These benefits can include flexible working options, a generous paid parental leave policy, and excellent retirement benefits, among others!

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How much do we pay (Base)?.

$141,000 -$261,000

*Note that the base pay range listed for this position is a good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible base compensation at the time of posting.

We offer a reward and wellbeing package to enable your work to fit with your life. These can include, but are not limited to, access to health, vision and dental insurance, flexible working schedule, paid time off policy, discretionary annual bonus program, long-term incentive program, and a generous 401K matching program.  You may learn more about our generous benefits at benefits@bp.

Travel Requirement

Up to 10% travel should be expected with this role

Relocation Assistance:

This role is eligible for relocation within country

Remote Type:

This position is not available for remote working


Agility core practices, Agility core practices, Analytical Thinking, Bioprocess Design, Catalysis, Chemical kinetic modelling, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Innovation, Curiosity, Experimental Design, Industry technology knowledge, Intellectual Asset Management, Life cycle and circularity, Multi-physics modelling, New process technology scale-up, Novel process development, Pilot and demonstration plant operation, Presenting, Problem Solving, Process Safety Engineering, Science and Technology Leadership, Scientific publication, Talent Matching, Technoeconomic evaluation of processes {+ 1 more}

Legal Disclaimer:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, socioeconomic status, neurodiversity/neurocognitive functioning, veteran status or disability status. Individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation related to bp’s recruiting process (e.g., accessing the job application, completing required assessments, participating in telephone screenings or interviews, etc.).  If you would like to request an accommodation related to the recruitment process, please contact us to request accommodations.

If you are selected for a position and depending upon your role, your employment may be contingent upon adherence to local policy.  This may include pre-placement drug screening, medical review of physical fitness for the role, and background checks.

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