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R&D Associate – Richmond, VA

Summary of Role’s Main Purpose:

Position is responsible for supporting synthetic chemistry, chemical analysis, and/or formulation of consumer goods in addition to day-to-day basic biochemical laboratory experimentation. Position uses existing knowledge of organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and molecular biology to carry out formulation preparation and analysis, analysis of raw materials, and effects of products on microbial liquid and plate cultures. Position accomplishes these objectives through collaborating with R&D, technology, engineering, and production team members.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conducts proof-of-concept formulation and formulation application experiments including tests to determine product performance under various conditions.
  • Creatively creates product demonstration scenarios to demonstrate performance, e.g. novel methods of displaying relative foam product or surface cleaning.
  • Prepares sample product and/or formulations for shipment directly to customers, distributors and collaborators.
  • Supports routine and novel chemical analysis under supervision from senior staff.
  • Supports organic synthesis projects under supervision from senior staff.
  • Monitors inventory levels to organize and prepare sterile media and media components.
  • Conducts BSL2 microbiology experiments including plate counting and OD600 measurements.
  • Generates high-quality reproducible results from routine analytical testing including residual water analysis, viscosity determination, and pH.
  • Organizes and analyzes analytical data to prepare concise reports including comparison to historical data.
  • Supports senior science staff in experiments as needed.
  • Follows all protocols as directed by senior staff and/or standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Preforms all other duties as assigned.

Essential Skills and Behaviors:

  • Act as a key member of the Locus PI team by demonstrating our core values of Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, Commitment, Candor and Courage.
  • Ability and willingness to work within a flexible schedule.
  • Strong documentation and writing skills to develop procedures and ensure full documentation of projects for intellectual property protection.
  • Exceptional attention to Detail and Safety.
  • Willingness to consider other perspectives and methods from internal and external collaborators.
  • A fire-in-the-belly – the internal burning desire to achieve personal and organizational goals while working independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong personal organizational skills with a proven ability to manage multiple projects and work streams simultaneously to manage conflicting priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Collaboration skills to work with multiple Locus groups including engineering, R&D, facilities, maintenance, quality control, purchasing, supply chain, and executive leadership.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including superb listening skills and a demonstrated ability to use questions to engage in process development and continuous improvement projects.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity in a positive way, knowing when to reach out for help.
  • Seeks and provides clarity around priorities, desired outcomes, and the behaviors required to deliver those outcomes.
  • Engenders positive trust by consistently giving, seeking, and accepting feedback.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.


  • Sc. in chemistry or a life science with a minimum 1-year laboratory experience required (academic experience included).
  • Competency in microbiology is a bonus.
  • Ability to use technology to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments.
  • Strong analytical skills to conduct scientific experiments with accuracy and precision.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills to document and explain results of trials.
  • Acute attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to manage project progress through relationships with other departments, to manage conflict and to make decisions incorporating input across departments.
  • Ability to use MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and Teams efficiently.
  • Ability to use technology to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments.
  • Must be able to pass a drug and background screening.
  • Must have a valid driver license.
  • Must be able to lift 55 lbs., climb stairs, load and unload raw materials and setup equipment.

About Locus Performance Ingredients®
Locus Performance Ingredients® (Locus PI) is an award-winning green tech company dedicated to developing environmentally friendly biosurfactant solutions that replace legacy surfactants and eliminate regulatory challenges in CPG formulations. Using advanced fermentation technology with a near-zero carbon footprint, the team creates performance-driven, sustainable ingredients that are USDA certified as 100% biobased, GMO-free, with no palm oil, Proposition 65, EO, formaldehyde or other trace chemicals. Each ingredient is tailored for use in a multitude of personal care, household and industrial applications, with lower usage rates, better performance and a net-zero carbon footprint. Locus PI gets its core scientific capabilities from its parent company, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS), an Ohio-based, globally recognized biosurfactant company. For more information, visit

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