Career Development

Cal-CAB Career Development

A 2014 analysis, conducted by the San Diego County of Governments’ (SANDAG) economic bureau, reported that the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of the algae biotechnology research and manufacturing industry generates a total of approximately 1,020 total jobs, $80 million in wages, and over $175 million of economic output to the San Diego regional economy. With increasing pressure on fossil fuels and the ability to use algae to create a wide range of photosynthetic-based bio-products, the algae biotechnology sector is set to grow at an impressive pace.  Already, direct employment in the algae biotechnology industry in the San Diego region has nearly doubled since 2009.

To help meet the anticipated growth, Cal-CAB has raised grant funding and industry partner support to develop certificate and summer research programs  to provide training opportunities. Cal-CAB also supports career development in algae biotechnology through networking opportunities, scientific symposia, and advertising positions within Cal-CAB and affiliated labs, as well as providing information and protocols for others to use in setting up their own research.

Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Cal-CAB is a consortium of researchers in many departments across multiple California-based university campuses. Each department has its own protocol to apply for a Postdoc position or a Graduate Degree program.  If you are interested in a graduate or postdoc research position in a Cal-CAB lab, you will first need to research our faculty and identify which faculty are of interest to you.

For graduate programs, you can then identify their university and home department, and locate the application instructions for each department’s program. For UCSD and SIO graduate programs, information on the application process can be found on the UCSD Office of Graduate Studies website.

For Postdoctoral research positions at Cal-CAB, you will need to contact the faculty member directly to see if they have availability in their lab and would like to review your CV.  It is recommended that you try to organize a postdoc position about a year in advance. Postdoctoral positions may also be advertised below under the Employment tab, or on the UCSD Office of Postdoctoral & Visiting Scholar Affairs site.


Volunteering at Cal-CAB is a great way to get hands on experience, technical skills and new contacts. Many Cal-CAB labs offer volunteer positions in the lab. There are also volunteer opportunities outside of the lab, including administration, event support and graphics/marketing.

As Cal-CAB, faculty span many departments across multiple California-based university campuses. If you are interested in volunteering in a Cal-CAB lab, you will first need to research our faculty and identify which faculty are of interest to you.  You can then contact the faculty directly with your request.  It is recommended that you include a coverletter, resume and recent transcript, if relevant.  Some Cal-CAB faculty do take on volunteers who are not current students, but generally preference is given to current undergraduates at that institution.


Cal-CAB includes a range of professional and student employees, including undergraduate lab assistants, lab managers, research scientists, certificate course lecturers, faculty and administrators. Each affiliated university has a different advertising and recruitment process.

At UCSD and SIO, employment opportunities with Cal-CAB affiliated laboratories are posted through the following sites:

Current positions in Cal-CAB labs

Postdoctoral Fellow
Updated 10/12/16

Description: The Mayfield Lab is seeing a Postdoctoral Fellow for a one year appointment to work on Molecular Genetics and Synthetic Biology in Green Algae. The successful applicant will engineer green algae for the production of recombinant proteins. Transgenic algae will be generated that express recombinant mammalian proteins. The proteins need to be purified and characterized for bioactivity in cell based assays. Expertise in molecular biology is essential. Expertise in protein biochemistry is desirable.

Cal-CAB Affiliate Employment Opportunities

Cal-CAB affiliates are welcome to email a link to employment opportunities to be posted below.

If you wish to get more information or apply for a job listed below, please click on the link and contact the advertising company directly.

Websites for algae jobs

Current Job Ads

Biofuels Research Internship

Fully Funded Department of Energy Biofuels Research Internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Position Description:
The overall project objective is to utilize marine microalgae for biofuels production (i.e., lipids for biodiesel or jet biofuel). The student will set up a series of photobioreactors for the cultivation of marine microalgae. This will involve preparing sterile medium using the autoclave, inoculating the photobioreactors and monitoring the biomass concentration, measured as optical density using a spectrophotometer and as dry weight using an oven and balance, as a function of time. Throughout the experiment, the light intensity, pH, nitrate concentration, and temperature of the cultures will be monitored. We will also carry out culture experiments in small LED-lighted and temperature-controlled pilot-scale ponds (1000 liters each) located next to Sequim Bay, Washington, for clean seawater access. All data will be analyzed using Excel spreadsheet software and a final report will be written for the Department of Energy. The position is located in Sequim, WA. The internship begins in mid-September and lasts 16 weeks. The stipend is $500 per week. Housing allowance and travel reimbursement are provided. Depending on funding availability and performance, interns who are recent graduates (BS/BA) may have the option to continue as post-baccalaureate research associates, a two-year limited term position.

Required Qualifications:
The applicant must be a junior, senior, or recent graduate (BS/BA within 1 year) with a background in microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, or biochemical/chemical engineering. The applicant must have basic laboratory skills and must have successfully completed laboratory course work. US citizenship or Permanent Resident status is required. The applicants’ resume should include the GPA (>3.5 desired), a list of laboratory courses, and a brief <150 words essay explaining their interest in this position.

Please email your application no later than April 14, 2017, to Dr. Michael Huesemann,

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