Principal Investigator or Principal Engineer
(focus on marine microbiology)

Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is uniquely dedicated to merging science, engineering, and marine operations for the purpose of developing state-of-the-art instruments, methods, and systems for advancing scientific research in the ocean. MBARI’s Strategic Plan and Technology Roadmap set forth institutional priorities related to a series of interconnected scientific and engineering challenges that MBARI is uniquely poised to address.

Applications are invited for a Principal Investigator in science or engineering to develop a research program focusing on marine microbiology, and to interact with ongoing MBARI programs that focus on the development of novel observational and analytical methods to advance our understanding of the interplay between abiotic and biotic systems in the sea.

MBARI offers unique opportunities for advancing scientific research and technology development through internally-funded programs. Projects that require science-engineering teaming are strongly encouraged. The successful candidate will be responsible for conceiving and executing original research, applying novel methods to the study of microbial processes and diversity, and for the development of technology and analytical methods in support of the objectives of the Institute.

A Principal Investigator is expected to have exceptional competence in addressing important research questions in ocean science and technology. Their research program is expected to become a significant contribution towards MBARI’s primary goal of advancing ocean research, and disseminating results and discoveries to a broad audience. Principal Investigators organize and conduct at-sea research and operations activities as required, and report directly to the Science or Engineering Division Chair.

A Doctorate or equivalent in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline and a minimum of 3 years demonstrated success in conducting research is required, along with a record of significant, original, and promising research contributions and potential to secure extramural funding. Applicants at an early- to mid-career stage (equivalent to an incoming Assistant to Associate Professor) with a demonstrated ability to work in an interdisciplinary, team-oriented environment are highly encouraged to apply.

MBARI, located in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, offers exceptional access to the open ocean and deep sea. Ongoing research programs range across autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicle systems, control technologies, ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, ocean instrumentation, and information management.  MBARI is home to approximately 200 employees, with shore facilities that include state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, manufacturing and electrical fabrication shops, and dock facilities for MBARI vessels. Our marine operations division supports two MBARI-owned research ships, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), a fleet of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), deep-sea cabled observatory, and other sea-going assets. More information about MBARI and its current research and staff is available here.

MBARI enjoys cooperative relationships with a host of neighboring academic and government institutions, including Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Naval Postgraduate School, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California State University Monterey Bay, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, offering many opportunities for collaborative research and education. Our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium also provides unique opportunities for public outreach and for engaging resource managers as well as policy makers.

Prospective applicants should send a current curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests in relation to MBARI’s organization, and the names and addresses of four professional references to, or by mail to the below address, or by fax to (831) 775-1659.

MBARI, Norm Steinberg, Director of Human Resources
Job Code:  Microbiologist
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA  95039

Although the position will remain open until filled, we will begin reviewing applications on March 1, 2021, and expect to begin interviewing promising candidates in April 2021. MBARI offers a competitive compensation and benefits package consistent with peer positions at other non-profit oceanographic and academic institutions.

MBARI is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or covered veteran status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.


MBARI Welcomes Diversity