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Associate Laboratory Director, Biological and Environmental Systems Science (BESS) Directorate

Date: Jan 4, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 3916 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. Our diverse capabilities span a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.


We seek to hire an Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Biological and Environmental Systems Science (BESS) Directorate . BESSD leads convergence research in biology, ecology, engineering, data discovery, physical sciences, and computing to advance U.S. competitiveness in the global bioeconomy and Earth system sustainability.


The ALD serves as an executive member supporting the Laboratory Director in accomplishing ORNL mission. In this capacity, you will lead the science and technology programs in biological and environmental sciences with responsibilities in three integrating roles to: 1) establish a compelling vision complemented with a strategic execution plan, 2) strengthen stakeholder engagement and relationship management with major sponsors, and 3) drive staff professional growth and development while creating organizational momentum that enhances our facilities and capabilities.


Role and Responsibilities

• Lead biological and environmental research for the Laboratory including developing and implementation of scientific strategy to sustain national and international prominence.

• Serve as the primary liaison to the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) and

other sponsors (such as NIH), ensuring that the science and technology programs are meeting client needs.

• Develop research programs and strategic partnerships with other national laboratories, colleges and

universities, other research institutions, and public and private corporations.

• Drive strategic initiatives for the directorate which include: genes to ecosystem, bioimaging, data

science, bioenergy, ecosystem field experimentation, and climate sciences.

• Establish new capabilities and facilities that are foundational to the enduring missions of ORNL.

• Work with the Laboratory Director and Leadership Team to identify and implement strategic research

opportunities, including LDRD (Laboratory-Directed Research and Development) priorities.

• Maintain compliance with Laboratory policies, standards, and procedures as documented in SBMS.

Implement operational standards to meet the expectations of the Laboratory Agenda.

• Manage programmatic funds and discretionary investments for research and program development.

• Act as steward for laboratory operations, facilities, capital, and equipment. Direct line management

responsibilities for the Environmental Sciences Division, Biosciences Division, and the DOE Center

for Bioenergy Innovation.

• Advise leadership of research activities, program development, strategic initiatives and associated

operational risks and hazards.

• Create and nurture an environment that promotes and embraces a diverse workforce.

• Promote a culture of scientific excellence, while performing work in a safe and secure manner.

• Foster initiatives for employee development through mentoring, performance, and succession planning.

• Develop and manage self-assessment programs assuring alignment with the Laboratory Critical Outcomes, the Laboratory Agenda, and other internal or DOE performance metrics.

• Act as the primary Directorate contact, representing the Directorate on Lab-Level committees, task forces, and working groups with a shared responsibility for the overall lab wide science and technology strategy.

• Identify staffing and other resource requirements. Support recruiting initiatives in diversity, in

fellowships, and in university relations.

• Integrate and implement commercialization activities through the Directorate’s business plan and strategies.



• Ph.D. in a technical field related to the research conducted in a large Division or Directorate, with 3–10 years of demonstrated executive management experience, including developing and leading large, complex and multidisciplinary research programs and organizations.

• Experience communicating with key stakeholders, clients, program sponsors, and internal staff and regarded as a leading expert and visionary.

• Demonstrated experience successfully developing, implementing, and executing scientific strategy with engagement from critical stakeholders.

• Experience with the DOE Office of Science is preferred, especially Biological and Environmental




This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.
For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at

To learn more about the Biological And Environmental Systems Science Directorate, please visit our Biological And Environmental Systems Science Brochure


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville