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Associate Laboratory Director, Physical Sciences

Date: Jan 4, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 3914 


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 Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD). PSD conducts highly integrated basic and applied research programs that develop new materials, chemical processes, and technologies for energy generation and storage and environmentally benign energy use. Our research encompasses foundational science in chemistry, materials science, nanoscience, and physics.


The ALD serves as an executive member supporting the Laboratory Director in accomplishing the ORNL mission. In this capacity, you will lead the science and technology programs in physical sciences with responsibilities in three integrating roles to: 1) establish a compelling future 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.


Roles and Responsibilities

  • Enhance world-leading scientific research programs in materials sciences, chemical sciences, nanosciences, and nuclear physics, as well as deliver high impact science with notable achievements.
  • Strengthen science to energy integration at ORNL in areas relevant to materials and chemical processes, including leading quantum materials, nanomaterials, polymers and composites, structural materials, separations, catalysis and geochemistry, among others.
  • Manage DOE Basic Energy Sciences and Nuclear Physics programs with distinction by ensuring high impact publications and successful reviews in all program areas, including effective oversight of the management and operations of two Energy Frontier Research Centers, and managing Nuclear Physics scientific projects effectively.
  • Ensure growth of world-leading nanoscience research capabilities and a vibrant user program at the CNMS.
  • Provide leadership in the integration of materials and chemical sciences capabilities across ORNL to promote laboratory-wide growth, including energy sciences and technology, life and environmental sciences, computational sciences, neutron sciences, and national security.
  • Provide leadership for the R&D Work Control Management System.
  • Integrate and implement commercialization activities through the Directorate’s business plan and strategies.
  • Implement management systems, operations, safety, compliance, and performance assessments across the entire Directorate, and serve on the Laboratory Leadership Team.
  • Work with the Laboratory Director and Leadership Team to identify and implement strategic research opportunities, including LDRD (Laboratory-Directed Research and Development) priorities.
  • Manage programmatic funds and discretionary investments for research and program development, and act as steward for laboratory operations, facilities, capital, and equipment.
  • Maintain compliance with Laboratory policies, standards, and procedures as documented in SBMS and implement operational standards to meet the expectations of the Laboratory Agenda.
  • 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 and represent 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 and support recruiting initiatives in diversity, fellowships, and university relations.
  • Foster initiatives for employee development through mentoring, performance, and succession planning.



  • 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.
  • An internationally recognized research stature in one of the disciplines within Physical Sciences and experience in managing large multidisciplinary science programs.
  • 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 Basic Energy Sciences or Nuclear Physics.



This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a security 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 Physical Sciences Directorate, please visit our Physical Sciences Recruiting 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