Chemist - R&D Associate

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11629 



We are seeking an early- to mid-career Actinide Chemist to focus on the development of trace clean analytical chemistry protocols for bulk, nuclear, and environmental matrices for safeguards, nonproliferation, and nuclear applications and processes. In this position you will perform research to develop instrument prototypes and measurement methodologies to address safeguards and nonproliferation risks and deficiencies. This position resides in the Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section, Chemicals Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will be responsible for the elevation and strengthening of the chemistry programs and capabilities for nuclear materials security with a focus on the actinides series of elements. In this role you will work closely with the Group Leader to identify sponsors and programs to seek out new opportunities, lead the writing of proposals and papers, and the development of trace clean chemistry protocols leading to the enhancement and growth of the group’s dissolutions, separations, and material conversion capabilities. Your work will contribute to advanced nuclear material characterizations used for critical evaluations of nuclear material protection and mitigation of proliferation risks.


The (CIMS) group has extensive history in the analysis of actinide materials dating back to the early 1960s. The team is located in the Ultra Trace Forensic Science Center which houses a suite of advanced and modern laboratories. The facility contains over 10000 sqaure feet of cleanroom space for clean separations and sample preparation. In additition, there are higher level laboratories and glove boxes across campus for various applications. The separation laboratories feature unqiure automated separation systems, and sample handling infrastructure.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Development and implementation of novel chemistry protocols for critical evaluatiuons for nuclear material protection and advancement of nuclear applications and processes
  • Actinide material form conversion
  • Independently plan, design, and execute experiments
  • Collaborate with other scientists and technical personnel in a fast-paced, flexible work environment
  • Maintain effective communications concerning scientific efforts internal and external to the laboratory, including publication of results in peer-reviewed journals and presentation of results at scientific meetings
  • Participate in the initiation of new research directions and development of research proposals to compete for internal and external funding


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Chemistry or a related discipline and at least two years of experience
  • Experience laboratory work involving chemistry protocols for the actinide series of elements


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in separations and material conversion chemistry for the actinides
  • Demonstrated collaborative research experience (academic, industry, government agencies)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Special Requirements:

  • Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.
  • Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge.
  • 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.


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