Core University Student Programs Lead

Date: Sep 7, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11336 

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.


The Office of Research Education (ORE) seeks to hire Core University Student Programs Lead. As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. With a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people, ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.




As the Core University Student Programs Lead, you will oversee an element of ORNL’s initiative to strengthen strategic partnerships with UT-Battelle Core Universities (cores), with a focus on student programs. Your primary responsibility will be to design and implement programs that attract and engage core university students and postdocs to signature programs and facilities at ORNL, with the intent to enhance both impact and diversity. You will report to the ORE Director, joining a dynamic team and contributing uniquely to the success of the organization.



Job Duties / Responsibilities


Program Development and Implementation:

  • Design and execute programs to attract and engage students and postdocs, connecting them to signature programs and facilities at ORNL. Activities include raising awareness about ORNL programs, outreach activities, and strategic development and implementation of new student programs and enrichment activities.
  • Oversee joint faculty and manage visiting faculty programs for select universities*. Activities include designing programs to introduce core faculty to ORNL, and oversight of the visiting faculty program.
  • Track university* student and faculty engagements at ORNL, including key collaborations, major projects, and collaborations.
  • Assist ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology in coordinating and facilitating prioritized joint S&T activities designed to strengthen partnership centered on strategic themes, including workshops and visits.


*Includes all universities except University Tennessee, which is handled by the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII)


Partnership Activities:

  • Partner with ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology, and Core University Student Program Lead, DEI Officers, and Liaison as reasonable to coordinate and facilitate prioritized joint activities.
  • Serve as the primary POC in ORE for subcontracting all data on university* programs through working with ORISE, procurement, and HR. Perform regular evaluation to solicit feedback from participants.
  • As needed, engage with the UT-ORII Education Director to assist with ORNL-supported PhD students and subcontracting processes.
  • Work with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and ORNL Procurement to develop the student eligibility criteria and program requirements for targeted educational programs to maximize the quality and diversity of the students within the established constraints and guidelines set by the ORE Director and the lab, in support of ORE’s long-term vision for future workforce development.


Website and Data Management:

  • Manage the collection and analysis of data associated with target university programs, including those involving faculty and students.
  • Design, develop, and maintain an internal SharePoint website for university programs to provide up-to-date information to all ORNL staff who wish to collaborate with target universities, with the support of IT and communications.
  • Maintain external website on core university partnership programs, and information as it relates to educational programs in collaboration with communications and graphics to improve the clarity and simplicity for prospective faculty and students from cores public visitors.


Other Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Utilize knowledge and experience leading others to influence students and faculty from cores in growing a ‘ORNL Student and Alumni Network’. Working with the education programs lead, maximize the availability of highly qualified and diverse applicants for future employment opportunities through collaboration with Chief Operations Officers and Division Directors.
  • Working with ORE Director, design and implement alumni and university outreach strategies across educational and pathway programs that will increase the quality and diversity of the incoming pool of students and faculty participants from cores.


In addition, you will demonstrate agile, adaptive leadership through systematic approaches and innovative communication strategies across organizational line. You will also utilize this capacity to activate long-term changes in the systems, processes, and experiences from the faculty and student perspectives to maximize the quality of student experiences while managing the risks associated with decentralized mentorship.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or successful bachelor’s degree in a technical or related field
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in a scientific research/university environment.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and foster a cooperative work environment with research faculty, university research administration, students, colleagues and others at all levels who are engaged in world-class research.
  • Familiarity with university-based scientific and engineering research and graduate education, both mission and operations.
  • Expertise in science and engineering educational issues, program development, and program evaluation.
  • Able to manage and adapt to rapidly changing priorities, taking initiatives to address tasks or projects with appropriate support staff.
  • Ability to work effectively and independently in a multi-cultural environment. Critical thinking, strong written and oral communication skills are a must.
  • Excellent human relations. Ability to develop and manage professional relationships with staff and stakeholders.


Preferred qualifications:

  • PhD degree in a technical or related field.
  • Proven ability to build relationships/collaborations with educational systems and institutions.
  • Some familiarity with National Laboratories.
  • Experience interacting with research and development professionals.


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