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Distinguished R&D Staff Vulnerability Science

Date: Jan 20, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4311 



We are currently seeking qualified applicants for Distinguished R&D Staff for Vulnerability Science in the Cyber Resilience and Intelligence Division.  The Distinguished R&D Staff position affords the unique opportunity to work on critical national security missions with a group of talented R&D professionals and establish ORNL as a premier R&D organization. The Vulnerability Science Group performs software vulnerability research, including the creation of semi-automated methods and tools to improve the discovery of bugs, determine whether those bugs make a system vulnerable to security breaches, and develop vulnerability mitigation strategies and exploitation techniques.




This position will lead state of the art Research and Development (R&D) that strategically advances science and technology consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture. 


The Distinguished R&D Staff member brings together a group of peers with the primary goals of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, developing a strategy to develop a world class capability, nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and continuing to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D.


The Distinguished R&D Staff reports to the Group Leader and works closely with them to implement the scientific vision; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries.  The directorate leads S&T research in cybersecurity and cyber-physical systems across a number of disciplines. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in areas outside of vulnerability research such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing.  Our multi-disciplinary research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.



Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating a highly inclusive environment that values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.



Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful R&D; for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, and publications as appropriate.
  • Lead and participate in program development activities to include sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, and participation in workshops.
  • Develop a vision for chosen research areas and implement a cohesive strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects in those areas.
  • Develop and implement plans to identify and capitalize on new opportunities within vulnerability research focus areas.
  • Lead by example by exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Lead by example to ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to excellence in research, operations, and community engagement.
  • Collaborate across ORNL to integrate novel techniques into vulnerability research and aid other organizations improve their security posture.
  • Advance the reputation and standing of the group through collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement.



Basic Requirements:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 12 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 16 years experiences, B.S. with 20 years experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Background in computer science, security research, and programming languages 



Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated accomplishments in using static and dynamic analysis techniques to identify vulnerabilities in systems, reverse engineering of hardware and software, exploit development and mitigation.
  • Demonstrated track record in national and/or international engagements that seek to sustain and strengthen the vulnerability research and cyber physical systems security community.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations). 



Special Requirement:
This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) 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.  In addition, due the SCI, you may be also be subject to random polygraph testing.


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