Group Leader - Single Crystal Diffraction

Date: Feb 14, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12364 


We are seeking a Senior Research & Development (R&D) Staff Member to lead the Single Crystal Diffraction Group. This group is part of the Diffraction Section of the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD) within the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD). The Diffraction Section is responsible for a suite of 9 instruments at both the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) which use inelastic neutron scattering techniques to study the fundamental properties of a wide range of materials.


The Single Crystal Diffraction Group is responsible for the HFIR instruments DEMAND (HB-3A) & Imagine (CD-4D) and the SNS Instruments, Corelli (BL-9), MaNDi (BL-11B) and TOPAZ (BL-12), (see for details). The group performs research using single crystal neutron diffraction, participates as a partner in user research, and develops new techniques and methods. The group also maintains and operates 4 single-crystal X-ray diffractometers for complementary measurements.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:


Being a recognized leader in neutron scattering, the Single Crystal Diffraction Group Leader will initiate, lead and perform independent R&D and establish collaborations with leading research groups to enhance the science performed on the instruments within the group.



  • Develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and a world-leading neutron science user program for the group, and ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects that position the group for future success.
  • For the instruments supported by the group, ensure that users benefit from the highest level of research capabilities and scientific support.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Assist staff in setting performance goals consistent with the group’s strategy and members’ long-term career goals. Provide feedback to address performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Provide relevant input to assist the Diffraction Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • Attract a quality, diverse pool of top candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.
  • Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Ensure an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles.
  • Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.



  • Serve as immediate supervisor for staff members in group.
  • Provide direct support to users on beamline(s) operated by the group.
  • Encourage staff to develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific and technical passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, emphasizing excellence in user support, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • Support group members by consistently reviewing technical products such as proposals, publications, and artifacts to ensure high quality and consistency with ORNL standards.
  • Build strong teams across ORNL.
  • Connect staff to your scientific network and professional societies.
  • Hold regular scientific/technical group meetings and be visible in the labs and workplace.
  • Assume front-line responsibility for safety in the group’s laboratory; mentor and empower the Laboratory Space Managers to create a strong safety culture.
  • Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and following ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field with a minimum of 6 years of relevant experience.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience leading R&D teams and supporting a user program at a national or international user facility.
  • Proven track record of performing neutron scattering or closely related research.
  • A strong record of publishing in peer review scientific journals.
  • 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 on time and adapt to evolving needs.


Special Requirements:


Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of references are needed upon request.


Visa Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship is available for this position.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hardworking people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.




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.

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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.

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