Mass Spectrometry Chemist - R&D Associate

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11413 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group seeks a dedicated, emerging research chemist to focus on the development of high precision mass spectrometry methods for isotopic and trace analysis for safeguards, nonproliferation, and various nuclear applications. This role also includes conducting research to develop prototypes, innovative devices, mass spectrometry methodologies and/or introduction systems to address safeguards and nonproliferation risks and deficiencies. The position resides in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section, Chemicals Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at ORNL.


We're looking for someone to help us elevate our capabilities in our safeguards and nonproliferation programs in nuclear materials security with a focus on characterizations by multi-collector mass spectrometers. Focus areas can include but are not limited to: sample introduction systems for solid, liquid or gas samples; collision and mass shifting technologies; isotopic analysis; determination of novel material signatures; high throughput analyses; age dating bulk nuclear materials; and production of reference standards. Your work will contribute to the advancement of material characterizations for trace and ultra-trace characterizations using a suite of high precision analytical methodologies. You'll also work closely with the Group Leader and other team members to identify sponsors and seek out new opportunities.


The (CIMS) group has extensive history in the analysis of material dating back to the early 1960s. The team is in the Ultra Trace Forensic Science Center which houses a suite of sophisticated and modern laboratories. The facility contains over 10000 square feet of cleanroom space for separations and sample preparation. In addition, there are higher level laboratories across campus for various applications. The separation laboratories feature unique automated separation systems, and sample handling infrastructure. In addition, the group current has multiple MC-ICP-MS, TIMS, triple quad, glow discharge, IRMS, and a wide variety of sample induction system.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Develop new and novel analysis protocols

  • Independently plan, design, and complete experiments.

  • Collaborate with other scientists and technical personnel in a fast-paced, flexible work environment

  • Foster effective science communication both inside and outside the laboratory, including publication of results in peer-reviewed journals and presentation of results at scientific meetings

  • Contribute to the initiation of new research directions and formulating research proposals aimed at securing internal and external funding opportunities

  • 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.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. degree in Geology, Geochemistry, Chemistry, Radiochemistry, Cosmochemistry, Oceanographic, Biochemistry, Volcanology or a related field


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in solid, liquid, and gas sample introduction systems, collision cells, signal and/or multiple detector instrumentation for isotope ratio measurements.

  • Experience with plasma/thermal/electron bombardment ionization mass spectrometry.

  • Experience in instrument setup, trouble shooting, and repair

  • Collaborative research experience (academic, industry, government agencies)

  • Ability to read schematics of electronic systems

  • Ability to function well in a dynamic research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks on time, and adapt to evolving needs

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively as a team member.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Special Requirements:

  • Travel is required to brief sponsors, conduct field material collections, and engaging in scientific conference participation.

  • 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.

  • Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

  • 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.


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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet 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.




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