Neutron Scattering Scientist

Date: Nov 10, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12030 


We are seeking a Neutron Scattering Scientist for the Liquids Reflectometer (LR). The LR measures specular and off specular neutron reflectivity in a horizontal sample geometry from solid surfaces, tilted solid/liquid interfaces, and free liquid surfaces. More details about the instrument and its science impact can be found at  This position resides in the Neutron Reflectometry Group in the Large Scale Structures Section, Neutron Scattering Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our team, you will support the development of a strong user community and help shape the scientific direction of the user program on the LR. The LR is ideally suited to investigate interfacial phenomena supporting a diverse science community in physical, chemical, biological, and materials sciences. This position is ideally suited for an early career scientist with a passion for developing and expanding the application of neutron reflectometry in surface and interfacial science to meet the needs of the current and future neutron reflectometry community.


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. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Pursue a high-quality personal research program using neutron reflectometry and build national and international collaborations.
  • Attract users from new areas of research in related topics of your own research efforts.
  • Assist users as a local contact for experimental design, data acquisition, user education as appropriate and ensure users are provided with analyzable data.
  • Champion developments in instrumentation, sample environment, and software to help maintain and further develop the performance of the Liquids Reflectometer.
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • 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 PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field.
  • Experience in thin film and interfacial science and performing research at a neutron or synchrotron X-ray user facility.
  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively with research staff at all levels and within a multidisciplinary team environment tackling complex problems.
  • A demonstrated ability and desire to work in a team environment.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous beamline support experience in a neutron or synchrotron X-ray user facility.
  • Experience in developing novel sample environments for reflectometry.
  • Track record of developing applications, techniques and/or instrumentation in reflectometry.
  • Experience in developing software or scripts related to data reduction and/or analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with other technical and scientific support groups.
  • 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: Please provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae when applying for this position. If you are selected for interview, you will be asked to submit a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation.


Physical Requirements: Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


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.

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