Postdoctoral Research Associate, Scientific AI Workflows

Date: Mar 16, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12553 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory 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.


The Workflow and Ecosystem Services (WES) group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher position dedicated to exploring the intersection of energy efficiency and trustworthy AI within the context of HPC AI workflows. This pivotal role aims to advance our understanding of how energy-efficient computing strategies can be integrated into the development and deployment of AI models, thereby contributing to the creation of scientific AI workflows that are not only efficient but also embody the principles of trustworthiness, including explainability, fairness, transparency, and reproducibility. The successful candidate will lead efforts to innovate and evaluate scientific AI models, and software architectures that emphasize the understanding and reducing the energy footprint of DOE's scientific HPC environments. This research is crucial for developing scientific AI that minimize environmental impact without compromising the integrity and reliability of scientific discoveries. By focusing on this synergy, the role presents a unique opportunity to significantly influence the future of AI workflows in scientific research, ensuring that it is both environmentally responsible and aligned with the core values of trustworthy AI.


Our Team:

Our mission is to empower scientists to succeed by building and delivering tools, infrastructure, processes, and standard methodologies for organizing their data and workflows, and making them universally accessible, understandable, findable, shareable, and reproducible. We are a creative and dynamic group of research and technical professionals who have a passion for workflow and software services enabling science across domains.


Our Organization:

This position is part of the Advanced Technologies Section within the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) Division. The Advanced Technologies Section offers scientific, technical, operational, and thought leadership by developing, hardening, and deploying solutions for compute and data intensive computing environments. The NCCS provides an innovative computational and data science infrastructure, coupled with dedicated technical and scientific professionals, to accelerate scientific discovery and engineering advances across a broad range of fields. NCCS hosts the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, one of DOE’s National User Facilities. NCCS has deployed the U.S.’s first Exascale system. As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory,


ORNL has an outstanding 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 essential 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: 

  • Conduct and lead applied research and development projects, ensuring timely analysis of results and contribution to the field through scholarly publications and collaboration with industry partners.

  • Deliver presentations and engage in discussions at public forums and conferences, enhancing the visibility and impact of ORNL's research.

  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration within ORNL, working with various teams to ensure a cohesive approach to research and outreach.

  • Mentor students.

  • 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 fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD completed within the last 5 years in computer science or engineering, or a discipline related to the job duties.

  • Demonstrated hands-on applied research and development experience with scientific workflows and distributed data frameworks.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous research experience in one or more of the following areas:

    • Distributed data processing frameworks and databases

    • Provenance data and metadata

    • Scientific workflows

  • Strong programming skills in one or more of the following languages: Python, C/C++, Julia.

  • Aptitude for quickly adapting to and learning new scientific concepts and technologies.

  • The ability to take initiative on research insights to bring them to fruition through publication or demonstration on mission applications.

  • Strong problem-solving skills, with a keen attention to detail and a proactive approach to tackling challenges.

  • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively in team environments and engage with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.


Special Requirements:

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via

  • View Profile

  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Benefits at ORNL:

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented 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