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Postdoctoral Research Associate- Analytical Chemist

Date: Mar 8, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10324 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to participate in R&D in analytical chemistry to advance analytical methodologies to characterize constituents in bulk, nuclear, and environmental matrices using novel introduction methodologies for forensics applications. The main function of this position is for R&D within the field of analytical chemistry, with special attention on the high precision analysis of the elements and their isotopes in nuclear materials for applications within the nuclear fuels cycle and isotope production. This position resides in the Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section, Chemicals Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will be responsible for the elevation and strengthening of our analytical chemistry programs and capabilities with focus on the nano materials and actinide series of elements. In this role you will work closely with the group leader to identify project needs to seek out opportunities, lead the writing of papers, and the development analytical protocols leading to the enhancement and growth of the group’s capabilities. Your work will contribute to advanced material characterizations used for critical evaluations.


The (CIMS) group has extensive history in the analysis of actinide materials dating back to the early 1960s. The group is in the Ultra Trace Forensic Science Center at ORNL which houses a suite of advanced and modern laboratories. The facility contains over 10,000 square feet of cleanroom space for separations and sample preparation. In addition, there are higher level laboratories and glove boxes across campus for various applications. The chemistry laboratories feature unique automated separation systems, and sample handling infrastructure. The facility is complimented with a suite of modern mass spectrometry instruments. This includes multiple plasma-based instruments, such as time of flight (TOFWERK, triple quadrupoles (thermo TQ), and multiple collectors (Neoma, Neoma MS/MS, Neptune and TIMS) as well as a wide variety of introduction systems for single cell analysis, and laser ablation units.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead projects and technical services to solve technically complex, diverse, and impact applications.
  • Lead the development to advance CIMS analytical chemistry capabilities.
  • Collaborate with other staff to address novel and complex technical issue. 
  • Independently perform laboratory tests as needed to assist in developing, modifying, and refining operational and/or experimental procedures.
  • Obtain and maintain all ORNL training requirements for a radiation worker performing analytical work in radiological facilities to include being qualified as a respirator wearer.
  • Lead and participate in planning workflow for the laboratory, including establishing priorities within and between projects, and determining the best direction of the laboratory efforts for various experiments, tests, and analysis.
  • Utilize Windows based personal computers, instrumentation operation, data reporting, analytical calculations, and sample management.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, quality program.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Geology, Chemistry, or a closely related discipline completed within the last 5 years.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with modern sample preparation methods used in isotopic and elemental characterizations with emphases on nuclear materials and experience in the chemistry and separations of lanthanide and actinides.
  • Experience in separations chemistry over a broad spectrum of elemental groups.
  • Demonstrated collaborative research experience (academic, industry, government agencies)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and working effectively as a team member.
  • Ability to respond quickly to diverse and shifting demands with sudden deadlines on tight schedules.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English.
  • Motivated and safety conscious.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can 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


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 for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


Special Requirement:


HSPD-12 PIV badge: 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.


Visa Sponsorship is not available for this position.


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





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