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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Condensed Matter Theory

Date: Sep 24, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37909

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8909 


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.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Materials Theory in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will conduct research in condensed matter theory with emphasis on developing and applying density functional theoretical methods to understand phase and dynamical stabilities and vibrational, electronic, and magnetic properties of functional materials with defects and disorder.  Research efforts will include application of density functional theory packages and in-house Fortran codes, and development of supplemental numerical tools, to describe competing structural and magnetic states via energy and entropy analysis and vibrational and electronic structure in materials with defects and disorder. 


The Condensed Matter Theory Group has a background in using first principles methods to examine electronic and thermal transport, magnetic properties of advanced materials, superconductivity, thermoelectric, functional oxides, and weakly bonded materials.  The incumbent will have opportunities to develop research methodologies as well as collaborate with experimental groups at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and use first principles methods to describe phase energetics, magnetic structure, phonons, and electrons in the presence of defects and disorder (e.g., special quasirandom structures, supercell unfolding, spin resolved DFT, phonons)
  • Responsible for presenting and reporting key researh results and publishing scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD related to condensed matter theory or other closely related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Experience with density functional theory methods including electronic and phonon band structure calculations using Quantum Espresso, VASP, or similar packages


Preferred Qualifications:

  • An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Scientifically curious, self-motivated, and ability to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment
  • Experience with phase equilibria calculations, disordered supercells, spin resolved DFT, phonon calculations, developing numerical tools
  • Ability to work on multiple tasks in a limited amount of time and to independently set priorities to accomplish these tasks to meet deadlines


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.


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  • 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.


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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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