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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Materials Theory

Date: Jan 18, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9733 


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 develop and apply electronic structure theory approaches to examine the fundamental properties of a range of advanced materials.  Research efforts will include the application of density functional theory packages and in-house codes, and the development of supplemental numerical tools, to describe competing structural phases and the vibrational and electronic structure in materials with defects and disorder. 


The Materials Theory Group has a background in using first principles methods to examine electronic and thermal transport, magnetic properties of advanced materials, thermoelectrics, 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).  This position resides in the Materials Theory Group in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and use first principles methods to describe phase stability, magnetic structure, phonons, and electrons in the presence of defects and disorder
  • Responsible for presenting and reporting key research results and publishing scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of ORNL core values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD related to computational or theoretical physics, chemistry, materials science, 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
  • Demonstrated experience with electronic structure methods for description of materials properties
  • 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 within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


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.


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.

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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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