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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Molecular Biophysics

Date: Aug 5, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8762 


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 Molecular Biophysics Group in the Biosciences Division, Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate (BESSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

In this position, you will:

  • Perform computational research on lignocellulosic materials. Emphasis will be put in optimizing nanocellulose biomaterials. The structure of native plant cell walls and their deconstruction to energy and materials will also be considered. This project is part of a large multidisciplinary efforts to develop Advanced Manufacturing for forest-based fiber-reinforced polymer composites and to understand the mechanism behind biomass deconstruction.
  • Investigate computationally plant biopolymers, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
  • Conduct molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, atomistic and coarse-grained, of cellulose nanofibers in composite polymer materials.
  • Investigate how solvation alters the structure of lignocellulose and of membranes of bacteria that convert sugars to biofuels.
  • Work closely with experimental collaborators to validate the simulation findings and interpret experimental results.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in computational molecular biophysics, chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Simulation of plant biopolymers
  • 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.


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.

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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.

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