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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Neutron Scattering Research: Soft Materials and Data Science

Date: Dec 30, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4382 


The Soft Matter Initiative (SMI) within the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD) in the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on scientific projects to advance our understanding of soft materials using neutron scattering techniques. As a postdoctoral fellow you will work as part of a team whose interests include, but are not limited to the fundamental understanding of soft matter systems, such as time-resolved understanding of molecular exchange process in various self-assemblies. Your core research will involve performing neutron scattering measurements using the world leading instruments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at ORNL. Strong mathematical understanding and statistical analysis skill using machine learning and neural network are greatly preferred. This position represents an excellent opportunity to study soft materials and soft matter physics in a stimulating multidisciplinary environment at ORNL.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Perform neutron scattering experiments and analyze resulting data to understand molecular exchange kinetics in soft materials.
  • Publish scientific papers and present results from this research at national and international meetings as appropriate.
  • Contribute to the development of machine learning and deep neural network methods for studying soft materials and interpreting scattering data.


Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in physics, material science, or a related discipline completed within the last five years.  Applicants must have received their PhD within five years of this application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.
  • A strong record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences
  • Experience with analysis programming
  • Strong written and oral communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background in neutron scattering methods to study soft materials.
  • Experience with analysis of neutron/X-ray data.
  • Experience with data analysis using machine learning / deep neural network methods.
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team environment on scientifically challenging problems. 


Other Information:

  • Appointments will be a temporary, full-time assignment for 24 months with a possibility of an extension of up to 12 months
  • Provide a current curriculum vitae including a list of publications when applying for this position
  • If you are selected for interview, you will be required to send in a minimum of two letters of reference
  • The date of your application must be within 5 years of the most recent degree, and all degree requirements must be complete before starting the appointment


The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States' highest flux reactor based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world's most intense pulsed accelerator based neutron source. Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL, please go to this link:


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.  


Relocation:  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.


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