Postdoctoral Research Associate - Robust Machine Learning

Date: May 13, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10552 


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 Cybersecurity Research Group, AI Systems Section, in the Cyber Resilience and Intelligence Division (CRID), National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in Robust Machine Learning.


The AI Systems section designs, develops, and delivers innovative research solutions that either apply or test applications of data science and machine learning for emerging areas of cyber security and automated analytic processing. Projects frequently involve collaboration across scientific disciplines, and result in publications, prototypes, and technology transfer to both government and commercial uses. Researchers from our section conduct basic and applied research at the state-of-the-art, mentor and teach, work on some of the most challenging problems, and participate in leadership research and development forums.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Our organization seeks an innovative thinker with substantial machine learning skills to assist a diverse team with an expertise in evaluation, design, assessment, and development of robust and resilient machine learning algorithms. The position will work in teams of professional computer scientists, cybersecurity experts, mathematicians, software engineers to deliver innovative solutions and solve challenging problems.
  • The ideal candidate will be self-disciplined, have a strong work ethic, and eagerness to tackle challenging research problems. A substantial formal education and/or experience with both deep and general machine learning is required. The ability and desire to learn necessary concepts of the adversarial AI and robust learning is required.
  • The researcher will be expected to support dissemination of results through presentations, posters, academic publications, and technical reports. The researcher will contribute to development of proposals for future research. The researcher would take responsibility for subtasks requiring a study, analysis, interpretation, and implementation of robust AI/ML methods. Finally, the researcher will be expected to mentor other members of the organization; facilitate literature surveys, replication of the-state-of-the-art results, and to conduct original research.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A strong grasp of the fundamental machine and deep learning methods; a strong grasp of numerical linear algebra, probability theory, algorithms, and mathematical analysis


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency or ability to become quickly proficient in:
    • Python, especially machine and deep learning libraries,
    • Adversarial AI methods
    • Linux/Unix platforms,
    • LaTeX, and
    • Git
  • Strong technical writing skills   
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills   
  • Ability to give clear and engaging presentations of research for both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Passion for continued learning and development of job-related skills
  • A desire to work in a team environment both learning from and teaching those with other backgrounds to facilitate interdisciplinary research
  • A proven record of technical research skills and the desire to apply these skills to the national security domain 
  • Practical and theoretical knowledge of adversarial AI tools and methods
  • 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


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


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