Postdoctoral Research Associate - Spectroscopist

Date: May 24, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10630 


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 and Chemistry Group (M&CG) within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND), National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), who will focus on spectroscopic investigations of nuclear fuel cycle materials.


The MC&G is responsible for fundamental chemical and physical science related to interactions of fuel cycle materials between themselves and with the environment. The MC&G utilizes a wide range of materials characterization tools to analyze materials, including X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, electronic structure calculations, physical property measurement, and advanced spectroscopy. MC&G is looking to expand its expertise in optical spectroscopy as applied to these material classes.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • This postdoctoral position relates to the application of optical vibrational and electronic spectroscopy to the analysis of fuel cycle materials. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing new methods of data collection and analysis, exploring advanced spectroscopic measurements, and integrating with applied materials collections. The successful candidate will be expected to become a leader in development and application of spectroscopic techniques.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to interface with laboratory personnel as well as sponsors, both within and outside of ORNL. The candidate is expected to work well both in a team environment and independently, to fully document work performed in the forms of technical reports, papers, and presentations.
  • 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 Physical Chemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • The successful candidate will be expected to contribute continuously to discussions regarding the chemistry and physics of materials of interest with scientists with diverse backgrounds and is expected to have strong communication skills
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q security clearance is required


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of optical spectroscopy, including Raman, infrared, and fluorescence spectroscopy is required, with application of such techniques to the solid phase desired.
  • Demonstrated experience working in an optical laboratory and competence in spectroscopy instrumentation development.
  • Familiarity with standard analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy is desired.
  • 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.


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Special Requirements

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


Visa Sponsorship 

Visa Sponsorship is not available for this position.




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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