Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate- Structural Study of Photosynthetic Membranes

Date: Jan 12, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9847 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to perform cutting-edge research in the structural study of photosynthetic membranes using neutron scattering.


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.  The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High-Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) are world-leading facilities and the scientific center of a diverse, international, and inclusive neutron scattering community (


The position resides in the SANS and Spin Echo Group, part of the Large-Scale Structures Section of the Neutron Scattering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The successful candidate will be involved in investigating the structure of plant thylakoid membranes in vivo using neutron scattering methods.  In addition to performing experiments, you will be involved in developing methods for analyzing data from these challenging systems and contributing to our understanding of how the structures observed relate to physiological processes in photosynthetic organisms. 


Successful candidates will be selected via a panel interview process.  If this position interests, you and you meet the basic qualifications please apply.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conducting high quality structural research on photosynthetic organisms
  • Small angle neutron and X-ray scattering from biological materials
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Present the results at international scientific conferences and meetings
  • Champion neutron scattering within the ORNL community and among national and international peers
  • Participate in an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in biophysics, physics, materials science, structural biology, chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research results in peer-reviewed publications
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:
  • This position requires that you successfully complete required training, including radiological training


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in membrane characterization with an emphasis on scattering techniques
  • Experience with neutron scattering techniques, preferably small-angle neutron scattering
  • A strong background in the interpretation of small-angle scattering data and formulation if membrane models
  • Experience with preparation and handling of biological samples for scattering experiments
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team environment on scientifically challenging problems
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to 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.


Please include a discussion of your research interests and how neutron scattering can support your plan for research during your time at ORNL in your cover letter with your application.


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 of up to 12 months. 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