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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Theory of Strongly Correlated Topological Quantum Materials

Date: Jun 9, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5827 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on the development and/or application of density functional theory (DFT) as well as correlated electronics structure methods such as quantum monte carlo (QMC), GW and dynamical mean field theory (DMFT), among others, for strongly correlated topological quantum materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The applicant will work closely with scientists both at ORNL and institutions primarily associated with the US Department of Energy’s Center for Predictive Simulation of Functional Materials (CPSFM), which aims to develop and apply scalable quantum monte carlo (QMC) methods to problems in condensed matter theory using their flagship QMCPACK code ( This position resides in the Nanomaterials Theory Institute Group with Dr. P. Ganesh in the Theory & Computation Section, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at ORNL.  


The research you will conduct will focus on advancing our understanding of emergent properties in strongly correlated materials, specifically those with topologically protected quantum states, with the goal of revealing the complex interplay of spin, orbit, lattice symmetries and electron-electron correlations. These methods will, for example, enable us to predict with high accuracy properties of new quantum materials with potential applications in dissipationless nano-transport and topological quantum computation.  Independent and motivated candidates capable of generating novel ideas, planning and executing appropriate theoretical calculations, and extracting meaningful results through innovative analysis methods, working closely with experimental groups pursuing thin-film synthesis and nanoscale characterization, are encouraged to apply. A successful candidate should have a strong demonstrated background in both electronic structure methods and condensed matter theory/material science/physics/chemistry.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct research to apply and/or develop correlated electronic-structure methods for strongly correlated quantum materials
  • Report and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Present results at international scientific conferences and meetings when needed


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry, or closely related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Strong background and hands-on experience in applying and/or developing correlated electronic structure methods for solids
  • Strong publication list using correlated electronic structure methods


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Good grasp of concepts in solid-state physics, topological condensed matter theory and/or quantum chemistry
  • Familiarity with correlated electronic structure methods, particularly QMC or GW or DMFT
  • Strong demonstrated background in coding for data analysis using Python, MATLAB, etc. with knowledge or keen interest to meaningfully incorporate advanced AI/ML methods into their research 
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research shown by a record of publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 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 up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.



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