R&D Staff II

Date: Nov 19, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10723 


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 currently seeking world class scientific staff for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division within the National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The R&D Associate position affords the unique opportunity to work with a group of talented professionals and help establish ORNL as a premier R&D organization by enabling true impact on critical national security missions through a team-based approach and commitment to excellence. The Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section focuses on enhancing scientific concepts, strategies, and technologies that will strengthen the capabilities of USG and international regimes (e.g., the IAEA and partner countries) to safeguard and secure nuclear material, commodities, and technologies from proliferation, improve nuclear safety systems, and enhance treaty verification. The Nondestructive Measurement Science and Technology (NMST) Group focuses on research, development, and application of nondestructive assay systems, data acquisition technologies, and analysis methods that support international safeguards, domestic material control and accounting, operational safety for material processing, waste measurement, and nuclear material security protocols. An R&D Associate in NMST applies innovative solutions to address complex nuclear material measurement problems both domestically and abroad.  The R&D Associate is an early career scientist and/or engineer who applies their knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide NDA solutions to current and emerging nuclear nonprofileration challenges and who are steadily building a professional reputation within the scientific community. They have a good understanding of nuclear physics, nuclear material measurement principles and are developing technical abilities necessary to successfully apply NDA throughout the nuclear fuel cycle. They demonstrate initiative and creativity while providing ideas and solutions to project challenges and add value to technical projects with minimum supervision. The R&D Associate strives to be an independent researcher, contributes to and leads some technical tasks, provides input for technical deliverables, collaborates with project teams, and contributes to proposal writing.


The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries. In addition to nuclear nonproliferation, our directorate also houses science and technology (S&T) leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other S&T areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, nuclear fuel cycle and reactor systems, modern nuclear instrumentation and controls, applied materials, advanced manufacturing and intelligent systems, biosecurity, transportation, modeling and simulation, and computing. Our multi-disciplinary research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful safeguards-related R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by, for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate, etc.
  • Lead program development activities through sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, participation in workshops, as well as other program development activities.
  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects related to advanced safeguards science and technology to position the group for future success.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts, specifically for advanced reactors.
  • Lead by example by exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Lead by example to ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and work cooperatively to leverage scientific capabilities across ORNL.
  • Advance the reputation of the group and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • 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:

  • BS and 4 – 8 years relevant experience or equivalent, MS and 2 – 7 years, or PhD and 0 – 2 years in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, or a related field. A combination of education and experience may also be considered.
  • Knowledge of nuclear fuel cycle and applied nuclear material safeguards
  • Knowledge of NDA systems and applications.
  • Profieicinecy with MCNP or other Monte Carlo Transport Methods .
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead technical tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to make significant technical contributions to projects.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations).
  • Specialization in advanced nuclear reactor safeguards and proliferation resistance evaluations for emerging technology.
  • Knowledge of applied statisticals, particularly applied to NDA measurments and/or sampling.
  • Knowledge of international safeguards and nuclear security regimes.
  • Demonstrated ability to present scientific results to sponsors and technical communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver technical training
  • Demonstrated ability to present or communicate scientific results to sponsors and technical communities.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a strong commitment to a team environment.
  • 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.



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 jobs.ornl.gov.


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 ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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