Senior Research Scientist, Quantum Computing Software (Hybrid Eligible)

Date: Mar 21, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10285 





The Quantum Computational Science Group within the Quantum Information Science (QIS) Section is currently seeking applications for a senior research scientist in quantum computing software.  Our QIS section focuses on foundational quantum theory and experiment in the areas of quantum computing, quantum networking, and quantum sensing.  We apply our expertise to address national priorities in energy, security, and scientific discovery.


In this position you will initiate and lead R&D efforts involving teams of ORNL researchers and external collaborators, using your deep expertise and broad perspective to develop innovative new software-based capabilities for quantum computing.  You will design and oversee the implementation of software for quantum computing, potentially including: programming languages at all levels of abstraction (from domain-specific languages to quantum hardware control); application libraries; compilers, translators, and program analyzers; interfaces between software tools; integrated quantum programming environments; error mitigation and post-processing; verification and debugging; and HPC simulation of quantum computers. Your efforts will support a growing number of application areas including quantum physical sciences (chemistry, material science, condensed matter physics nuclear physics, high energy physics), machine learning, optimization, and computational fluid dynamics.


We are looking for a motivated self-starter with excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to work independently within a fast-paced collaborative research environment, be able to set priorities and accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and able to adapt to changing needs.



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


  • Develop and execute a research agenda bringing new software-based capabilities to quantum computing
  • Propose and lead medium size R&D projects (roughly $300K-$1M/year)
  • Develop collaborations with research groups within and outside ORNL
  • Regularly release production-quality code
  • Regularly report progress and results to collaborators, sponsors, and the broader scientific community via peer-reviewed technical articles, conference presentations, and technical reports.
  • Represent ORNL as a subject matter expert
  • Promote the development of junior researchers through scientific leadership and guidance
  • 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 Ph.D. in computational science, software engineering, or a related discipline
  • A minimum of 6 years of relevant research experience, including at least 2 years of computational science, at least 4 years of development of production-quality software, and at least 4 years in quantum computing.
  • An excellent record of technical creativity and productivity as demonstrated by code releases and publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences


Preferred Qualifications:


  • 10 or more years of experience, including at least 2 years of computational science, at least 6 years of development of production-quality software, and at least 6 years in quantum computing
  • Proficiency in C++  and parallel programming (MPI/OpenMP)
  • Experience proposing and managing successful multi-institution projects
  • Familiarity with the US quantum computing funding landscape
  • Familiarity with the DOE national laboratory system
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to convey key scientific truths to general audiences


ORNL Ethics and Conduct:


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:


Benefits at ORNL:

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


In addition, we offer a flexible work environment that supports both the organization and the employee. A hybrid/onsite working arrangement may be available with this position.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.






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