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Sr. SANS Instrument Scientist

Date: Sep 26, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5126 


The Biological Scattering and Labeling group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory invites applications for a Senior R&D Staff in the Center for Structural Molecular Biology (CSMB), as one of two open positions (The other posting: Req ID# 5127). In this position, you will play a lead role in scientific and user program for the Biological Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (Bio-SANS) Instrument located at the High-Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at ORNL. Bio-SANS is dedicated to structural characterization of biological and biomimetic systems addressing a wide variety of scientific questions that span biological and environmental research, biomedicine and also biomaterials.

The construction of the Second Target Station at the Spallation Source (SNS) also presents an opportunity for you to collaborate on a newly funded project to develop the next-generation Biological SANS instrument that will meet the needs of the biological neutron scattering community for the coming decades. It is expected that you will develop a strong collaborative research program that is aligned with the goals of the CSMB and leverages our state-of-the-art capabilities in biodeuteration, chemical synthesis, as well as X-ray scattering.

This position is viewed as a leadership position in our organization and is ideally suited for a mid-career scientist with a passion of developing expanding the application of neutron scattering in the biological sciences to meet the needs of the current and future biological neutron scattering community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Lead and develop a program that encompasses user support, instrument development, and research activities of the CSMB and the other neutron scattering capabilities at the HFIR/SNS. 
  • Support external user-driven and internal thematic science using Bio-SANS to include all aspects of experiment set-up and execution, and approaches for data analysis
  • Champion developments of new neutron scattering instrumentation for biological and/or soft matter research to expand and grow the user program in SANS at ORNL.
  • Develop a high-quality personal research program that is well aligned with the mission of the CSMB and NScD and exploit collaborative opportunities across ORNL. 
  • Publish research results in scientific journals, maintain a strong commitment to the implementation of ORNL values and ethics and ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health and quality program requirements.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Materials Science or related fields
  • Must have at least 6 years of experience with X-ray or neutron scattering post Ph.D
  • The candidate should be self-motivated, have good interpersonal communication, presentation skills, and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with research staff at all levels and to work within a multidisciplinary team
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research results in peer-reviewed publications
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment tackling complex problems

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A proven track record of successful user support at a neutron or x-ray scattering facility is a distinct advantage.
  • Ph.D.-level or post-doctoral experience at a neutron scattering or synchrotron facility is desired.
  • A proven track record of mentoring junior scientists (graduate students, post docs and staff members).
  • Demonstrated ability to work with support and technical groups to advance sample environment, or data reduction or analysis of SANS data.
  • Experience with Monte Carlo/ray-tracing methods for neutron scattering instrument conceptual design.
  • Experience with development of neutron scattering instruments with preference for pulsed neutron source instruments.


Other Requirements:
Please provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae when applying for this position.

If you are selected for interview, you will be required to submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation.


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source. Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   
Relocation:  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.
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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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