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Sr. R&D Staff Scientist, Human Geography

Date: Sep 17, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6675 


The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) is seeking qualified applicants for Sr. R&D Staff in Human Geography within the Human Dynamics Section.  The position affords the unique opportunity to work with talented R&D professionals and help establish ORNL as a premier R&D organization by setting a vision, developing a strategy to achieve that vision, and enabling true impact on critical national security missions through a team-based approach and commitment to excellence. The Human Dynamics Section develops data, models, and computational approaches utilizing earth observation, measurement, statistics, and digital traces to provide insights into human activities and interactions with the environment, from local to global scales.The Human Geography Group fosters discovery of functional and complex connections between humans and their physical, cultural, and socioeconomic landscapes. Our researchers develop novel methods to identify and understand trends and patterns in settlements, migration, and generation of future population scenarios with spatial demography as a core competency.



You will perform Research and Development (R&D) and provide thought leadership that strategically advances science and technology, consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture. Sr. R&D Staff bring together groups of peers with the primary goals of (1) pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, (2) developing a strategy to build a world-class capability, (3) nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and (4) continuing to grow and scale-up individual excellence and impact in R&D. This position reports to the Group Leader and works closely with the R&D Section Head to implement the group’s scientific vision; develops group members to enable their career advancement; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community. The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries.  Our directorate houses S&T leadership in geospatial science and technology, cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, nuclear nonproliferation, 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 areas at the lab, such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, 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.


Our commitment to diversity:  

As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Scientists/engineers continue to be recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise.
  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by, for example, innovative S&T artifacts delivered to sponsors, publications, successful proposals, technical presentations and technology demonstrations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, etc.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Group Lead and Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • 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 members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events. 


Basic Requirements

  • A Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, an M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experience, B.S. with 15 years experience.
  • Demonstrated science and technical excellence in Human Geography-related research areas, such as but not limited to population dynamics; spatial demography; urban geography; mobility and migration; geoinformatics; human security, and critical infrastructure risk and resilience.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with strong leadership ability and a commitment to a teaming environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with large spatial datasets, satellite imagery, and time-series data.
  • Demonstrated track record in national and/or international engagements that seek to sustain and strengthen the geography and geospatial data science R&D community.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories, academic institutions, other research organizations, and the private sector.
  • Familiarity with research and development programs and priorities of federal agencies.



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.

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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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville