Postdoctoral Research Associate – Physical Chemistry

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate – Physical Chemistry

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Job description: Requisition Id 4265

Overview: We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate with a strong background in physical chemistry to conduct research in the field of novel nanostructured materials design and chemical separations using a combination of spectroscopic (XAS, EXAFS) and/or X-ray/neutron scattering techniques. The successful candidate will focus on fundamental aspects related to investigations of structure and thermodynamics as applied to the separation of lanthanides, environmental remediation, recovery and recycle of critical materials, gas separation, and carbon capture. Exceptional candidates with a theoretical background and experience in computational chemistry and simulations to describe experimental spectroscopic/scattering results will also be considered for the position. The researcher will work with the principal investigator and others as a team player to maintain a high level of scientific productivity and to meet project and task milestones, taking advantage of resources at ORNL including the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), and the High Performance Computing (HPC).

This position resides in the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group, Separations and Polymer Chemistry Section, Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Work with a diverse team of scientists seeking to gain the scientific understanding of advanced separation systems and nanomaterials at the molecular level, as well as to put this fundamental knowledge to use in real-world applications
  • Independently plan and design experiments to characterize new materials and meet project goals
  • Write and submit requests for beamtime/computing time through user proposals
  • Plan, prepare and conduct XAS/neutron/X-ray scattering studies, including pair distribution function measurements
  • Present and report research and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics basic qualifications
  • Work on multiple tasks and to independently set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks to meet deadlines special requirements

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering/Physics or a closely related science discipline completed within the last five years
  • Experience in chemistry/materials science utilizing synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and/or X-ray/neutron scattering

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong record of productive and creative research including published peer-reviewed research articles on materials characterization, ionic liquids, f-block elements, gas separations, carbon capture
  • A solid foundation in physical, inorganic, and theoretical chemistry and in developing and application of novel spectroscopy/scattering techniques for the design and characterization of functional materials/ligands
  • Knowledge and experience in application of machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues

Special Requirement:

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.

Expected salary:

Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Job date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 07:55:08 GMT

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