Researcher in Separations Chemistry

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
May 01, 2018
Jun 30, 2018
Field of specialization
Materials, Physical
Job Type
Full time

Job Posting Reference #:  NB50659942 (early career) and NB50659953 (mid career) 

All applicants must go to the ORNL Career Site to create a personal profile and then apply to one or both of these specific openings. Search for NB50659942 to apply for the early career position and/or NB50659953 to apply for the mid career position in the search box, and follow the prompts and instructions to apply.


We are seeking an early-mid career chemist with a background in separations and solution structure to perform research in separations chemistry in a variety of projects, ranging from fundamental research on novel molecular-recognition chemistry to applied efforts taking care of problems such as recovery of critical materials, recycle of used nuclear fuel, treatment of waste, water purification, and sensing of trace contaminants.

This position resides in the Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


The Chemical Separations Group consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists focusing on a range of problems in chemical separations from fundamental questions to development and implementation of technologies for energy-related applications. The team includes specialists in theory and computations, organic synthesis, separations, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron scattering, and materials characterization.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Work with a diverse team of scientists seeking both to advance scientific understanding of chemical recognition and separation phenomena, as well as to put this understanding to use in solving real world applications
  • Design and perform hands-on separations experiments utilizing solvent extraction, ion exchange, and other methods to meet project goals
  • Responsible for operation of a separations laboratory equipped with radiometric instrumentation
  • work with both computational chemists and experimentalists to support the design of new receptors and characterize their separation properties
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics

Basic Qualifications:  

  • PhD in Chemistry or a closely related science discipline
  • A minimum of two years of post-PhD research experience involving separations chemistry and solution-structure methodology, X-ray spectroscopy (EXAFS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), or neutron scattering (SANS)

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Strong record of productive and creative research including published peer-reviewed research articles on separation of ionic species in solution using solvent extraction, ion exchange, crystallization, or related techniques and presentations at scientific conferences
  • Background in separations of ionic species in solution
  • A foundation in inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry with a proven working knowledge of thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Working knowledge of basic instrumental techniques such as ICP-AES, ion chromatography, and potentiometric titrimetry, as well as NMR, FTIR, and UV-vis spectrometries
  • Experience in coordination chemistry, molecular recognition, or supramolecular chemistry
  • Experience in carrying out radioanalytical methods
  • Experience in the chemistry of actinides, lanthanides, and fission products
  • Proven experience in proposal development and leading research projects
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and oral and written communication skills and the ability to communicate in English in order to have effective interaction with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors
  • Self-motivated, safety conscious, and capable of creative, independent research resulting in peer-reviewed publications
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues

Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.  Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to Please include the title of the position and the NB number in the subject line.

Work Direction and Interfaces:  Position reports to the Group Leader, Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division. Interface with administrative staff, managers and visitors to ORNL.

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.