Postdoctoral Research Associate - Nonlinear Optical Microscopy Imaging, Plant and Microbial Sys

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Discussed upon interview.
Feb 26, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
Field of specialization
Job Type



We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on developing a new multimodal imaging platform integrating novel and existing optical and mass spectroscopy capabilities to resolve 3D spatiotemporal chemical information in the bulk and at the interface in biological systems in situ.  This system will enable molecular-level understanding of the complex metabolomics, signaling pathways, and rhizospheric processes in living systems with a designed spatiotemporal resolution of μm-to-mm and s-to-min. This research will involve extensive collaboration with biologist and plant scientists in the Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This position resides in the Mass Spectrometry and Laser Spectroscopy Group in the Chemical Science Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As part of our research team, you will focus on using nonlinear optical techniques, such as vibrational sum frequency generation and coherent anti-stokes Raman scattering to probe chemical localization and molecular transport through complex biosystems in real time. This work includes technique development and validation on model and real-world systems. These optical tools will be combined with mass spectrometry imaging methods as the program advances to provides dynamic chemical maps in complex biosystems for the first time.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


Develop and apply nonlinear optical microscopies to the study of living biosystems Develop new methods to understand the mechanistic steps that take place at interfaces and in the bulk that mediate transport and function Participate in development of new research directions Present and report research results at meetings and conferences and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner Work with ORNL staff and other postdoctoral research associates and students to accomplish the research goals Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics Basic Qualifications:


A PhD in Chemistry, Physics, or a related discipline completed within the last five years Preferred Qualifications:


Experience with ultrafast laser-based spectroscopies or microscopies, with special emphasis on infrared/vibrational techniques (e.g., CARS, SRS, vibrational sum-frequency generation). Experience controlling hardware using LabVIEW and data analysis using Python/Matlab Experience with biological systems and optical imaging Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory   Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs Motivated and safety conscious 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.


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 in the subject line.




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.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.