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R&D Associate - Solid State NMR Spectroscopy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Closing date
Oct 13, 2019

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Field of specialization
Engineering, Materials
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Overview:  We are seeking an early career research scientist to preform fundamental and applied research on the characterization of organic, inorganic, and composite materials using solid-state NMR. This position resides in the Carbon and Composites Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).   


The Carbon and Composites Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of polymeric materials, carbon precursors and composites by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs. This group and the CSD has research projects that needs solid-state NMR spectroscopy to investigate the synthesis, structure, and dynamics of engineered materials such as crosslinked polymer networks, carbon precursors and fibers, porous carbon, mesoporous metal oxides, membranes, catalysts, geomaterials, and other energy materials. Additionally, surface functionalization of materials and their interactions with the environment are of fundamental interest and solid state and solution phase NMR experiments can establish atom-atom connectivity, local structure, and dynamics.


The NMR suite in CSD includes three instruments ranging in field from 9.4 to 16.4 T. The 16.4 T narrow bore magnet is currently dedicated to solid-state experiments and is equipped with a Varian four-channel console and 1.2 and 3.2 mm T3-design MAS probes. The instrument can also operate as a high-resolution solution-phase instrument. Two 9.4 T instruments are equipped to run modern solution and solid-state experiments. These are Bruker Instruments with 1.3, 2.5, 3.2 (triple-tuned) and 4.0 mm solid state probes.  One of these is operated as a walk-up spectrometer that meets the everyday NMR demands of division researchers. All of the instruments are physically located in one spacious lab in the Chemical and Material Sciences Building. The 4.7 and 16.4 T instruments are typically used by the NMR PI while access to a 9.4 T instrument is generally freely available to ORNL.


Ideal candidates will have extensive, hands-on experience in conducting solid-state NMR research and a proven record of R&D success and peer-reviewed publications. This position is critical to the future mission of CSD in many areas of chemical and materials sciences, and we are searching for candidates that thrive in a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

Research in this group has typically focused on near-term practical applications, although we will consider candidates with strong basic research backgrounds that can be closely aligned with energy applications.

  • Conduct cutting-edge Solid-State NMR research
  • Characterize novel materials by Solid State NMR and conduct analysis of data
  • Develop new approaches to using solid state and solution phase NMR to address science challenges
  • Work with other researchers to characterize, test, and synthesize new materials with desired properties for energy applications
  • Collaborate with staff to develop new ideas and proposals to sponsors
  • Present and report research results at scientific meeting and to sponsors and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Maintain NMR lab and equipment and train users to operate the NMR
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications: 

  • A PhD in Chemistry, Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, or an equivalent field.
  • A minimum of two years of post-doctoral research experience


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience in solid state NMR spectroscopy of polymers and carbon
  • Experience in EPR
  • Experience in diffusion measurements
  • A record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or presentations at scientific conferences
  • Ability to work in a team environment and contribute to the preparation of research proposals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate with an international and multi-disciplinary scientific audience
  • Motivated and safety conscious
  • Ability to work independently, set priorities, multi-task and adapt to ever changing needs to meet sponsors expectations


Special Requirement:

Three letters of reference are required and can be emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position and your name 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.

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