Theoretical Research Scientist in Chemical Physics (Early Career)

6 days left

Richland, Washington State
Sep 30, 2020
Oct 30, 2020
Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven postdocs come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors.

We are seeking an early- to mid- career staff scientist to contribute to PNNL’s goals in our theoretical Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science program.  Work in this area emphasizes basic research at the boundary of chemistry and physics, pursuing a molecular-level understanding of chemical, physical, and electron- and photon-driven processes in liquids and at interfaces. Our scientific goals are to extend theory, modeling, and computational frameworks to encompass the effects of condensed media and interfaces. We develop a multidisciplinary capability for describing condensed phase and interfacial chemical processes relevant to improved energy technologies, and to create state-of-the-art research, computational and theoretical methods for characterizing complex materials and phenomena. Much of our research involves collaboration with experimental colleagues.

As a staff scientist in the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) you will join a talented, multi-investigator team working in theoretical Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science.  You will establish your own independent research area, collaborate with the other principle investigators, and contribute to the overall goals of the program. PNNL is committed to fostering a work environment that promotes inclusion, diversity, equity and accountability. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply; you do not need to meet all of the Preferred Qualifications to be considered.

What you will do:

  • Conduct independent research and collaborate with other team members
  • Lead the manuscript development and maintain a strong overall publication record in the peer-reviewed scientific literature
  • Present research at technical conferences and project/program review meetings
  • Participate and lead the development of research proposals
  • Train and mentor others

Level 2: Receives guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently completes recurring assignments. Defines and leads project work at a small task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget. Contributes to proposals. Embraces expectations for quality, safety, and security. Communicates the importance within the work team.

Level 3: Selects and develops technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight on complex problems. Principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members. Supports scoping, scheduling, and budgeting at a project or major task level. Generates new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience, MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience.
  • Work effectively with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Ability to lead an independent research area in theoretical condensed phase and interfacial molecular science
  • Expertise in an area of theoretical condensed phase chemical physics. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Electronic Structure
    • Statistical Mechanics
    • Charge transport and reactivity
    • Reaction pathways in complex environments
    • Chemistry and phenomena in aqueous environments

Preferred Qualifications (not all need to be met):

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience, MS/MA with 3 years of experience, or PhD with 1 year of experience.
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Sciences or related field strongly preferred
  • Experience in writing and leading research proposals
  • Experience supervising and mentoring graduate students, postdocs, or junior scientists