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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Synthetic Organic or Polymer Chemistry

Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Oak Ridge, TN
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Closing date
Dec 1, 2021

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Synthetic Physical Organic Chemistry who will focus on organic synthesis of novel monomers and polymers, supramolecular catalysts, and structural characterization of depolymerization products and other relevant small organic molecules.


As part of our research team, you will be responsible for delivering high impact research results to advance the work on polymer upcycling, cation separation and elucidation of reaction mechanisms. You will be very closely working with specialists in synthesis, separations chemistry, theory, spectroscopy, and materials characterization.  


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform hands-on synthesis and characterization of novel organic compounds to meet project goals, propose/identify new synthetic routes, and improve synthetic strategies
  • Use a variety of methods to characterize the newly synthesized compounds (e.g., NMR, FT-IR, TGA, BET analysis, PXRD, UV-Vis, LC/GC-MS, GPC, rheology)
  • Perform polymerization and depolymerization reactions and product analysis
  • Participate in project planning and execution
  • Present and report research results at the project, group, PI meetings and national conferences
  • Publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • 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 or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A strong background in synthetic organic chemistry including experience with multi-step organic synthesis and extensive organic compound structural characterization
  • A record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in synthetic organic chemistry including experience with multi-step organic synthesis and organic compound isolation/purification (e.g., column chromatography, crystallization, distillation, sublimation, etc.)
  • A broad theoretical and experimental knowledge of different organic transformations and expertise in structural characterization by 1D and 2D NMR, FTIR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, BET analysis, PXRD, GPC etc.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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 for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


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




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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