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Post Doctorate RA - Ultrafast Chemical Dynamics and X-ray Science

Richland, Washington State
salary + benefits + relocation
Closing date
Feb 3, 2022

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Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time
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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or ~3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.


Contribute to PNNL’s goals as part of the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD). Through fundamental research supported by DOE Basic Energy Sciences, we seek to understand ultrafast photoinduced chemical processes in liquid environments, that are relevant for light-harvesting and artificial photosynthesis. The proposed research effort focuses on developing and utilizing advanced time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and scattering methods to probe with atomic scale resolution the photoinduced electronic and structural dynamics in solvated molecular complexes and assemblies. These experiments will be strongly coupled with state-of-the art theoretical efforts for the interpretation and modeling of the data.


As a postdoctoral researcher based in the Chemical Physics group, you will investigate challenging molecular-scale science questions, such as the mechanisms of charge transfer and proton coupled electron transfer processes. You will specialize in conducting time-resolved X-ray scattering and spectroscopy experiments in the area of condensed-phase physical chemistry using the LCLS X-ray Free Electron laser (XFEL) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and related XFELs and synchrotron facilities around the world. You will be mentored by Dr. Elisa Biasin and collaborate with other senior investigators in a multi-institutional team, including researchers at PNNL (e.g. Dr. Niri Govind, Dr. John Fulton), University of Washington (e.g. Dr. Munira Khalil), and SLAC (e.g. Dr. Kelly Gaffney, Dr. Robert Schoenlein). This position is based at SLAC (Menlo Park, CA).


The Ideal Candidate: If you are ready to test your talents, train in experimental ultrafast chemical dynamics and X-ray science, and hone your skills at national laboratories widely recognized for their work in the physical sciences, we want to connect with you. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply; you do not need to meet all the Preferred Qualifications to be considered. Please, when uploading your CV, include a cover letter indicating your research interests and preferred start date. Please also provide the names of at least two references who could, upon request, provide a letter of recommendation.


  • Propose and lead ultrafast X-ray experiments to investigate photoinduced chemical dynamics processes at large scale X-ray light source facilities.
  • Lead data analysis method development, data analysis and interpretation through comparison with state-of-the art calculations.
  • Become an integral part of PNNL and SLAC fundamental chemical physics project teams, taking advantage of world-class expertise and capabilities to perform your research.
  • Work independently, take initiative, and work on team assignments.
  • Lead and contribute to manuscript development.
  • Interact, communicate, and problem solve with the research staff within the multi-institutional collaboration.
  • Present research at technical conferences and project/program review meetings.


Minimum Qualifications:


Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.


Preferred Qualifications:

• Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Physics, Materials Sciences or related fields.
• Experience with X-ray spectroscopy and/or scattering at synchrotrons or
XFELs and/or experience with tabletop ultrafast spectroscopy methods.
• Strong ability to analyze data and develop appropriate models, working
closely with theorists; familiarity with coding languages such as python.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong leadership abilities to work as part of an interdisciplinary team of
scientists across multiple institutions.
• Ability to travel from SLAC to PNNL for regular meetings with PNNL
researchers; and to synchrotron and XFEL facilities around the world to
perform experiments.


Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not applicable

Additional Information

Not applicable

Testing Designated Position

Not applicable
Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.


We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation.  Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

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