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Group Leader for Biological Systems Science

Richland, Washington State
Closing date
Feb 18, 2022

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Field of specialization
Biological, Environmental
Work Function
Job Type
Full time
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Job Details

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) seeks a Group Leader for Biological Systems Science in Richland, WA to lead a scientific research organization of about 80 principal investigators, staff scientists and postgraduates, and to build research programs, equivalent to tenured faculty or department head position. Biological Systems Science is an integral component of the Biological Sciences Division encompassing technical teams in the areas of Microbiome Science, Ecosystem Science, Chemical Biology, Pathogen Biology & Exposure Science, and Synthetic Biology.  The Biological Systems Science group works closely with the other research teams in the areas of Computational Biology and Integrative Omics. The Biological Sciences Division is responsible for a research portfolio focused on the understanding of complex multicellular systems and their response to perturbation, to enable prediction of impacts of climate, energy production and emerging technologies on environmental sustainability and human health. The successful individual will provide leadership to advance biological sciences broadly at PNNL as well as excellent management of a productive and influential research organization.  

The successful candidate will quickly learn about the group’s science, capabilities and operations to advance the effectiveness and S&T impact of the group. The successful candidate will value multidisciplinary collaborations, will develop teams for program development, and will have responsibility for asset management to ensure facilities, equipment, and computational resources are adequate and ready to carry out our computational biology research portfolio.  The successful candidate will help set the agenda for biology research directions at PNNL, assist staff members to find opportunities for engaging in research efforts, and ensure ongoing research programs led by staff are productive and impactful. Senior candidates are expected to establish themselves as independent principal investigators through competitive proposals, and serve as an active resource for others, mentoring early career staff in proposal and scientific career development.

  • Provide scientific and technological leadership and effective line management for the Biological Systems Science Group. Mentor Teams and Team Leads, encourage a continued upward trend in scientific productivity and impact, and ensure safe and secure operations within the group.
  • Collaborate with sector managers and others inside and outside PNNL to develop new research programs for the group and the division.
  • Develop expertise in the organization through hiring and mentoring and ensure access to resources needed for the research effort. Recruit outstanding new staff to meet current and anticipated needs and to build new capability areas aligned with EBSD and PNNL strategic priorities, and support career growth for group members, including annual performance reviews and career planning activities.
  • Participate in division and directorate-level operational, strategic planning, and line management meetings.
  • Maintain effective operations within the organization including the management of overhead budgets to achieve operational targets and compliance with policies & procedures. Business management of research activities, including employee time reporting, safety and risk assessment.
  • Represent the group and its research activities to others inside and outside PNNL, in both scientific and management forums and provide leadership that will advance computational science broadly at PNNL.
  • Establish an independent research portfolio and perform research leading to high-value results such as high-impact peer-reviewed publications, developing expertise and ideas, and mentoring scientific staff. Contribute to external R&D activities including both professional societies and research agencies that set the future research agenda.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA with 9 years of experience
  • MS/MA with 7 years of experience
  • PhD with 5 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in biological science, chemistry, environmental science and/or engineering or a related field plus 10+ years’ experience.
  • Demonstrated record of mentorship, career development and line management experience.
  • Strong demonstrated record of accomplishment with high-impact publications, invited presentations and leadership/visibility within scientific community and funding sponsors.
  • Demonstrated program development, project management, and PI funded research programs.
  • Experience with multidisciplinary, multi-institutional teams is highly important.
  • Excellent communications, interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Technical Expertise: National or international authority. Applies intensive and diversified knowledge of scientific or engineering principles in broad areas of assignments and related fields.

For more information, please contact Kim Willer at


At PNNL, we deliver breakthrough science and technology to meet key national needs. We also apply our capabilities to meet selected environmental, energy, health and national security objectives, strengthen the economy, and support the education of future scientists and engineers. PNNL is managed by DOE's Office of Science, but we perform work for many DOE offices as well as other government agencies. Battelle has operated PNNL for DOE and its predecessors since 1965. A unique feature of Battelle's contract with DOE allows our staff to work for private industry. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Fiscal Year 2004 Business Statistics Business Volume and Customers Our business volume was $638 million. Customers included the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal, state and local agencies; universities; and industry sponsors. Awards In FY 2004, PNNL received four R&D 100 Awards, for a total of 66. PNNL has won a total of 58 Federal Laboratory Consortium awards for technology transfer. PNNL has also won: 5 EO Lawrence Awards 1 Coblentz Award 4 Discover Magazine Awards. For more information on PNNL awards, see Patents In FY 2004, PNNL received 63 U.S. and 44 foreign patents. Since 1965, PNNL has received a total of 1,217 U.S. and foreign patents. Employment, Payroll and Taxes Staff employment at the end of FY 2004 was 3,900. The gross payroll for the year was approximately $279.5 million. Employer-paid benefits totaled $52.4 million and various state and federal payroll taxes paid by the Laboratory amounted to more than $21 million. The Laboratory also paid: $1.6 million in business and occupation taxes $838,000 in sales and use taxes $1.1 million in property and leasehold taxes. Purchased Goods and Services PNNL purchased goods and services totaling more than $250 million. Economic Development PNNL's economic development programs helped more than 50 technology businesses develop products, acquire new customers and contracts, get access to funding sources and strategic partners, and secure specialized facilities and staff. The U.S. Department of Commerce selected PNNL as a national model of technology-based economic development among 300 federal laboratories.
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