Research Associate in Chemistry

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

United States

Research Associate in Chemistry 

Date: Mar 11, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12661 




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 Advanced Computing for Chemistry and Materials Group in the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to perform leading-edge computational chemistry/materials research and development for applications in material sciences and condensed matter physics.


This role will involve performing leading-edge computational condensed matter and material sciences research and development. Priorities include the development, efficient parallel and GPU-enabled implementation, and application of first principles methods. Emphasis will be placed on robust, efficient, and sustainable software development practices including testing and documentation.  The scientific effort will focus on the ground state and finite temperature properties of alloys, magnetic and quantum materials.

Close collaborations are expected with researchers from across ORNL with expertise in chemical separations, materials and nano science. The scientific effort will both predict materials properties as well as test and develop novel high performance computing methods for first principles materials calculations.


The successful candidate will be mentored and teamed with staff in the National Center for Computational Sciences. They will collaborate with leading computer and computational scientists at ORNL and external collaborators in the development and application of new computational techniques specifically targeted at the key DOE Office of Science missions. 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:  


  • Establishing, communicating, and using best practices for effectively using HPC resources
  • Debug, profile, and tune first principles materials applications for high performance
  • Adapt, develop, and publish applications and algorithms that scale to OLCF computers
  • Apply and improve advanced computational methodologies to calculate and optimize materials to meet scientific objectives
  • Conduct collaborative research and report results in journal publications, conference papers and technical manuals


Basic Qualifications:


  • A PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, Material Sciences, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Basic understanding of parallel application development techniques (parallel programming models, algorithms, and software)
  • Experience in theoretical and computational physics or material sciences


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Background in the development, implementation and application of ab-initio electronic structure and their application to solid state systems.
  • Proficient skills in common scientific programming languages such as C/C++ and Fortran


  • Experience in parallel programming with MPI, OpenMP, CUDA, HIP, and application-specific libraries
  • Experience in developing, debugging, and profiling massively parallel codes
  • Experience in multiple scattering methods (Korringa-Kohn-Rostocker) or real space methods for electronic structure calculations
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Ability to communicate with and participate creatively in collaborative teams
  • Ability to function independently in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt strategies


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


Benefits at ORNL:  


ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.




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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