Research Associate in Radiochemistry

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

United States

Research Associate in Radiochemistry

Date: Feb 9, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12489 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Medical Isotope Development (MID) Group in the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD) of the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) in areas of radioisotope research, development, demonstration, and production process improvement. This position will support the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) and continuous improvement efforts of key radioisotopes that are essential for medical, national security, industrial applications, and basic research. This position within the MID Group will focus on on research, developing, and demonstration (RD&D) related to radioisotope production efforts. This will include designing and conducting experiments for separation of radioisotopes and stable surrogates of interest, optimization of separation technologies, assisting in scale-up, and publishing results in scientific journals. Grant writing is not required but welcome. The ideal candidate for this position should possess a robust background in radiochemistry with demonstrated independent research capabilities.


The MID Group is comprised of R&D and technical staff that support the development and production of radioisotopes (such as, Ac-225 from Th-229, Accelerator Ac-225, Ra-226, Ac-227/Th-227/Ra-223, Ac-227, Th-228, Ra-224/Pb-212 generators, W-188, Ni-63, and many others). Staff perform R&D on novel radioisotope production and separations technologies and continuous improvement on active ORNL production lines using a radiochemistry facility that is  equipped with radiological fume hoods, gloveboxes and hot cells, and an array of radioanalytical instruments for the detection of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-emitting radioisotopes and quantification of radioactive complexes. The team collaborates internally with other ORNL groups and externally with universities and research centers to enhance domestic production and utilization of radionuclides.


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, Oak Ridge 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: 

  • Perform hands-on radiochemical separations and experiments to meet project goals.
  • Execute chromatographic separations experiments and evaluate the results using radioanalytical techniques.
  • Use a variety of radioanalytical techniques (ICP-MS, HPGe gamma spectroscopy, alpha spectroscopy, liquid scintillation) to analyze samples.
  • Collect and interpret data and adapt to findings.
  • Support the design and installation of equipment based on experimental data.
  • Participate in project planning and execution.
  • Publish innovations, findings, and reports in relevant conferences, journals, internal manuscripts.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in radiochemistry or related field completed within the last 5 years.
  • Understanding of liquid-phase separations.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in multi-disciplinary R&D.
  • Understanding and experience in radioisotope production.
  • Proficient in designing and executing new experiments.
  • 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.


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.


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:

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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):

Established in 2020, the ISED is strengthening ORNL’s leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the Lab's pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL's other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers.  Please visit for more information about ISED.


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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, 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:


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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