Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Biomedical Scientist in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310434

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signature Science & Technology

Group: Chemical & Biological Signatures

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a multi-program laboratory operated by Battelle for the US DOE. The Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group (CBSS) is an interdisciplinary group of approximately 50 biologists, chemists, and engineers that solve research and development problems related to chemical and biological detection and forensics. Much of the work involves trace detection in complex samples including environmental, food, or biological samples, and is directed toward national security missions to prevent and counter acts of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Key challenges include: identifying the appropriate signatures, sample collection/preservation and preparation, development of detection and analysis technologies, and development of approaches and analytical methods for high confidence measurements. CBSS is seeking a biological or biochemical scientist to contribute to research focused broadly on the identification and characterization of bacteria, viruses and/or biological toxins that are problematic for human health and/or of concern to national security sponsors. The successful candidate will be a member of an inter-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and program managers, and will conduct experiments on cells, tissues or model organisms to help identify causes and solutions to threatening diseases.

Discipline, principal job duties/expectations, and qualitative and quantitative measures of performance that exceed the Functional Descriptor:

The incumbent will work as a technical contributor under the guidance of senior scientists and engineers, and will be responsible for performing the following with the level of quality, timeliness, and cost, to meet required project and client expectations:

  • Proficiently applying basic microbiology, molecular biology and/or biochemistry techniques in a biosafety level 2 research and development setting

  • Working in technical teams to complete complex project tasks on time and on budget

  • Exercising strong written and oral communication skills – including carefully documenting experimental results and contributing to technical reports and presentations.

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

  • Level I : Ability to receive instruction on tasks and report results on time and budget, while working under guidance from experienced staff; ability to take initiative to set personal direction and goals. Ability to contribute to technical products such as peer-reviewed publications and reports. All while embracing expectations for quality, safety, and security.

  • Level II : Ability to receive guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently complete recurring assignments. Contribution to proposals. Defining and leading project work at a small to medium task level, reporting results on time and on budget. All while embracing expectations for quality, safety, and security.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 0-1 years of experience, MS/MA with 0-1 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2+ years of experience, MS/MA with 0-3 years of experience OR PhD with 0-1 years of experience

  • Experience with bacterial and mammalian cell culture

  • Experience with synthetic biology and gene editing techniques

  • Experience extracting cellular components from complex matrices (e.g., soil, water, surface swipes, clinical samples)

  • Experience applying statistics and other data analytics techniques to large data sets

  • Experience recommending technical approaches and making technical contributions that may ultimately affect the direction of the research

  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams

  • Experience contributing to peer-reviewed publications or technical reports

  • Interest and enthusiasm for working on diverse projects that will demand the development of new skills

  • PhD in Biology or related field

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Other Information

This position will require experimental work involving exposure to risk group 1 and 2 biological agents, biological toxins, typical laboratory chemicals, and equipment that are appropriately assessed and managed to prevent exposing staff to hazards.

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Directorate: National Security

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Chem & Biological Signatures

Opening Date: 2020-02-05

Closing Date: 2020-05-05