Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Biomedical Scientist in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311151

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, 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 scientist to contribute to research focused broadly on the identification and characterization of pathogens 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.

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 or 3 research and development setting

  • Working with mammalian tissue culture using excellent sterile technique

  • 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

  • Level II : Ability to receive guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently complete recurring assignments. Ability to contribute to proposals. Ability to define and lead 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.

  • Level III : Ability to select and develop technical approaches with occasional oversight on complex problems. Ability to generate new ideas for and lead development of technical sections of small to medium proposals. Ability to serve as PI or co-PI on projects or tasks and integrate capabilities of work team members. Ability to support scoping, scheduling and budgeting at a project or major task level. All while embracing expectations for quality, safety, and security.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Scientist/Engineer II (BS/BA with 2+ years of experience, MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience OR PhD with 0-1 years of experience)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Scientist/Engineer III (BS/BA with 5+ years of experience, MS/MA with 3 years of experience OR PhD with 1 year of experience)

  • Three or more years of experience working with infectious human pathogens (i.e., not just lentiviral vectors) at BSL-2+ or 3

  • Experience performing molecular biology techniques/genetic engineering

  • Experience working with primary human lung cells

  • Experience working with infectious human viruses

  • Desire to work with infectious risk group 3 human pathogens at biosafety level three

  • Experience working with kit based detection assays in 96 well plates

  • Experience working on multiple projects simultaneously

  • Willingness to travel on a regular basis from PNNL’s main campus in Richland, WA to PNNL’s BSL-3 facility, which is located in Seattle, WA

  • Experience handling mice

  • 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

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment: Complexities related to the position, working environment, special challenges, etc.:

  • This position will require experimental work involving exposure to risk group 2 and 3 human pathogens, typical laboratory chemicals, and equipment. Risks are appropriately assessed and managed to prevent exposing staff to hazards.

Other Information

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: 2020-09-01

Closing Date: 2020-11-30