Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Chemical and Biological Data Scientist - Early Career in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312092

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 Signatures Group (CBS) is an interdisciplinary group of approximately 50 biologists, chemists, data scientists, 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 addressed within the CBS group include: identifying the appropriate signatures, sample collection/preservation and preparation, development of detection and analysis technologies, and development of data analytic methods for high confidence measurements. CBS is seeking multiple data scientists with an interest in solving real-world problems in chemical and/or biological forensics and security. Successful candidate(s) will contribute to research focused broadly on the identification and characterization of chemical and/or biological signatures that are of concern to national security sponsors. They will be a member of an inter-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, data scientists, and program managers and will be expected to build networks within and external to the CBS group.

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

  • Contributing one (1) or more of the following skill sets to various research and development projects: (1) statistical experimental planning and design, (2) chemometrics analysis of complex instrument data, (3) structural and activity-based cheminformatics analysis, or (4) computational bioinformatics, including proteomics and metabolomics.

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

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

  • 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

  • Scientist/Engineer I (BS/BA with 0-1 years of experience OR MS/MA with 0-1 years of experience)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Scientist/Engineer II (BS/BA with 2+ years of experience, MS/MA with 0-3 years of experience OR PhD with 0-1 years of experience)

  • For the biology-focused candidate: experience with computational and/or statistical aspects of bioinformatics, data analysis experience analyzing omics data (genomics, proteomics, or metabolomics)

  • For the chemistry-focused candidate: experience with chemometrics methods for analyzing chromatographic and mass spectral data, and/or experience with quantitative structural and activity relationship (QSAR) modeling.

  • Proficiency with one or more scripting languages (e.g., Python, R)

  • 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

  • A Master’s or PhD degree in one (1) of the following: biology, chemistry, or a related data science field (i.e. biostatistics, chemometrics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, or cheminformatics)

  • Ability to get a security clearance.

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

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:

  • 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.

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: 2021-05-07

Closing Date: 2021-08-05