Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Early Career Theoretical Research Scientist in Chemical Physics in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311220

Directorate: Physical & Computational Sciences

Division: Physical Sciences Division

Group: Chemical Physics & Analysis

Job Description

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven postdocs come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors.

We are seeking an early- to mid- career staff scientist to contribute to PNNL’s goals in our theoretical Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science program. Work in this area emphasizes basic research at the boundary of chemistry and physics, pursuing a molecular-level understanding of chemical, physical, and electron- and photon-driven processes in liquids and at interfaces. Our scientific goals are to extend theory, modeling, and computational frameworks to encompass the effects of condensed media and interfaces. We develop a multidisciplinary capability for describing condensed phase and interfacial chemical processes relevant to improved energy technologies, and to create state-of-the-art research, computational and theoretical methods for characterizing complex materials and phenomena. Much of our research involves collaboration with experimental colleagues.

The Ideal Candidate

As a staff scientist in the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) you will join a talented, multi-investigator team working in theoretical Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science. You will establish your own independent research area, collaborate with the other principle investigators, and contribute to the overall goals of the program. PNNL is committed to fostering a work environment that promotes inclusion, diversity, equity and accountability. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply; you do not need to meet all of the Preferred Qualifications to be considered.

What you will do:

  • Conduct independent research and collaborate with other team members

  • Lead the manuscript development and maintain a strong overall publication record in the peer-reviewed scientific literature

  • Present research at technical conferences and project/program review meetings

  • Participate and lead the development of research proposals

  • Train and mentor others

Level 2: Receives guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently completes recurring assignments. Defines and leads project work at a small task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget. Contributes to proposals. Embraces expectations for quality, safety, and security. Communicates the importance within the work team.

Level 3: Selects and develops technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight on complex problems. Principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members. Supports scoping, scheduling, and budgeting at a project or major task level. Generates new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience, MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience.

  • Work effectively with multi-disciplinary teams

  • Ability to lead an independent research area in theoretical condensed phase and interfacial molecular science

  • Expertise in an area of theoretical condensed phase chemical physics. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Electronic Structure

  • Statistical Mechanics

  • Charge transport and reactivity

  • Reaction pathways in complex environments

  • Chemistry and phenomena in aqueous environments

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience, MS/MA with 3 years of experience, or PhD with 1 year of experience.

  • Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Sciences or related field strongly preferred

  • Experience in writing and leading research proposals

  • Experience supervising and mentoring graduate students, postdocs, or junior scientists

About PNNL

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

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.

Directorate: Physical & Computational Sci's

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Chemical Physics & Analysis

Opening Date: 2020-09-21

Closing Date: 2020-10-27