Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Mid-Career Experimental Research Scientist in Chemical Physics in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311199

Directorate: Physical & Computational Sciences

Division: Physical Sciences

Group: Chemical Physics & Analysis

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking an individual to lead a new task in our experimental Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science (CPIMS) program. Work in this program 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 the experimental characterization and description of chemical reactions to encompass the effects of condensed media and interfaces, 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 and analytical methods for characterizing complex materials. Much of our research involves detailed experimental studies of reaction mechanisms in liquids and at liquid interfaces, of high-energy processes at interfaces, of models of the condensed phase, and of cluster spectroscopy and dynamics.

As a staff scientist in the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) you will join a talented, multi-investigator team working in experimental Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science. You will lead an independent research area, collaborate with the other principle investigators, and contribute to the overall goals of the program. The successful candidate is expected to immediately begin leading peer-reviewed fundamental research in an area complementary to the above efforts, drawing from the reservoir of staff performing the above technical work, enhance ongoing research efforts, and strategically develop and execute a plan to secure support for future research activities, particularly sponsored by BES. The selected scientist must demonstrate a commitment to working with PNNL staff members and engaging those staff members in the broader research enterprise. Senior candidates will be expected to quickly establish themselves as independent principal investigators (PIs) through competitive proposals, and to help mentor junior staff towards proposal development and self-sufficiency.

This position is responsible for providing vision and guidance to strengthen and capabilities at PNNL and then directly apply those capabilities to resolve the nation’s most critical challenges in condensed phase and interfacial molecular science (CPIMS). Major areas of responsibility will include:

  • Leading a research effort and experimental research within the scope of the CPIMS program area. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Ultrafast chemistry: Probe dynamics of electrons, understand energy flow, elucidate structural dynamics

  • Chemistry at complex interfaces: Uncover emergent chemical phenomena at dynamic interfaces with structural and functional heterogeneity

  • Charge transport and reactivity: Elucidate contributions of charge dynamics to energy flow and its coupling to reactions

  • Reaction pathways in diverse environments: Discover the influence of non-equilibrium, heterogeneous, nanoscale environments on complex reaction mechanisms

  • Chemistry in aqueous environments: Address unique properties of water in extreme environments and its role in chemical phenomena

Level 4:

  • Selects and develops technical approaches to complex challenges.

  • Principal investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high-risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations.

  • Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of technical sections of large proposals.

  • Takes lead in scope, schedule, and budget for projects or large tasks

  • Holds leadership role in professional community.

  • Organizes and chairs sessions at national meetings of professional societies. Lead author or developer on a significant number of technical products.

  • Recognized by sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

Level 5:

  • Conceives, plans, and executes R&D with considerable influence on scientific and technological developments.

  • Displays considerable leadership in defining scientific and technical objectives across programs.

  • Leads in the capture, planning, and technical execution of complex interdisciplinary projects and programs across organizational boundaries with lab level impact, and outside of the laboratory.

  • Captures and enables sufficient funding to support self and project teams.

  • Sought out to participate in peer reviews, and book chapters establishing the foundational aspect of the discipline.

  • Sought out as an invited speaker at national forums.

  • Displays a significant record of technical products influencing their discipline.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 7 years of experience; MS/MA with 5 years of experience; PhD with 3 years of experience

  • Experience in writing and leading research proposals

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

  • Demonstrated ability to develop teams with diverse backgrounds working on focused problems.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 9 years of experience; MS/MA with 7 years of experience; PhD with 5 years of experience

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

  • Must have the ability to conduct high-quality, productive research in areas of importance to our DOE programs

  • Recognized leadership in physical science or a closely related field as demonstrated through a record of scholarly accomplishment, honors and professional service to the scientific community, and an international reputation.

  • Demonstrated expertise in the development and application of experimental approaches to understand the fundamentals of the condensed phase and/or interfaces

  • Proven ability to develop and lead groundbreaking scientific research.

  • Demonstrated success in conceiving and attracting funding for research programs involving multiple principal investigators.

  • Knowledge of government programs, particularly within the Department of Energy, in chemical sciences.

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: 2020-09-15

Closing Date: 2020-10-25