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Post Doctorate RA - Radiochemistry (8914)

Job DescriptionOverview


Protecting U.S. residents and visitors is among our nation’s highest priorities. As adversaries gain access to sophisticated technologies and materials, the threats grow more dynamic and complex—from cyber and nuclear to chemical and biological weapons of mass effect and other forms of terrorism. The PNNL national security mission employs our researchers, tools, and technologies to play a key role in advancing the ability to identify and secure nuclear materials, detect weapons of mass effect, manage nonproliferation treaties, secure our nation's borders, and protect critical infrastructures. PNNL’s scientific discovery and capabilities—rooted in innovative theory, methods, algorithms, and tools—are enabling stronger, more resilient technologies and systems to safeguard national security. Coupled with decades of radiological and nuclear materials expertise, advanced computing and threat analysis capabilities, and a broad fundamental science base, we are identifying and countering emerging threats that have significant impact at home and around the globe.


We are searching for a Post Doc - Research Associate to join the Radiochemistry group and lead a wide variety of research and development efforts involving characterization and quantitative analysis of nuclear material in environmental matrices, including the development of novel separation technologies. Staff within the Radiochemistry Group conduct fundamental and applied research resulting in new capabilities in trace element and radionuclide detection, environmental assessment and remediation, treaty verification, and proliferation detection and prevention. Staff are typically involved in multiple projects, which enables each person to contribute to basic science studies as well as the applied missions of the Group. Staff use highly developed processes, specialized methods, and state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation to perform work that spans the spectrum of fundamental science to applied analytical services. Research areas include radiochemistry, nuclear materials chemistry and analysis, instrument development, and nuclear and materials signatures. Much of the analytical work that is performed requires measuring radionuclides at trace levels. This position will include both experimental and theoretical studies in support of several critical national security sponsors along with missions relating to environmental monitoring, isotope production, next generation nuclear fuel cycles, and international nuclear safeguards and treaty monitoring.



Applicants should have hands-on experience performing research in a chemistry laboratory. May specialize in:

  • Analytical Chemistry: performs qualitative and quantitative analyses of organic compounds, inorganic compounds, or biologics to determine chemical compositions and/or physical properties by verifying their identity, purity, and homogeneity.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: investigates the properties and behaviors of inorganic compounds and materials, which include metals, metaloxides and complexes, both natural and synthetic, as well as main group and organometallic compounds.
  • Nuclear Chemistry: studies reactions that take place inside the nucleus of atoms, such as fission and fusion processes including the production of radionuclides, or studies the effects of ionizing radiation on materials, living organisms, and the environment.
  • Radiochemistry: develops and/or applies chemical techniques to study naturally occurring and manmade radionuclides and employs chemical concepts for processing irradiated materials. Applies chemical techniques involving radiotracers to investigate chemical, biochemical, or biomedical questions.
  • Physical Chemistry: studies how matter behaves at both the molecular and atomic level, how chemical reactions occur, and develops new theories such as how complex structures are formed.

Applicants should have a demonstrated track record of independent contribution to research programs, a strong publication record, have begun to build a national reputation in the field, and possess the ability to interact with and lead dynamic, multi-disciplinary teams in a task lead role. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of the work and team-based projects, effective written and oral communication, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate are essential. Applicants should be creative and capable of productive research, both independently and as part of inter-disciplinary teams. The selected individual will experience professional growth through excellent performance on projects via networking internally and externally to PNNL.



Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in inorganic, analytical, or radiochemistry.
  • Comfortable working independently, within matrixed teams, or in a leadership capacity.
  • A track record for planning, conducting, and reporting experimental work is required as evidenced by a growing list of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Demonstrated ability to acquire funding for self.
  • A research portfolio that includes inorganic wet-chemistry and synthesis or radioisotope separations.
  • Preference is for experience in actinide science.
  • Demonstrated expertise with chemical dissolution and separations from bulk matrices.
  • Experience handling environmental level up to mid-level quantities of radioactive materials.
  • Active Q clearance.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment


This position involves work with hazardous chemicals (acids, bases, etc.) and radioactive materials.

Additional 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 with 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.
  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance positions are Testing Designated Positions, which means that the candidate selected is subject to pre-employment and random 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 months can be demonstrated.

About PNNL


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

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.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity


Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.


We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at

Drug Free Workplace


PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.


If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use.  Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug.  If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn. 

HSPD-12 PIV Credential Requirement


In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and Department of Energy (DOE) Order 473.1A, new employees are required to obtain and maintain a HSPD-12 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credential.  To obtain this credential, new employees must successfully complete and pass a Federal Tier 1 background check investigation.  This investigation includes a declaration of illegal drug activities, including use, supply, possession, or manufacture within the last year.  This includes marijuana and cannabis derivatives, which are still considered illegal under federal law, regardless of state laws.

Mandatory Requirements


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.

Rockstar Rewards


Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance*, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave**, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan* and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

* Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.


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