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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA Theory Modeling and Simulation in Des Moines, Iowa


The Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD) researchers lead major R&D efforts in experimental and theoretical interfacial chemistry, chemical analysis, high energy physics, interfacial catalysis, multifunctional materials, and integrated high-performance and data-intensive computing.

PCSD is PNNL’s primary steward for research supported by the Department of Energy’s Offices of Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific Computing Research, and Nuclear Physics, all within the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Additionally, Directorate staff perform research and development for private industry and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and NASA. The Directorate's researchers are members of interdisciplinary teams tackling challenges of national importance that cut across all missions of the Department of Energy.


The Opportunity

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; here is your chance to be one of them!

Contribute to PNNL’s goals in theoretical Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science as part of the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD). As a postdoctoral researcher in the Theory, Modeling, and Simulation team, you will join a talented, multi-investigator team to develop a fundamental comprehension of the driving forces and processes that underlie phenomena such as solvation, nucleation, assembly, transport, and reaction, in complex condensed-phase, heterogeneous, and interfacial molecular environments. Work in our group is highly collaborative. You will work with and be mentored by prominent researchers, including — Greg Schenter, Chris Mundy, Shawn Kathmann, Britta Johnson, Marat Valiev, and Sotiris Xantheas — as you develop and work to understand the detailed structure and chemical dynamics of molecules at interfaces and in the condensed phase.

The Ideal Candidate

If you are a postdoctoral researcher ready to test your talents and training in Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry and hone your skills at a national laboratory widely recognized for its work in the physical sciences, we want to connect with you. 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 work on team assignments

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

Interact, communicate, and problem solve with a diverse team of research staff within the Chemical Physics and Analysis, PSD and across PNNL

Present research at technical conferences and project/program review meetings

Participate in the development of research proposals

Train and mentor others


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 (not all need to be met):

• PhD with 0-2 years of experience

• Work effectively with multi-disciplinary teams

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

• Strong verbal and written communications skills

• Proficiency and knowledge of theory and simulation (including programming)

o Rate theory in the condensed phase

o Theory of electrolytes and solvation

o Electrostatic phenomena in the vicinity of interfaces (macroscopic and nanoscale)

o Intermolecular interactions in the gas and the condensed phase

o Structures and spectroscopy of aqueous ionic clusters

o Data science approaches to obtain descriptors of physical processes

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not applicable

Additional Information

Not applicable

Testing Designated Position

Not a Testing Designated Position (TDP)

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.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.