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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Accelerator Physics

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Tennessee, US
Full-time salaried position plus full benefits and retirement plan.
Posting live until
27 Apr 2024

Job Details

Requisition Id 12775 


We are seeking a postdoctoral research associate who will study the dynamics of low-energy, high-charge ion beams. This project will utilize the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) Beam Test Facility, a front-end replica with advanced diagnostics. This position resides in the Accelerator Physics Group in the Accelerator Science and Technology Section, Research Accelerator Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  

You will be part of a dynamic team working on multiple aspects of this problem. You will have a chance to learn about specialized diagnostics, particularly for high dynamic range and high dimensional measurement of particle beam distributions. This project is motivated by the limitation presented by uncontrolled beam loss to the performance of high-power accelerators such as the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The goal of this work is to demonstrate predictive modeling of beam distributions in a realistic accelerator, and as such includes an emphasis on computation modeling.

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct experiments on an accelerator test stand to understand intensity effects in the SNS front end.
  • Carry out measurement and analysis of high dimensional (6D) beam distributions, as well as develop improved procedures.
  • Perform simulations to understand beam evolution for low- and medium-energy beams in the SNS and test stand experiment.
  • Conduct studies to reveal and resolve sources of discrepancy between simulation and measurement.
  • Apply knowledge gained through test stand measurements to understand dynamics of the SNS.
  • Participate in scientific conferences, workshops, meetings and publishes results in the form of SNS technical notes and memos, workshop and conference proceedings, and scientific journals
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.

Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in physics or related discipline completed within the last five years.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with modern programming languages, particularly Python
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research results through reports, publications and presentations.
  • Experience in accelerator physics, which may include working in a control room, conducting accelerator-based experiments, and computational modeling

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

This is a temporary assignment of 24 months with potential for extension.

For questions about this position, please contact Dr. Kiersten Ruisard at

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hardworking people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, and Employee Discounts. Relocation Assistance is available for certain positions.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third-party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory with more than 6500 staff from more than 60 countries, 3200 guest researchers and a budget of approximately $2.7 billion.  ORNL engages in diverse research activities that support the department’s mission of ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and security challenges.

Why work for us
Leveraging the talents of our world-class researchers and exceptional support staff, ORNL is helping solve critical scientific and technical challenges and, in so doing, creating economic opportunity for the nation. ORNL provides access to unique facilities, laboratories, and equipment, drawing thousands of visiting researchers each year. A vibrant and welcoming scientific community, ORNL embraces the pursuit of innovative ideas and invests in its people to ensure their success.

Training and development
As a student intern, postdoctoral researcher, or early career scientist, you will have the opportunity to work with, and be mentored by, world-class scientists and engineers. You will work to solve the toughest scientific and engineering challenges that have international impact.  

What we are looking for
We are seeking theoretical and applied scientists, postdocs and students interested in:

  • Particle physics
  • Neutron and neutrino physics
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Coupled physics
  • Astrophysics
  • High-energy physics
  • Plasma/fusion
  • Nuclear physics
  • Computational physics
  • Quantum (networking, materials, microelectronics, sensing, algorithms) 

Career opportunities include internships, postdoctoral research appointments, distinguished fellowships, scientific and technical staff positions. 

Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Biology and environment, supercomputing, clean energy, fusion and fission, isotopes, physical sciences, national security, and neutron sciences

Positions recently recruited for
Research scientist, postdoctoral research associate

How to apply

Closing date
All year round 


Company info
001 865 241 2950
PO Box 2008
One Bethel Valley Road
Oak Ridge

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