Scientist in Diffraction Neutron Scattering Instrument
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States

Diffraction Neutron Scattering Instrument Scientist

Date: May 19, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10417 


We are seeking a Neutron Scattering Instrument Scientist who will work as a team member within the suite of neutron diffractometers of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).  The suite includes the WAND2 single crystal and powder diffractometer; the DEMAND four-circle single crystal diffractometer; and the HB-2A powder diffractometer.

These instruments support a diverse science community attracting scientists from all over the world conducting world-class research in physical, chemical and materials’ sciences. More details about the instruments and their scientific impact can be found at,, and

In this role you will support one of the diffractometers and be tasked with developing a leading scientific program focused on neutron scattering. You will be championing developments on the instrument with sample environments, as well as the software, to maintain and further develop the instrument’s performance and to expand the user base.

A key component of your role is to ensure safe operation and user support of the beamlines. You will act as a local contact for users, including helping with experimental setup, data acquisition and data analysis. You will have the opportunity to work with users on a wide range of science topics covered by the instruments. It is expected that you pursue your own research program, focusing on neutron scattering capabilities.

This position resides in the Powder Diffraction Group in the Diffraction Section, Neutron Scattering Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  

Successful candidates will be selected via a panel interview process.  If this position interests you and you meet the basic qualifications please apply.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Pursue a high-quality personal research program using neutron diffraction, build national, international collaborations, and publish research results in scientific journals.
  • Assist users as a local contact for experimental setup and data acquisition, participate in user education as appropriate, and ensure users are provided with analyzable data when possible.
  • Pursue developments in instrumentation, sample environment, and software to help maintain and further advance the performance of the instrument suite.
  • Attract new users, both broadly and from areas related to your own research, to expand the user community and the impact of neutron scattering in the physical and chemical sciences.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Ensure an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:

Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or related field
  • A minimum of 1 year of related experience (Applicants with additional years of experience are encouraged to apply and we will hire commensurate with years of experience.)
  • A strong record of research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous research experience in fields such as chemistry or energy materials
  • Experience with neutron and/or X-ray powder and Rietveld analysis
  • Experience with neutron and/or X-ray single crystal diffraction
  • Previous beamline support experience in a neutron or synchrotron X-ray user facility
  • Demonstrated ability to work with other technical and scientific support groups
  • Demonstrated ability to work with graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and other research scientists from both academia and/or industry

Other Requirements:

Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.

If you are selected for interview, you may be required to submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation.

About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to

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.

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