Post Doc Research Associate – Mass Spectrometrist job vacancy in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA)

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Company name : Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Location : Richland, WA
Position : Post Doc Research Associate – Mass Spectrometrist

Description :
Post Doc Research Associate – Mass Spectrometrist

Richland, Washington
Earth and Biological Sciences
Temporary Full-Time

Job Description


PNNL’s Earth System Science Division enables energy independence and national security through leadership in earth systems science, engineering, and decision analytics. Our work focuses on solving complex problems in the dynamic Earth system. Our interdisciplinary scientists steward a breadth of efforts that encompass research on plants to groundwater science and coastal zones, to storm prediction.

Our research focuses on understanding and mitigating operational risks at the interface of human and natural environments. This includes predicting the impacts of natural hazards and extreme climate events on Earth and human systems, along with the impacts of wildfire, flooding, sea level rise and storm surges. We focus on understanding and mitigating environmental contamination and increasing the resiliency, security and sustainability of water resources. We provide geointelligence through advanced sensing and data analytics to forecast complex system behaviors and operational performance to understand human-natural systems. This includes informed decision making and enhanced community resilience, advanced monitoring, and remote sensing of environmental systems for energy and national security. It also includes developing energy systems, including geothermal energy, sustainable oil and gas production, storage and utilization, along with carbon sequestration.

Driven by a “science-to-solutions” philosophy, we provide scientific leadership and technology to enhance national security, mitigate natural hazards and optimize disaster response. In the critical areas of energy, environment, intelligence, and defense, we deliver insights and decision support through the development of tools and solutions.


The Earth Systems Predictability & Resiliency Group is seeking a highly motivated individual with a strong ethic of service to the scientific community and a commitment to both scientific excellence and national impact on critical scientific and technical problems.

This opening is to support the goals of the Environmental Signatures Team, which broadly encompasses tracing natural and anthropogenic processes (including investigations of contaminant fate and transport and migratory behaviors) as well as National Security applications such as nuclear safeguards.

The candidate should have significant, hands-on experience in isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) or gas phase mass spectrometry. This could include work with light stable isotopes (e.g., C, N, O, S, Cl) or noble gasses. Pertinent additional experience would include actinide and/or lanthanide analyses, PGE isotope ratio measurements, measurements of the isotopic variations of the transition elements by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) or multi-collector inductively coupled plasmas mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Additional skills that would be of value include clean lab work, design or modifications to mass spectrometers, separations and purification work (ion or solvent exchange, distillation), and development of laser ablation (LA-ICP-MS) or LA-LIBS methods.

The successful candidate will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment within several laboratories at PNNL, including a suite of seven multicollection mass spectrometers and associated supporting analytical instruments and facilities. Applicants must be willing to learn and employ safe techniques for handling hazardous materials. Candidates must be able to work with colleagues in a dynamic laboratory environment on the implementation of experimental procedures.

The candidate is expected to have a Ph.D. in geochemistry, isotope geology, analytical or nuclear chemistry, or a related field. The incumbent must have experience working in a wet-chemistry laboratory around potentially hazardous acids, bases, and materials. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are also required and must be demonstrated via a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.


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:

Candidate must have the ability to obtain a future security clearance, which requires US citizenship
Advanced level of knowledge and direct working experience on isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) or gas phase mass spectrometry including method development.
Direct working experience with triple oxygen isotopes and clumped isotope systems.
Experience with constructing peripherals, ideally laser fluorination lines.
Strong written and oral communication skills as evidenced by scientific publication and conference presentations.
The ideal candidate is a well-organized, self-starter, with a high capacity for attention to detail. Time management skills are essential to balance activities among several concurrently operating projects.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

This position involves laboratory work with hazardous chemicals (acids, bases, etc.) and trace levels of radionuclides.

Additional Information

Candidate must have the ability to obtain a future security clearance, which requires US citizenship.

Testing Designated Position

Not Applicable.

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.

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.

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