ORNL Distinguished Staff Fellowship Program

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • United States
  • $Funded position
  • Academic - PhD/MSc

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites you to apply to its Distinguished Staff Fellowship Program. The ORNL Distinguished Staff Fellowships are awarded to outstanding early-career scientists and engineers with demonstrated success within their academic, professional, and technical areas, who have high potential to be future science leaders. These highly competitive fellowships are available across a variety of research disciplines, including materials, nuclear, neutrons, and computation.

Distinguished Staff Fellows (DSFs) are expected to conduct scientific research of the highest quality and impact during their 3-year tenure appointment, become leaders in their fields, and be effective representatives of the Laboratory in their interactions with colleagues and with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other sponsors of R&D at ORNL. A key aspect of this fellowship program is a mentorship plan that is designed to facilitate the successful integration of each DSF into ORNL’s scientific community and the alignment of each fellow’s research activities with DOE missions. DSFs are expected to establish the foundation for a long-term career at ORNL.

Applicants selected to become DSFs will be named to one of three fellowships, based on their scientific background. The fellowships honor three prominent scientists associated with ORNL:


  • Dr. Eugene P. Wigner, 1963 Nobel Laureate in physics and first director of research and development at ORNL (1946–47), whose vision continues to be reflected in the Laboratory’s multidisciplinary programs. Wigner Fellows generally align with the fundamental sciences and demonstrate competency in areas such as advanced materials, computational science, neutron scattering, nuclear physics, and plasma and fusion energy sciences.
  • Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg, the longest serving director of ORNL (1955–1972), a passionate advocate for nuclear energy whose interest in science policy placed him at the intersection of science and technology with society. Weinberg Fellows generally align with the applied sciences and demonstrate competency in areas such as computing and computational sciences, chemistry and chemical engineering, radiochemistry, isotope science, materials and nuclear science, renewable energy, and materials engineering.
  • Dr. Liane B. Russell, ORNL’s groundbreaking geneticist, National Academy of Sciences member, and prominent conservationist. Russell Fellows primarily demonstrate competency in computational and experimental biology, genomics, biophysics, environmental and ecosystem sciences, and environmental assessment.

Targeted Research Directions

The candidates must demonstrate their research ability to contribute to one (or more) of ORNL’s current major initiatives in science and technology, listed here:

  • Accelerating the discovery and design of new materials for energy
  • Advancing the science and impact of neutrons
  • Scaling computing and data analytics to exascale and beyond
  • Advancing the scientific basis for breakthrough nuclear technologies and systems
  • Advancing the understanding of complexity in biological and environmental systems
  • Enhancing strategic capabilities in isotope R&D and production
  • Accelerating R&D and manufacturing of integrated energy systems
  • Delivering science and technology to address complex security challenges
  • Applicants are encouraged to identify which of these ORNL’s initiatives align with their expertise.

Qualifications Required

Applicants must have received their doctoral degree in a science or engineering field before their start date and can be no more than five years beyond receiving their highest technical degree at the date of application submission.

Current ORNL postdoctoral researchers and ORNL staff members are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

First, apply online and upload a CV. Upon CV submission, you will receive additional correspondence providing further instruction on how to successfully submit the following application materials:

  1. Three letters of recommendation
  2. A concise but thorough research statement (up to 2 pages, not including references) that
  3. describes a vision for tackling a grand research challenge, its significance and relationship to ORNL research programs, and its alignment to one (or more) of ORNL’s major initiatives in science and technology
  4. Unofficial Ph.D. transcript
  5. Cover letter

TO APPLY PLEASE VISIT: https://jobs.ornl.gov/job/Oak-Ridge-Distinguished-Staff-Fellowship-Program-TN-37830/536698300/?locale=en_US

  • Deadline to Apply: March 29, 2019

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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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Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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