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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Director Research Operations in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311344

Directorate: Deputy Director for Science & Technology

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is recruiting a senior leader to provide overall leadership for the laboratory’s research management and operations program and apply in-depth knowledge of Research M&O Programs to differentiate the Laboratory. The core elements of the Research M&O Program include: Research Operations, addressing the roles of line managers, cognizant space managers, project managers, and other roles central to the research function at PNNL and stewarding the processes and systems for laboratory work planning and control (e.g. IOPS and Lab Assist); Research Integrity, including oversight of PNNL’s Institute for Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Review Board (covering the use of human subjects in research), Biosafety Committee, and Scientific Integrity and Ethics Board; and Research Innovation, overseeing the process and implementation of PNNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD), Integrated Capability Management (ICM), and visiting researcher programs.

A critical component of this position is the lab-level leadership role focusing on the evolution of PNNL’s ICM systems and processes. In this role, overall responsibility for developing and implementing a strategy for stewarding and assessing the health of our 19 core capabilities; establishing the linkages to our investment strategies and decisions for our facilities, equipment, hiring/retention, and LDRD; and ensuring PNNL is prepared to meet current and future mission needs. A data-driven, risk informed, and compliant ICM process (validated by performance information to assure defensible mission-aligned decision making) will be deployed in support of laboratory financial planning, campus strategy development, capital equipment acquisition, and science and technology investments. This will require close integration with senior research and management and operations leadership across the laboratory as well as a strong partnership with DOE’s Pacific Northwest Site Office.

This position reports to the DDS&T and will also be expected to collaborate in and contribute to the broader goals of the DDS&T office.


  • The overarching goal and purpose of this position and the Research M&O program is the development, implementation, and stewardship of the processes and systems that enable PNNL to thrive through effective capability stewardship and research execution. This includes a range of enduring and assigned responsibilities including but not limited to the following:

  • Ensure optimal and transparent stewardship of PNNL’s core capabilities as assigned by the office of science.

  • Continued development and execution of a strong Integrated Capability Management system that ensures timely recognition and resolution of capability stewardship challenges.

  • Leadership on behalf of the DDS&T and S&T ALD team for significant portions of the operating model.

  • Lead or contribute to the resolution of broad laboratory issues affecting research operations. While specific duties will evolve, examples of current responsibilities are expected to include:

  • Contributing to successful implementation of the S&T Matrix and other economic security-driven policy shifts.

  • Representing the S&T ALDs in efforts to improve data stewardship and infrastructure at PNNL.

  • Providing leadership to optimize PNNL’s scholarly output through effective metrics and institutional response to the changes underway in publication trends.

  • Providing leadership to efforts to make PNNL a more innovative institution.

  • Implementation of the lab assist system.

  • Implementation of the non-employee framework.

  • Identification, monitoring, and mitigation of the broad risks to research operations of interest to the S&T team.

  • Lead PNNL’s Research M&O Program. This also includes managing essential aspects of research operations and expert delivery, including interfacing with those responsible for managing project risk and execution.

  • Within the area of Research M&O Program responsibilities:

  • Manage Requirements: Monitor, analyze, and maintain assigned requirements and verify that they are current and consistent with work that is being planned/conducted at PNNL.

  • Program Implementation: Establish the most efficient means of implementing requirements in partnership with appropriate stakeholders.

  • Program Performance: Establish a means of understanding 1) the extent to which requirements owned are deployed and complied with (Extent of Deployment) and 2) the overall health of the program including management of risks and vulnerabilities, ability to produce desired effects or outcomes, extent to which program objectives are achieved. Conduct rigorous and credible self-assessments in the area of research operations to understand program performance.

  • Program Improvement: Identify and act on improvements (i.e., fixes, corrections, and desired upgrades) needed to strengthen program performance, enable compliance, and/or manage risks.

  • Effectively network and partner with other M&O Program Managers across PNNL (e.g. M&O Program Managers Forum) to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of PNNL’s Research Operations and Integrated Capability Management systems and processes.

  • Effectively interact with senior PNNL management and PNSO in representation of the Research M&O Program

  • Model, create and reinforce a culture of excellence, including safety, security, and operational discipline.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's Degree with 15 plus years of experience; or Advanced Degree plus 13 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree and significant experience in one or more scientific or engineering disciplines.

  • Progressive experience in responsible leadership, program leadership, or line management experience.

  • Must possess demonstrated strategic vision, technical leadership, and management skills.

  • Should have familiarity with the trends and drivers affecting large and diverse R&D organizations.

  • Must have well-developed strategic planning, organizational and capability development skills. Strong, proven interpersonal communication, problem solving, and relationship-building skill is required.

  • Established technical reputation and a demonstrated ability to collaborate across business units to build, maintain, and leverage R&D capability for mission impact.

  • Recognized success in the execution of senior leadership roles within a large, complex research organization. Such roles could include senior line management roles, project/program management roles such as program management office director, or sponsor-facing roles.

  • Demonstrated experience with managing field/lab operations from safety and compliance standpoints is desired.

  • Ability to obtain a National Security clearance.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Other Information

The position requires approximately 10% domestic travel.

Directorate: Deputy Dir for S&T

Job Category: Managers

Group: Deputy Dir for S&T

Opening Date: 2020-10-30

Closing Date: 2020-12-06