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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA - Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Richland, Washington

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.


The mission of the Signature Science and Technology Division is to discover the science, develop the technology, and drive operations to counter emerging national security threats.

We help the nation maintain U.S. Supremacy in detecting adversaries by building new capabilities that combine measurement and analysis, and by channeling our long-standing programs towards the detection and forensic analysis of weapons proliferation.

We help the nation deter and counter the use of weapons of mass destruction. We house a deep understanding of the nonproliferation landscape that builds on a long history of providing technical support to international treaties. We also support the nation’s nuclear deterrent by developing production methods for strategic materials.

We help the nation develop science and technology for a radically different conflict landscape. We use our deep measurement capabilities that combine measurement with theory and data analytics to move signature detection toward mission relevant speed—a speed that requires automation and produces near-real-time analysis.​​​​​​​


PNNL is seeking outstanding post-doctoral researchers to participate in neutrino and dark matter experiments. Selected researchers will be part of a broad physics program within the Detection Physics Group at PNNL, which is engaged in several experimental efforts focused on neutrinos and dark matter, including the next Enriched Xenon Observatory (nEXO), Project 8, Oscura, the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX), and the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS). For nEXO, the appointee will play a leading role in the design and development of the liquid xenon TPC and contribute to the overall scientific goals of the nEXO Collaboration. They will have the opportunity to develop detector components and test new R&D concepts with our local detector test stand as well as contribute to simulations and modeling of radioactive backgrounds and detector signals. Researchers will also have opportunities to contribute to our group’s applied programs, assisting with the cross-pollination of new methods and technologies in radiation detection relevant to both basic research and applied research for national security. This cross-disciplinary, entrepreneurial environment is a strength that the Detection Physics Group has fostered and maintained over multiple decades.

Candidates may have varied experience and focus. Areas of particular interest include noble liquids and time projection chambers, high voltage, detector prototyping and data analysis, simulation and modelling, and low radioactive background techniques. Work may include travel to collaborating institutions.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate unique technical strengths applicable to the above listed research efforts and to present a compelling vision for their contributions. Excellent communication and presentation skills are required, and preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated ability to publish completed research.


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:

Useful areas of experience may include one or more of the following:

  • Technical Expertise: General knowledge of low radioactivity detector systems, or other hardware skills with respect to these detectors such as cryogenics and vacuum systems is desired. Experience with or knowledge of noble liquid systems and time projection chambers is preferred.

  • Software tools: prior experience with data analysis, simulation, and coding packages such as ROOT, C++, Python, or Geant4.

  • Level of Responsibility: both contributing and leading roles in detector design and development, experiment operations, data analysis, software development, and publication of scientific results.

  • Breadth of scientific knowledge: neutrinoless double-beta decay, rare event searches (dark matter, solar neutrinos), related nuclear and particle physics.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable

Additional Information

Not Applicable

Testing Designated Position

This is not a Testing Designated position.

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.