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Nuclear Forensics Postdocotoral Research Associate

Los Alamos Nation Laboratory: Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Closing date
Jun 27, 2024

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Geochemistry, Interdisciplinary/Other
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Forensics Postdoctoral Research Associate

  • Req. Number: IRC130360
  • Organization : C-NR/Nuclear & Radiochemistry
  • City, State: Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • What You Will Do

    The Clean Chemistry Team in the Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group (C-NR) of the Chemistry Division is looking to hire an exceptional Postdoctoral Research Associate with experience in separating trace elements from environmental and/or synthetic materials. The postdoctoral researcher will develop and enact new methods to purify trace-level decay progeny from nuclear materials. The focus of this project will be age dating nuclear materials (predominantly uranium) using granddaughter radionuclides (226Ra and 227Ac) with applications to basic research, as well as several national security projects. Key objectives of this role are to develop faster, more accurate, and more applicable purification methods that improve nuclear forensics capabilities. Additionally, the chosen candidate will explore statistical modelling of radiochronometry signatures to better understand nuclear material processing histories. You will work with, and be supported by, our multi-disciplinary team to apply the principles of actinide separation, low-level analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, and radiochronometry in the development of these novel production history signatures.

    What You Need

    Minimum Job Requirements:

    • Technical Knowledge: Experience in at least three of the following areas: a) analytical chemistry, b) geochemistry, c) actinide or nuclear chemistry, d) nuclear physics, e) inorganic chemistry, f) separation chemistry, and/or g) reduction and analysis of elemental/isotopic data.
    • Professional Background: Demonstrated commitment to quality research, technical and scientific excellence, professional integrity, and personal initiative. Demonstrated oral and written communication skills as evidenced by publications and technical presentations at national and/or international venues.
    • Collaboration: Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team environment in a complex shared laboratory space.

    Education/Experience: PhD in chemistry, geology/geochemistry, nuclear physics, or a related field within the past five years, or soon to be completed. Doctorate must be completed before hiring. Other doctoral degrees with sufficient relevant practical experience will also be considered.

    Desired Qualifications:
    • Experience working in a clean laboratory environment
    • Experience with nuclear material radiochronometry or geochronology
    • Experience in non-destructive and/or destructive measurements of nuclear material
    • Familiarity with the isotope dilution techniques and inorganic mass spectrometry techniques such as ICP-MS or TIMS
    • Scientific programming experience
    • Ability to obtain a Q clearance, which normally requires US citizenship.

    Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

    Salary: Competitive salaries are based on the date the PhD degree requirements were completed or the degree was awarded. Starting salary for a new graduate is currently $94,500. For more information go to Postdoc Program website at
  • Note to Applicants:

    Please send a cover letter addressing how you meet the minimum job requirements and possible desired job requirements.

    A current curriculum vitae (C.V.) with the following information is also required: scientific expertise, educational background, degree dates, GPA with scale, name of advisor(s), work experience, relevant curricular activities, peer-reviewed publications, grants, and other publications, including talks and posters.

    Down-selected candidates will also later be asked to provide a list of three names who can be contacted to provide letters of recommendation. References will not be contacted without first obtaining permission from the applicant.
    Where You Will Work

    Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

    § PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

    § Dental and vision insurance

    § Free basic life and disability insurance

    § Paid childbirth and parental leave

    § Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

    § Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

    § Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)

    § Onsite gyms and wellness programs

    § Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
    Additional Details

    Q Clearance: Selected applicants will be subject to a background investigation conducted by or on behalf of the Federal Government, and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance. and obtaining such clearance requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon the position, additional authorization to access classified information may be required, which may or may not be available to dual citizens. Receipt of a Q clearance and additional access authorization ultimately is a decision of the Federal Government and not of Triad.

    New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

    Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1

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