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Postdoctoral Research Associate-Earth Systems Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
37830, Oak Ridge
Candidates may discuss with their recruiter at a later date
Closing date
Jul 27, 2024

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Earth and Space Science Informatics
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New Postdoctoral Researcher opportunity at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • Are you looking for a way to make a difference in the transition to a clean energy future?
  • Are you wanting to turn your science and technology expertise toward solving the problems of a changing climate?
  • Do you want to build your professional experience through collaboration with world-leading researchers and institutions, working together to improve climate resilience and prosperity?


If you answered “Yes!” to any of those questions, there is an exciting and unique opportunity available now to put your plans into action, through Oak Ridge National Lab’s Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI).


Summary of opportunity and timeline:

CCSI is partnering with Vanderbilt University to launch a new project that will connect our combined science and technology strengths with communities and other stakeholders to serve real-world needs in the Southeast region and beyond. This project is part of a new CCSI initiative called Science and Technology for Applied Regional Solutions (CCSI STARS).


Major Job Duties/Responsibilities:

  • The researcher will synthesize and analyze observational data and modeling outputs from multiple Earth system models. 
  • The researcher will also evaluate the performance of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) land model (ELM) in Southeast forests using observational data, and execute and analyze high resolution ELM simulations to understand carbon storage and offset potential in SE forest ecosystems under different social-economic and land management scenarios.  
  • The researcher will have opportunities to interact with stakeholders to understand and address their needs using research tools and capabilities developed in the project.
  • Through collaborations with Vanderbilt University, the researcher will interact and mentor graduate students in the Climate leaders Academy.
  • The researcher will work closely with a highly skilled interdisciplinary team.


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Earth sciences, environmental sciences, atmospheric sciences or a related field
  • Experience in ecological modelling and/or Land Surface Modelling
  • Knowledge and experience in developing workflows in HPC environment.
  • Programming experience in Fortran, Python or R
  • Experience in manipulating and analyzing Earth Observation data
  • Strong communication skills


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with the land model in the Energy Exascale Earth Model (E3SM) or Community Earth System Model (CESM)
  • High proficiency in Python is strongly desired


CCSI Vision Statement

We leverage ORNL's unique capabilities as a trusted partner to provide climate change knowledge, insight, and solutions for a sustainable future.


CCSI Mission Statement

We develop and translate data, knowledge, and applied understanding of climate change science through collaboration with stakeholders, to provide an equitable and sustainable future for our communities, the nation, and the world.


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:





This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security. ORNL partners with the state of Tennessee, universities and industries to solve challenges in energy, advanced materials,manufacturing, security and physics. The laboratory's science and technology innovations are translated into applications for economic development and global security. The laboratory is home to several of the world’s top supercomputers and is a leading neutron science and nuclear energy research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor. ORNL hosts a DOE Leadership Computing Facility—home of the Titan supercomputer; one of DOE’s nanoscience centers—the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences; the BioEnergy Science Center—one of DOE’s Energy Research Centers; and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light-Water Reactors, a DOE Innovation Hub.

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