Actinide Molten Salts Postdoctoral Research Associate

What You Will Do

The Pit Technologies (PT-1) group at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking outstanding candidates for a joint position with several chemistry groups [Inorganic Isotope Chemistry (C-IIAC), Physical and Applied Spectroscopy (C-PCS), or Materials Physics Applications (MPA)] for the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate. Postdoctoral researchers will be working with a large group of collaborators including Stosh Kozimor, Aaron Tondreau, Nickolas Anderson, Benjamin Stein, Christopher Leibman, Bonnie Klamm, and Tatyana Elkin.

The successful candidate will study the fundamental science of plutonium in molten salt environments for application in actinide separations, and will join a team of chemists, spectroscopists, and engineers to advance work that will support LANL's production goals. An ideal candidate will have a background in inorganic chemistry, chemical engineering, or physical chemistry, and a strong technical skillset in air-free high temperature synthesis and characterization techniques. Responsibilities may include: designing and implementing the hardware necessary to complete this project, experimental synthetic research and development using air free techniques, and the associated spectroscopic studies needed to characterize the material.

The candidate is expected to be self-motivated for success and demonstrate a desire to perform at a high-level in their chosen field. It is further expected that the successful candidate will present their work at national/international conferences and will publish their results both internally at LANL and in appropriate refereed journals. This position requires a Q-clearance, which often requires United States citizenship.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated ability to safely handle, manipulate, and perform synthesis with reactive chemicals in a rigorously air- and moisture-free environment (i.e. Schlenk line and drybox techniques).
  • Demonstrated practical laboratory experience with characterization techniques like NMR, UV/Vis, FTIR, and XRD and NIR absorption spectroscopies.
  • Mechanically minded and able to plan and implement novel hardware setups.
  • Demonstrated record of technical excellence and innovative thinking as evidenced by multiple first-author publications.
  • A willingness and desire to learn new skills, develop additional proficiencies, and work on emerging projects.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Persevering and remaining positive and productive with difficult projects.

Education Required: A Ph.D. from an accredited program in organometallic/inorganic chemistry, chemical engineering, physical chemistry, or related fields. The candidate must have completed all Ph.D. requirements by commencement of the appointment.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated practical laboratory experience in safely handling radiological and pyrophoric materials.
  • Possess a working familiarity with electrochemistry and electrochemical working knowledge;
  • Proven ability to work effectively both in a team environment and independently to meet programmatic milestones and scientific goals.
  • Demonstrated experience in applying fundamental scientific concepts to complex, multidisciplinary problems.
  • Ability to obtain a Q clearance, which typically 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.

Note to Applicants:

Applicants should be prepared to provide academic transcripts and three letters of reference upon request.

If interested, please contact Tabitha Kalin ( with questions or for discussion regarding LANL, the project, or laboratory areas.
Where You Will Work

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science supporting several national security missions. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns. PT-1 postdocs performs research and addresses mission needs related to the nation's nuclear energy, security, and renewable energy and medical imaging arenas.

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

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

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.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

HRP: This position is subject to the requirements of the DOE Human Reliability Program as specified in 10 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 712, §712.11. These requirements include on going drug and alcohol testing, as well as periodic medical and psychological evaluations.

426.2: This position is subject to DOE Order 426.2, Personnel Selection, Training, and Qualification Requirements for DOE Nuclear Facilities, which establishes entry-level requirements to ensure candidates selected for specific positions can successfully perform the requirements of the job.

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 1-505-664-6947 option 2 and then option 3.