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Organic / Physical Chemistry - Research Scientist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 08/15/2023

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$153,210 - $196,788 Annually for the SES.3 level 
$183,840 - $236,112 Annually for the SES.4 level 

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.


Job Description

We have an opening for a Research Scientist to conduct basic and applied research on degradation, aging, and chemical compatibility of materials and related systems for a range of LLNL program areas that include materials for energetics, energy storage and conversion, and other national security applications. As an integral member of an interdisciplinary team, you will participate and lead research to investigate the degradation of materials in harsh environments, the effects of long-term chemical incompatibility, and interpret gas chemistry to fill knowledge gaps in time dependent changes in material performance for materials in complex systems. This position is in the Materials Science Division.

This position will be filled at either the SES.3 or SES.4 level depending on your qualifications.  Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

You will

  • Provide technical leadership and solutions to defined problems in materials aging and compatibility research.
  • Characterize the chemical changes and degradation to engineered materials, especially based on outgassing signatures resulting from age, environment, and manufacturing process conditions.
  • Perform analysis of experimental data to identify aging trends and anomalies, chemical incompatibilities, and to extract relevant parameters required for material lifetime predictions.
  • Serve as a primary technical point of contact for material outgassing and decomposition, degradation mechanisms and pathways, and chemical compatibility.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary team members in the design, analysis, and modeling of laboratory experiments and the development of new methods and procedures as required.
  • Document research through presentations and written analyses including periodic reports, peer-reviewed journals, verbal briefings, and other products that capture and communicate research results within the DOE community and at open conferences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional responsibilities at the SES.4 level

  • Conceive, design, and oversee execution of research building a predictive capability using experimental data.
  • Collaborate with technical area leaders, project leaders, and program management to represent technical capabilities and project results to internal management and external sponsors.
  • Provide technical solutions to complex problems that are not well defined; direct and align work scope to meet evolving strategic program objectives; and independently address and resolve technical objectives.
  • Serve as subject matter expert for material outgassing and decomposition, degradation mechanisms and pathways, and chemical compatibility for soft materials or energetic materials.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, material engineering or a related field, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Significant experience in the synthesis of materials, reaction/degradation pathways, or substantial understanding of physical chemistry principles and chemical/materials characterization.
  • Significant experience analyzing multi-dimensional chemical data sets such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, Raman, FT-IR, and NMR.
  • Significant experience in experimental design, techniques, and execution.
  • Significant experience interpreting properties of complex chemical systems, such as reactivity and degradation, from limited data.
  • Advanced written and verbal communication skills necessary to deliver technical presentations and written reports, provide advice to management, and author submissions for peer review journals.
  • The willingness and ability to self-direct and work independently, and to effectively collaborate on multidisciplinary teams as required to reach research objectives.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Highly advanced experience providing consultative direction of scientific personnel and projects.
  • Subject matter expertise interpreting the reactivity and degradation properties of complex chemical systems.
  • Nationally recognized expert in one or more areas of chemical research and assessments.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with polymeric or energetic materials.
  • Experience with advanced data analysis techniques such as chemometrics along with automated scripting tools such as Python, Matlab, R programming language.
  • Experience with program sponsor engagement and proposal preparation.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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