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Post Doctoral Research Physicist for Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX)

Job Description


The Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD) researchers lead major R&D efforts in experimental and theoretical interfacial chemistry, chemical analysis, high energy physics, interfacial catalysis, multifunctional materials, and integrated high-performance and data-intensive computing.
PCSD is PNNL’s primary steward for research supported by the Department of Energy’s Offices of Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific Computing Research, and Nuclear Physics, all within the Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Additionally, Directorate staff perform research and development for private industry and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and NASA. The Directorate's researchers are members of interdisciplinary teams tackling challenges of national importance that cut across all missions of the Department of Energy.


PNNL is seeking outstanding post-doctoral researchers to participate in dark-matter research on the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX). Selected researchers will be part of the broad physics program within the Detection Physics Group at PNNL, which includes essential contributions to neutrino and dark-matter experiments, and other areas of nuclear and particle physics. The appointee(s) will have leading roles in the design and development of the ADMX-EFR (Extended Frequency Range) phase, as well as the operation and science of the operating experiment. At PNNL we are making critical contributions to the experiment in the areas of radio-frequency (RF) engineering, experiment controls, and data analysis.

Candidates may have varied experience and focus. Areas of particular interest include RF systems, software development, signal processing, experiment controls, data acquisition, operations of research instrumentation, and analysis of experimental data. Applicants are expected to demonstrate unique technical strengths applicable to the above research efforts and 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. Work may include travel to collaborating institutions. 

Beyond the scope of axion dark-matter research, researchers may also contribute to the Detection Physics Group’s applied programs, assisting with the cross-pollination of new methods and technologies in radiation detection and quantum-information science relevant to basic and applied research for national security. This cross-disciplinary and entrepreneurial environment is a strength the Detection Physics Group has fostered and maintained over multiple decades.


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:
Candidates must be highly motivated and possess the interpersonal skills necessary to work with others in a team environment. They must also be capable of working independently, and able to contribute in a professional manner via written and verbal communication. Successful candidates will have excellent laboratory and problem solving skills and be able to adapt to evolving priorities.
Useful areas of experience include:
  • Technical Expertise: General knowledge of detector systems, other technical skills with respect to detectors, and an understanding of analysis/simulation/reconstruction software frameworks is desired. Experience with or knowledge of RF systems, software development techniques, data acquisition systems, or experiment controls systems is preferred.\
  • Software tools: Prior experience with data analysis, simulation, or other coding experience is important. Familiarity with Python and C++ is particularly useful.
  • 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 Relevant Technical Knowledge: Dark-matter physics, neutrino physics, or related areas of nuclear and particle physics and astrophysics.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

No hazardous working conditions / environment are anticipated for this position.

Additional Information

Not applicable

Testing Designated Position

This is not a Testing Designated Position (TDP).
About PNNL

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.

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.
Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.