Postdoctoral Researcher in Isotope Geochemist

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 03/15/2023

Reference #: REF3851L
Job Code: PDS.1 Post-Dr Research Staff 1
Organization: Physical and Life Sciences
Position Type: Post Doctoral
Security Clearance: Anticipated DOE Q clearance (requires U.S. citizenship and a federal background investigation)
Drug Test: Required for external applicant(s) selected for this position (includes testing for use of marijuana)
Medical Exam: Not applicable
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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 essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.


$108,840 Annually

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to develop and pursue innovative research in the analysis of actinide decay series nuclides and stable metal isotopes in environmental samples and nuclear materials for nuclear forensics. Your work involves investigating the behavior of U-series and Pu-series nuclides during uranium and plutonium production processes and developing stable metal isotope signatures of nuclear fuel cycle processes. This position is in the Chemical and Isotopic Signatures group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

In this role you will:

  • Develop and pursue innovative research addressing advanced radiochronometry, nuclear forensics and isotope geochemistry.
  • Develop and perform methods to purify trace elements from bulk environmental or radiological sample matrices.
  • Develop and perform analysis approaches for high-precision isotope ratio measurements of actinides and stable trace metals by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS).
  • Perform quantitative modeling to elucidate nuclear fuel cycle or other processes that result in characteristic radiochronometric or stable isotope signatures.
  • Document and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific publications and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Pursue independent (but complementary) research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally.
  • Collaborate with other scientists and technical staff to accomplish research goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • Ph.D. in Geochemistry, Chemistry, or related field.
  • Experience in purification of trace actinides or other trace elements from complex matrices for isotopic analysis by mass spectrometry.
  • Experience in multi-collector isotope ratio mass spectrometry for determination of isotopic composition and of concentration using isotope dilution and/or double spike.
  • Experience in the modeling and interpretation of actinide decay chain disequilibria as a chronometer of natural and/or nuclear fuel cycle processes, and/or stable metal isotope fractionation during geologic and anthropogenic processes.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.
  • Documented publication record in peer-reviewed literature with experience presenting research results to a large audience.
  • Initiative and interpersonal skills necessary to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment

Qualifications We Desire

  • Advanced experience in method development or data reduction approaches for MC-ICP-MS or TIMS.
  • Proficiency in a programming language such as Python, R or Matlab
  • Experience working with radiological or nuclear material

Additional Information

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

Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years, open to those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

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.

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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