Research Scientist in Formal Methods/Binary Analysis

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Information Technology/Computing | livermore, CA | 05/22/2023

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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

$123,960.00  - $159,168.00  Annually for the SES.2 level
$148,650.00  - $190,932.00  Annually for the SES.3 level

Please note 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 multiple openings for Formal Methods/Binary Analysis Research Scientists to engage in the research, design, and deployment of formal methods and tools.  These positions are in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) Division within the Computing Directorate.

Trust.  Wouldn’t we rather trust our systems because they’re demonstrably trustworthy, rather than because we have no choice?   To know that a firmware or application update does what it’s supposed to do, or that the tools used to develop and verify software are sound?  At LLNL, we’re working to build trust through the verification of binary code and the verification of formal tools themselves.  

These positions will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

In this role you will

  • Research, design, implement, and apply techniques for formal analysis of both binary and source code.
  • Develop and apply techniques for proof verification.
  • Propose and implement predicate rewriting techniques to reduce the size and complexity of required proofs.
  • Contribute to grant proposals and collaborate with others in a multidisciplinary team environment, including academic and industrial partners, to accomplish research goals.
  • Pursue independent (but complementary) research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internal and external to the Laboratory.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.3 level

  • Lead multidisciplinary teams in the areas of formal methods and software assurance.
  • Pursue program development opportunities by co-authoring proposals and proposing ideas that will address sponsor needs, as well as identify program growth opportunities for existing customers that show an understanding of the customer space and needs.
  • Present results and provide subject matter expertise across multi-discipline projects and engage with sponsors on a regular basis.


  • M.S. in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Experience with program verification.
  • Experience applying formal methods and tools such as Isabelle/HOL, Coq, ACL2, or Lean.
  • Experience modeling program semantics using formal methods.
  • Ability to conduct research, as documented by publications, reports, presentations, and/or significant software development in binary analysis and formal methods.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a multidisciplinary team environment, present and explain technical information to technical as well non-technical audiences, document work and write research papers.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Advanced analytical problem-solving and decision-making skills needed to craft creative solutions and independently solve complex problems.
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Ability to lead research, as demonstrated by problem formulation, proposal writing, research plan definition, and funding.

Qualifications we desire

  • Experience with compiler internals.
  • Demonstrated technical leadership in fields related to program verification and binary analysis.

Additional Information

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

Position Information

This is a Flexible Term appointment, which is for a definite period not to exceed six years.  If final candidate is a Career Indefinite employee, Career Indefinite status may be maintained (should funding allow).

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.) 

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.

Beware of Fraudulent Job Postings. LLNL’s hiring practices:

  • Never requires job applicants to pay an application/training fee or submit personal documents like bank account details, passport number, Social Security number, tax forms or credit card information as part of the application process. 
  • For interviews and to be granted access to a Federal facility, a LLNL employee will contact you directly to collect visa, passport number, and/or Social Security number.  To vet the authenticity of the employee please have them provide you their name and phone number and verify at
  • Involves at least one interview (virtual or in-person) and never interviews job applicants through chat platforms such as Google Hangouts, or via correspondence through text and instant messaging systems.
  • Only sends email communications to job applicants from domain “” or via their applicant tracking system, [email protected]. Occasionally LLNL uses third-party vendors that will contact you about job opportunities.  If a recruiter contacts you to apply, you will always be directed to our career page to apply through our career site.
  • Encourages all applicants to visit LLNL’s careers page at if they saw the job posting on another site prior to applying to ensure the job posting is accurate and valid.

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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