Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

The C-AAC (Actinide Analytical Chemistry) Group within Chemistry Division has a position available for a Scientist 2 or 3. The position serves the Laboratory's core national security mission areas of weapons science and threat reduction.

The Scientist 2 is responsible for supporting scientific or technical research and development (R&D) in support of Lab missions, which may include applying scientific principles under the scientific method to address technical problems, developing novel techniques or principles, and analyzing data or outcomes from theoretical or experimental research in the area of thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) measurements of actinide elements specifically plutonium, uranium, and americium materials. Scientist 3 will be recognized as a technical expert in actinide measurements using TIMS/ICPMS instrumentation.

Work will require specialized training and qualification to handle Special Nuclear Material (plutonium and uranium) in secured buildings. Work takes place in gloveboxes and hoods and will require special PPE and respirators for certain activities

This position will be filled at either the Scientist 2 or 3 level, depending on the skills of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level).

Scientist 2 ($99,200 - $164,100)
  • Assures safety and security compliance, maintains required safety and security training, and makes safety and security an integral part of every task, including taking the necessary steps to stop work if continuing the job is unsafe or compromises security.
  • Adheres to scientific policies, programs, procedures, and practices. Contributes to improvement of the QA/QC posture of the TIMS task area through development of analytical methods with better accuracy and precision.
  • Contributes to research of cross-disciplinary, or highly and/or narrowly specialized novel scientific and technological solutions in support of R&D initiatives.
  • Works unsupervised on TIMS/ICPMS multi-collector instruments supporting individual projects and/or contributes to larger team efforts. Makes scientific judgments that affect project direction but often seeks feedback or receives review. May contribute to milestones and objective of multiple projects.
  • Develops new methods, techniques, or approaches to address critical technical problems in high-fidelity measurements of plutonium, uranium, and/or americium using multi-collector TIMS/ICPMS instrumentation. Communicates results through appropriate channels.
  • Develops procedures for safe handling of nuclear materials in open-front enclosures and for operation of multi-collector TIMS/ICPMS instruments covering dissolution/separation/analysis tasks.
  • Contributes to measurement of routine samples for various customers and to improvement of the analytical processes to facilitate faster turn-around of results.
  • Mentors junior staff and peers in technical and professional growth. May mentor students and/or post-docs. Train junior staff on operation of TIMS/ICPMS instruments and in the preparation/separation of actinide elements for measurements using these instruments.
  • Maintains state-of-the-art technical expertise and knowledge within mass spectrometry task-area and develops new skills in related disciplines. Performs peer review within own organization/discipline.
  • Actively participates in professional societies, institutional-level committees, special assignments and/or special interest groups.
  • Effective communications both oral and written with various collaborating teams.
  • Work in a team environment with collaborative methods and interfaces.

Scientist 3 ($119,200 - $201,100)

In addition to what was outlined at the lower level, at this level
  • Develops technical approaches, using creativity in applying standard practices and procedures, and leads technical decisions, including selections of technical alternatives, for assigned work.
  • Coordinates and monitors the work of junior staff/peers and provides technical direction to multiple teams for organizational initiatives.
  • Develops own projects in support of organizational and institutional goals.
  • Evaluates instrumental data for uncertainty and in the evaluation/interpretation of TIMS/ICPMS analytical data.
  • Troubleshoots TIMS/ICPMS instruments based on data from traceable standards collected as part of routine measurements.
  • Contributes to the development of intellectual property leading to copyrights and/or patents, journal papers, and technical reports. Makes decisions and/or recommendations that influence the achievement of key programmatic objectives and may contribute to the development of technical standards.
  • May attain additional certifications, qualifications, and/or professional recognitions.
  • Maintains/improves/streamlines work execution in collaboration with others on the team.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
  • Significant knowledge and experience in operation of multi-collector instruments including TIMS and ICPMS instruments for high-fidelity measurements and development of analytical techniques using these instruments.
  • Knowledge and experience in developing and implementing technical research in TIMS/ICPMS measurements and development projects including the formulation and testing of hypotheses, investigation of alternative solutions, and recommendation of solutions to technical problem.
  • Knowledge and experience in formulating and presenting results to technical audiences and readerships.
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment, including a full-face respirator.
  • Ability to obtain a Q clearance, which usually requires US citizenship.
  • Ability and willingness to perform work in a rigorously controlled work environment utilizing the principles of formality of operations and work authorization.
  • Ability to follow procedures and guidelines in accordance with stringent quality assurance and quality control requirements.

Additional Job Requirements for Scientist 3:

In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:

Demonstrated understanding of principles of scientific integrity relating to mass spectrometric measurements documented in peer-reviewed publications

Education/Experience at Scientist 2 level: Position requires a Bachelor' degree in a STEM field from an accredited college and university and 4 years of related experience, typically with post-doctoral research experience at a university or national lab or equivalent experience directly related to the occupation.

Education/Experience at Scientist 3 level: Position requires a Master's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 6 years of relevant experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Significant knowledge and experience with performing analytical work on less than milligram quantities of nuclear materials in a clean-room environment and demonstrated experience of appropriate safe practices for mass spectrometry samples/standards.
  • Familiarity with working in a nuclear facility and performing activities with radioactive materials.
  • Familiarity and experience with Integrated Safety and Security Management.
  • Active Q clearance.

Location: This position will be located in Los Alamos, NM.
Position commitment: Regular appointment employees are required to serve a period of continuous service in their current position in order to be eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the time required, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. The position commitment for this position is 1 year.
Note to Applicants:
  • Evaluation of applicants will commence immediately.
  • A cover letter addressing minimum requirements is expected as part of a full application submission.
  • This vacancy will close at COB, February 1, 2023; however, if it is determined that there is an adequate applicant pool prior to this date; the position may close earlier.
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. 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.

Clearance: Q(Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance which requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon position, additional authorization to access nuclear weapons information may be required that may or may not be available to dual citizens depending upon the circumstances.

*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.

Regular position: Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.
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 or preference, 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 applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.Employment StatusFull Time

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Continue the Mission with Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the world’s most innovative multidisciplinary research institutions. We focus on strategic science initiatives to uphold national security and ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile along with other defense and research-oriented programs.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a natural fit and next career for veterans and transitioning personnel from all branches of the military. You don’t need to be a scientist or engineer to work with us; we offer a vast array of career opportunities and need veterans’ unique and technical skillsets as we continue to grow. Hands-on and continuing education will equip you for your next mission.


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