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Postdoctoral Research Associate – Bioresource Science & Engineering Group

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Location1 Bethel Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37830+ Leaflet | OpenStreetMap contributorsBenefitsPulled from the full job descriptionRelocation assistance
Requisition Id 8564
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.

We are seeking up to four Postdoctoral Research Associates who will support the Bioresource Science & Engineering Group in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) of the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). You would join a highly qualified team of economists, engineers, and natural scientists in the Bioresource Science & Engineering Group (BSE) who develop strategies for using agricultural and forest resources to advance decarbonization and sustainability goals. We design and apply quantitative tools to advance our understanding of how bioresources can be sustainably and reliably produced, delivered, and utilized to enable the expansion of the US and global bioeconomy while also preserving ecosystem services. This work is supported by multiple sponsors, including the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI).

ESD is an interdisciplinary research and development organization with more than 60 years of achievement in local, regional, national, and international environmental research. Our vision is to expand scientific knowledge and develop innovative strategies and technologies to strengthen the nations leadership in creating solutions to help sustain the Earths natural resources. Our scientists conduct research, develop technology, and perform analyses to understand and assess responses of environmental systems at the environment-human interface and the consequences of alternative energy and environmental strategies.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:
The Bioresource Science & Engineering Group has multiple postdoctoral research opportunities, including

Forest economics – This researcher, with a background in forest economics, forest fire science, silviculture, or a related field, will contribute to analyses of silvicultural strategies to reduce forest fuel loads and associated fire risk while providing biomass resources for the bioeconomy. In the near term, it is expected that the successful candidate will collaborate with the USFS to implement the BioSum model ( to quantify the economic availability of woody biomass and the associated effects on stand inventory, forest fuels, and fire risk.

Agro-ecosystem modeling This researcher, with experience in spatial analysis and process-based modeling, will contribute to analyses and modeling of agricultural land quality, and marginal land availability to determine where bioenergy crops might be produced to maximize yields and soil carbon enhancement. The successful candidate will lead the development of a geospatial analysis workflow, supporting the integration of advanced process-based agroecosystem modeling. This position will support the ORNL Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI; and related projects.

Cover crops for biomass feedstocks This researcher will assist in developing spatial yield maps and estimates of delivered costs for select cover crops throughout the US. This project includes modeling and data analysis to support the optimization of regional cover crop selection and designing supply systems to collect, deliver, and preprocess these feedstocks for biofuel production.

International biomass sustainability assessment This researcher, with experience in international social development, will apply an understanding of climate change issues to support the development of practical options to achieve net-zero strategies in developing nations. This position supports international, multi-orgnizational teams to develop sustainability-based standards for the bioeconomy.

Basic Qualifications:

A Ph.D. in forestry, agricultural or natural resource economics, environmental science, ecology, biological or biosystems engineering, environmental engineering or a related field completed within the last five years

Preferred Qualifications:

Candidates should possess strong analytical capabilities with experience in data analysis and visualization
Experience in computational modeling and statistics is beneficial for some projects
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory and with external collaborators
Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

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Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years before the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for an extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.
For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the About tab at

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.
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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.
Hiring InsightsJob activityPosted 22 days ago

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