Deputy Laboratory Director Science & Technology

Position Overview

ORNL is seeking a Deputy Laboratory Director who will lead the Laboratory’s scientific and technical enterprise, ensuring alignment with the ORNL vision and DOE mission objectives.

Emphasis is placed on combining experimental, theoretical, and computational approaches for basic energy sciences programs and applications for technologies, including in materials and chemistry, energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, fossil energy, fusion energy, and nuclear energy. You will also oversee research in nuclear physics, including low energy physics, relativistic heavy ions, theory, and fundamental symmetries of matter. Distinguished scientific leadership is expected to build and integrate a focused research and development program portfolio for the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a Department of Energy, Office of Science Nanoscale Science Research Center. Strategic thinking and leadership will be critical for implementing management systems, operations, safety, security, compliance, and performance assessments across the entire directorate, and serving on the Laboratory Leadership Team.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop, align, and facilitate execution of the Lab’s strategic plan. Develop and monitor science and technology business plans for identified strategies.
  • Lead implementation of the Lab agenda in partnership with the Deputy for Operations and the Chief of Staff.
  • Manage identification, development, and execution of Laboratory Directed Research and Development initiatives with the goal of seeding the next generation of high-risk, high-impact scientific inquiries.
  • Work collaboratively across the Lab, throughout the federal government, and with other key stakeholders and organizations to advance ORNL’s mission and objectives. Serve as an ambassador and spokesperson, communicating priorities, positions, and initiatives while incorporating the views and needs of key stakeholders.
  •  Facilitate identification and development of scientists through research-training and career-development programs. Serve as a role model, managing people and financial resources with integrity and fairness while maintaining policies and priorities.
  • Drive excellence in scientific programs and ensure that ORNL is well positioned to create and capture new research opportunities while maintaining the highest standards of scientific output and research integrity.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative partnerships with Associate Laboratory Directors. Serve as a vital link for creating cross-cutting scientific initiatives and partnerships within and across directorates. Monitor and maintain institutional roadmaps for critical science and technology areas. Manage information updates to internal stakeholders.
  • Develop intellectual resources, facilities, and equipment necessary to execute the Lab agenda. Communicate the Lab plan, strategic objectives, and institutional values.
  • Attract, develop, motivate, and retain talented and diverse staff members.
  • Promote succession planning, leadership development, staff training, and career progression for Laboratory staff members.
  • Work daily with the Deputy for Operations to ensure seamless alignment of scientific goals and objectives with operational imperatives such as health and safety, space management, financial management, and human resources issues.
  • Ensure an open and supportive work environment in which Laboratory staff members are comfortable reporting issues and concerns without fear of retribution.
  • Develop strategies and manage investment for research and development programs.
  • Establish an integrated set of technical performance metrics for the Laboratory.
  • Ensure the Laboratory meets its contractual obligations to DOE through the Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan goals and objectives process.
  • Serve as the Deciding Official for matters related to scientific misconduct; serve as Institutional Officer for matters related to human and animal regulatory requirements for the Lab; and manage the Lab’s conflict-of-interest management cases.
  • Establish an infrastructure to execute the Laboratory’s programmatic research and development budget.
  • Direct the Lab’s Partnership Office, including Technology Transfer and Economic Development, to establish and enhance partnerships with current and potential customers and stakeholders. Establish strategic partnerships and collaborations with industry and academia, ensuring the Lab’s research enterprise, technology transfer, and commercialization programs work together to create the maximum impact for society.
  • Leverage the Laboratory’s research and development capabilities to generate economic development and impact in the region and nation.
  • Communicate and support strategies for protection and use of intellectual property.
  • Demonstrate management’s commitment to environment, safety, health, quality, and security.
  • Act in the absence of the Laboratory Director.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of institutional values, guiding principles, and ethics.


  • PhD in a scientific field of research, preferably in one of ORNL’s core research areas, and 15 years or more of relevant work experience, including 5 to 7 years of executive management experience, are required.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from DOE. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a preplacement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.

Preferred Qualifications

Position demands experience leading large, complex organizations, preferably at a DOE laboratory; a comprehensive understanding of the DOE system, including the DOE offices, programs, facilities, and expectations related to ORNL activities; and a broad understanding
of science, science management, science policy, and DOE research directions and priorities, particularly related to ORNL core research areas. Candidate must show demonstrated ability to interact effectively with sponsors, policy makers, internal/external stakeholders,
scientific leaders, and the public at the highest level.

Candidate must have broad recognition in the scientific community, as demonstrated by professional society leadership, membership on national panels, national awards, and similar activities. Candidate must be able to build trust, credibility, and working relationships with internal and external stakeholders and to foster community relations. Candidate also must be able to manage and work productively on multiple projects simultaneously and to communicate progress on scientific research and laboratory initiatives to key stakeholders, including DOE, elected representatives, and the board of directors.

Strong analytical, writing, and speaking skills with the ability to organize, analyze, and implement processes and procedures with attention to detail are beneficial. A proven track record for building and maintaining diverse and inclusive workforces is preferred.

Candidate must also show a commitment to safety and integrity with a record of original research, preferably in one or more of ORNL’s core research areas.

Work Directions and Interfaces

Position reports to the Laboratory Director, is a member of the Laboratory’s Leadership Team, and interfaces with all Lab employees, government officials, DOE program managers and stakeholders, and the board of directors.

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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