Post-doctoral Research Associate (Current Employee), Oak Ridge, TN – September 10, 2015
This is a highly undirected research environment. There are no deadlines, very flexible hours, and no clear goals. Your only mission as a post-doc is to produce papers to make the lab a success and aid – more... in the approval of future grants. You need to be someone who is very driven and motivated about your research. Otherwise 75% of post-docs end up leaving the lab after their two-year tenure.
If you are good at reaching out to others in an environment where almost everyone is flying solo, if you are good at writing papers, if you are good at driving yourself, if you can avoid getting stuck in a slow line of research, if explaining what you do at conferences excites you, if you need to be working at the highest-levels of understanding .. then this is the place for you.
On the other hand, if you want clearly defined goals, if you aren't interested in being stuck in a single line of research for years, if you want fast-pace, if you want to feel an immediate, broader impact to society, if you want job security .. then this place is not for you.
Also, it's a government lab. So the services can't be too bad and they also can't be too good. No one wants to see government employees getting free lunch or having google-style perks. It's definitely better resources and pay than a university post-doc though. – less
Internship (Former Employee), Knoxville, TN – August 20, 2015
I was busy on a daily basis and had plenty advisers and graduate mentors to monitor my work as well as give me advice. I learned plenty about additive manufacturing, specifically the intra-build effects – more... on the mechanical properties of electron beam melting. I also, learned about porosity and how to operate machines like the SEM and archam. The most enjoyable part of the job was getting to learn to operate these machines as well as analyze the results of our research. – less
Research fellow (Current Employee), Oak Ridge, TN – July 9, 2015
Located in the small town, ORNL is a good place to do research. It has the best computational resources and the best neutron facility. The people are good and smart, the working environment is friendly and the working pace is good.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (or ORNL) was a fantastic place to work. Everyone supports and assists each other. While there are many people who work there, it feels like a very small group when it comes to getting the job done. Management supports their employees to the highest degree. I will very much miss working there.
Research Assistant (Former Employee), Oak Ridge, TN – June 14, 2015
Wonderful opportunity to intern as a research assistant for a materials scientist. I spent the summer performing research on nuclear graphite materials. I learned a lot about writing research reports and submitting research for publication. One of the best educational experiences of my life.
Research Associate (Current Employee), Knoxville, TN, USA – February 20, 2015
Cons: in the middle of nowhere
ORNL is a good place to work if you want to be around some of the most advanced computing and other sciences in the world. Lots of good people tend to be hampered by clueless management. The endless jockeying for funds get old.
Principal Investigator of CNMS proposal (Former Employee), CNMS – January 28, 2015
The people here are nice, and the equipment in the ORNL is almost the best all over the world. I love the lunch time, when people come together, have jokes and share their funny experiment of both work as well as daily life. You have good opportunities to work with scientist from other universities, research institutes. I can Learn a lot from them.
Finance Manager (Former Employee), Oak Ridge, TN – December 3, 2014
Pros: pleasant atmosphere
Management and co-workers are concerned with the end product and making life at work more enjoyable. You can be proud that you supported the overall accomplishments of the company even though your task are back office.