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ORNL Post-Master’s Research Participation Program


The ORNL Post-Master’s Research Participation Program is highly selective and offers challenging opportunities to recent recipients of master’s degrees to conduct research in areas that support ORNL missions in the basic and applied sciences, energy, and environment.

The program’s goals are to:

  • Advance scientific and technical training in areas of critical national need
  • Provide research opportunities for outstanding scientists
  • Promote the influx of new ideas and skills into the Laboratory
  • Enhance interactions with the wider academic and research communities

The emphasis on a research mentoring approach allows program appointees to become integral members of ORNL research and development teams. They gain exposure to current national issues in science and technology, have opportunities to share and exchange innovative ideas and techniques, and make significant contributions to ORNL programs. Depending on the nature of research and availability of funding, program appointees are encouraged to publish and present research findings and assist with proposals as part of a research team to enhance their own professional development. The interaction of ideas, skills, approaches, and technologies is of mutual benefit to the fellow and ORNL.


  • Applicants should be recent Master’s degree graduates or should expect to complete all requirements before starting appointment.
  • Applicants who have already finished their Master’s degrees must be within 5 years of graduation at the time of application.
  • Meet any additional requirements listed within each posting.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, except when listed within a posting due to the nature of the research.


To read a full description of each position, click the Position Name. The full description includes information on how to apply for the position online.

Post-Master’s Research Associates Program

Dol Raj Chalise

Dol Raj Chalise

Engineering, Recent M.S. Graduate
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

“Hydropower is the most reliable, affordable and sustainable renewable energy source available today. However, it is largely underutilized, with only a fraction of the nation’s 80,000 dams being used to generate electricity. My research involves developing analytical tools to assist decision makers in determining the technical and financial viability of hydropower projects.”


“The program provides an incredible experience for recent graduates to collaborate with world-class researchers and interact in a way that is unique to the national laboratory system. At ORNL I have the freedom, resources and opportunities to develop and apply my own ideas to innovative research that will impact the lives of people around the world.”


“As is, the program is an excellent opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, economists, hydrologists, and environmental scientists on challenging problems. I would suggest future participants not limit themselves to their office or cubicle and instead pursue opportunities for career counseling, leadership training, workshops, seminars and networking. I am confident this will help them learn, explore their true potential and gain the kind of experience the lab is known for.”

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Current Openings for the ORNL Post-Master’s Research Participation Program

Opportunity NumberOpportunity TitleOrganizationAcademic LevelsLocationApplication Deadline