Postdoctoral Research Associate Machine Learning

Website BrookhavenLab NSLS-II (National Synchrotron Light Source)

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE.

Organizational Overview

The mission of the NSLS-II’s Photon Science Division is to enable world-class research by delivering exceptional scientific tools to a broad user community that requires large scale facilities. Enhanced data analysis for x-ray scattering data, independent of the scientific sample, is essential to this mission.  To that effect, the Coherent Soft X-ray (CSX) and Coherent Hard X-ray (CHX) beamlines at NSLS-II are partnering with the Brookhaven National Laboratory Computer Science Initiative (CSI) in order to test existing or develop new machine learning algorithms to that reduce the required expertise in data reduction and analysis. X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS), which utilizes a time series of x-ray scattering patterns from a given sample, will be the focus of this effort.

Position Description

Work closely with CSI and NSLS-II scientists to develop machine learning algorithms that can distinguish between “good” time series data sets and those containing systematic error, quantify systematic error effects in order to salvage data, and to use machine learning to extract physically meaningful quantities from large data sets.  Such capabilities will be applicable to equilibrium and non-equilibrium scientific samples probed by x-rays, allow external researchers to spend more time understanding results and planning experiments, and reduce the required expertise and knowledge to perform these experiments. For reference, see some of our publicly available work Scientific Reports 11.1 (2021): 1-12 and arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.07889 (2022) – accepted to Physical Review Research. We have further unpublished models supporting various capabilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop machine learning and AI methods for coherent scattering time series data sets (e.g., XPCS) with the end goal of reliably and accurately quantifying observed timescales of sample dynamics regardless of the data quality.
  • Develop machine learning and AI methods that can integrate with NSLS-II’s data pipeline (beamline servers and dedicated HPC-like resources).
  • Collaborate with a wide variety of researchers that include experimental scientists, mathematicians and theorists, data scientists and engineers, and computational scientists in order to complete project deliverables.
  • Present and publish results.

Position Requirements

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • PhD in Computational Science, Applied Mathematics, Physical Science or related field.
  • Demonstrated record of scientific excellence (course work, publications, talks, or documented software projects) that is somehow relevant to duties and responsibilities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with individuals from diverse scientific fields.
  • Experience writing scientific data analysis software in Python.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with object-oriented software development in C++.
  • Experience with common machine learning methods (e.g., convolutional neural networks).
  • Experience with common machine learning software libraries (e.g., PyTorch).
  • Experience in post-processing, model development, and analysis of large data sets.
  • Ability to understand data from a physically meaningful point of view.
  • Demonstrated software development, preferably in a collaborative and distributed manner.


BNL policy requires that after obtaining their PhD, eligible candidates for research associate appointments may not exceed a combined total of 5 years of relevant work experience as a post-doc and/or in an R&D position, excluding time associated with family planning, military service, illness or other life-changing events.

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation:  Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Energy and Photon Sciences Directorate are committed to your success. We offer a supportive work environment and the resources necessary for you to succeed.

Brookhaven Science Associates requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees. Proof of full vaccination as recognized by the CDC and/or WHO, inclusive of the two-week waiting period, is required at the start of your employment.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab. We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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