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Careers: Postdocs
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Computation postdoctoral positions are posted on LLNL’s careers website. On this page, select “Search Jobs.” The job search page will appear. Select “Post Docs” under “Select Job Families,” and enter “003” (the organization code for Computation) for the “Organization.”  Review the active postings, and, if you find a suitable match, click “Apply Now” on the relevant job description page. Follow the instructions to fill out the application form.

What does the hiring process entail?

Highly qualified applicants will be contacted by the group leader or project leader for a phone interview. Candidates are then invited for an on-site job interview, which includes presenting a one-hour technical seminar. Before a formal offer is made, the successful candidate will be contacted by a potential mentor to review a proposed first-year research plan.

How long does the hiring process take?

For a U.S. citizen, the hiring process takes on average 3–4 weeks. For a foreign national, this time is typically doubled due to the additional paperwork involved.

Do you hire foreign nationals?

Yes. The majority of our postdoctoral positions do not require U.S. citizenship.

How long is a postdoc at LLNL?

Formally, postdocs are hired for one-year appointments that can be renewed up to two times, for a total of three years. Renewal is contingent upon performance and funding availability. We prefer for postdocs to stay at least two years so that they have time to make substantial research progress and publish their results.

Am I guaranteed a long-term LLNL job if hired as a postdoc?

No. Postdoctoral positions are temporary appointments, and postdoctoral researchers are not automatically hired into longer-term positions at the conclusion of their appointment. However, most of our permanent research employees started their laboratory careers as postdocs.

What are the pay and benefits?

Our postdoctoral salaries are competitive with other Department of Energy laboratories and with industry. Postdocs also receive full benefits, including a 401(k), holidays, paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance. A complete description of the benefits can be found by following the “Benefits” link at the top of LLNL’s careers website main page.

How might working at LLNL advance my career?

Earning your doctorate is only the first step to becoming a professional research scientist. Our postdoctoral positions provide an opportunity to improve and expand your research credentials while working with top scientists on challenging problems. In addition, we help our postdocs develop other relevant professional skills, such as proposal writing, refereeing, networking, and mentoring. We want our postdocs to succeed professionally, whether they stay at the Lab or move on to positions at top universities, companies, or other laboratories.

May I continue to publish?

Absolutely. We expect our postdocs to publish so that they have the option to pursue opportunities in academia, industry, and research laboratories at the conclusion of their appointment.

Do I direct any of my own research? What percentage?

Postdocs are encouraged to spend up to 25% of their time pursuing complementary research of their own choosing.