Maxwell Fellowship

Are you interested in developing transformational pulsed power capabilities at one of the world’s premier pulsed power facilities? Do you want to perform innovative research impacting radiation effects sciences, electromagnetics, and high energy density sciences? Are you passionate about research that impacts a broad range of problems of national importance? If so, you could become a Maxwell Fellow at Sandia and join our dynamic team!

We are now accepting applications for the James Clerk Maxwell Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, established in honor of the founder of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, supports research that impacts broad-ranging national security areas in the broadly defined domains of pulsed power physics and/or engineering and to its application to radiation, electrical, and high energy density sciences (REHEDS).

As a Sandia Maxwell Postdoctoral Fellow, you will:

  • Address complex problems in support of broad-ranging mission areas
  • Contribute to high-risk, high-value research and development
  • Foster creativity and advance exploration at the forefront of pulsed power and its application to understanding matter under extreme environments
  • Collaborate with highly motivated and talented researchers on challenging research questions using state-of-the-art resources
  • Disseminate your work via leading publication and conference venues

Sandia National Laboratories is committed to nurturing a culture compatible with a broad group of people and perspectives.  Consistent with this commitment, we seek applicants from diverse backgrounds, and we foster an inclusive research community.

The selected Fellow will receive a two-year appointment with a highly competitive salary, moving expenses and a generous professional travel allowance. You will pursue a combination of self-directed research and integration with existing Sandia research and development (R&D) projects, under the guidance of Sandia staff mentors. The self-directed research will be funded through the Assured Survivability and Agility with Pulsed Power (ASAP) Mission Campaign, an investment area under Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. You are expected to publish the results of your work in leading journals and present it at top-tier conferences. An intent of this fellowship is to provide early career support and selected candidates may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term, if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.

Required qualifications

  • Ph.D. in a field relevant to pulsed power or to radiation, electrical, and high energy density sciences enabled by pulsed power, conferred within the past three years, or anticipated completion of Ph.D. requirements by commencement of appointment
  • Your background includes the appropriate research experience, as evidenced by a strong record of research publications and presentations
  • Your proposed research is compelling with potential to be transformational for pulsed power and/or REHEDS
  • You can acquire a DOE Q level security clearance, which requires US Citizenship

Desired qualifications

Ideally, your background would also include:
(not all areas are expected of every candidate)

  • Experience in pulsed power and/or REHEDS
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills as demonstrated by participation in scientific conferences and publication in high impact journals
  • Ability to learn, deal with roadblocks, and be creative in solving problems
  • Demonstrated interest and/or experience in service to the nation
  • Ability to work in collaborative and team environment and to help the team succeed
  • Ability to conduct self-directed research and thrive in dynamic, interdisciplinary research environments to contribute on problems comprising diverse application domains
  • Proven research community leadership through activities such as participation in student or professional organizations, outreach activities, etc.
  • Related professional experience such as internships in industry or at other national labs, participation in visiting research programs, etc.

Application process

To apply for the Maxwell Fellowship:

  • Search "Maxwell Fellowship" on Sandia’s Careers portal.
  • Submit a single PDF file containing your cover letter, CV, and a 3-5 page research proposal by November 30, 2023.
  • Have three letters of recommendation sent to with "2024 Maxwell Fellowship" as the subject line. 

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.