Research Scientist IV - Materials Discovery Research Institute

Location US-IL-Northbrook
Job ID
# of Openings
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NFP UL Research Institutes

At UL, we know why we come to work.

The Material Discovery Research Institute (MDRI), of Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes, is recruiting a Research Scientist IV. This position is located in our Skokie, IL labs.


In this role, the Research Scientist IV, under the direction of the MDRI Laboratory Manager, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of state-of the-art synthesis and characterization instrumentation.  This role will support other groups in the institute to execute the synthesis and characterization of materials.


At Underwriters Laboratories, we wake up every day with a common purpose: to make the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place. Science is in our DNA; we are endlessly curious and passionate about seeking and speaking the truth. We take delight in knowing that our work makes a meaningful contribution to society, and we are proud that our culture is centered on integrity, collaboration, inclusion and excellence. Underwriters Laboratories stands at the forefront of technological advancement, and we are continually challenged to find new ways to foster innovation and positive change. Satisfying? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely!


UL has COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and clients. Effective November 1, 2021, the company mandates that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment (except where prohibited by law), subject to reasonable accommodation as required by law. 

What you’ll learn & achieve:

  • Support MDRI scientists to design and perform high-throughput materials synthesis experiments.
  • Prepare and handle chemical reagents, compounds, and samples for analysis, ensuring accuracy and safety.
  • Contribute to the analysis of experimental results and data, interpret findings, and draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Operate and maintain lab analytical instrumentation to maximize instrument availability and optimize workflow processes, including instrument calibrations and scheduled maintenance.
  • Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) for experimental protocols, ensuring consistency and reproducibility.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including software engineers and data scientists, to support integrated lab processes.
  • Participate in the upkeep of the lab environment, including ordering and organizing supplies and maintaining cleanliness and safety.
  • Contribute towards maintaining compliance with safety protocols and industry regulations.
  • Contribute towards the preparation of presentations, reports, and documentation for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Actively engage in knowledge sharing and training sessions within the lab team.
  • Perform other duties as directed.

What makes you a great fit:

  • Advanced knowledge and proficiency in materials science and analytical chemistry, including the synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials.
  • Hands on experience in the operation and maintenance of analytical instrumentation, such as diffractometers, adsorption apparatus, combinatorial automation equipment, spectrometers etc.
  • Familiarity with high-throughput combinatorial chemistry methodologies.
  • Proficiency in characterizing materials using various analytical techniques.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in delivering technical presentations and achieving peer-reviewed scientific journal publications.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, including the ability to identify root causes, develop practical solutions, and collaborate with colleagues.
  • Excellent time and project management skills to handle multiple projects simultaneously with the ability to adapt to new challenges quickly.
  • Positive and collaborative attitude with exceptional interpersonal skills for effective teamwork across the organization.
  • High degree of curiosity to learn about the mission and impact of the organization and its specialized areas.
  • Excellent written, oral communication, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to thrive in an innovative environment.

Experience and Education Requirements

  • PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials Chemistry or equivalent field of study.
  • Minimum 4 years of experience in materials science with extensive hands-on experience in a wet lab and proven track record of successful research projects.
  • Experience characterizing materials using various analytical techniques.

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For UL, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 129 years and is deeply ingrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any UL employee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at UL. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.
  • Total Rewards: All employees at UL are eligible for bonus compensation. We offer a generous 401k matching structure of up to 5% of eligible pay. Additionally, we invest an additional 4% into your retirement saving fund after your first year of continuous employment. We provide Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts that UL contributes to twice per year! Depending on your role, you can work with your manager on flexible working arrangements. We also provide employees with paid time off including vacation, holiday, sick and volunteer time off.

Learn More:

UL Research Institutes is an affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing safety science research through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.


Our wholly owned subsidiary, UL Inc., advances our shared public safety mission. We fund our work through grants, the licensing of standards documents and the business activities of UL Inc., which conducts testing, verification and certification, and provides training and advisory services, along with data-driven reporting and decision-making tools for customers around the world.


To learn more, visit our websites and


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