Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Job Summary

Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty Positions
Pennsylvania State University
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State, (University Park Campus, State College, PA, USA), invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor.

The search is open to any area of astronomy and astrophysics. Areas of particular strategic importance to the department include: large surveys; observers involved with science planning for upcoming observatories such as the Roman Space Telescope, the Vera Rubin Observatory, LISA, and extremely large telescopes (ELT); JWST observational programs in extragalactic surveys or exoplanetary atmospheres; astrostatistics and astroinformatics; gravitational wave follow-up observations and multi-messenger astrophysics; instrumentation in astrophotonics, planetary science missions, ELT facilities, or future space-based observatories; time-domain astrophysics; theoretical studies in cosmic dawn astrophysics, supermassive black hole evolution, magnetohydrodynamics methodologies, planetary and galactic dynamics and formation; the search for extraterrestrial life through their technosignatures; and studies of the cold, molecular universe with concentration in astrochemistry or ALMA observations. The department values interdisciplinarity, and is open to the possibility of joint hires with allied departments such as physics, chemistry, statistics, and geosciences. We remain flexible in our direction forward and encourage excellent candidates in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics to apply.

The anticipated starting date for this appointment is summer or fall of 2024. The duties include research, teaching, supervision of student research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and service to the university and the greater professional community. Candidates are expected to demonstrate interest in and capacity for developing a strong, independent research program, and teaching and mentorship excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Applications must be submitted electronically by December 6, 2023 through Penn State’s Career page, and should include the following:

  • A brief cover letter that highlights the applicant’s relevant research, teaching, and mentoring experience and future goals, and commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications.
  • Statement of research, teaching, and diversity accomplishments and plans, including
    • Research accomplishments, plans, and vision (up to 3 pages, including figures and references),
    • Teaching experience, philosophy, and interests (up to 3 pages), and
    • Past and current contributions to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) at the teaching, research, and professional levels, and descriptions of how the applicant plans to integrate DEIB into their research, teaching, and other duties at Penn State, consistent with Penn State’s institutional goals and values. (up to 2 pages).

Application materials may comprise no more than 5 documents, each with a size limit 5MB. Applicants may need to combine materials to meet the 5 document limit and should ensure all documents are uploaded and correct prior to final submission.

In addition to the above materials, applicants should arrange for at least three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to [email protected] by the same deadline.

Competitive applicants for the rank of Assistant Professor will possess a Ph.D. in astronomy, physics, astrophysics, or related fields before beginning employment at Penn State. A successful candidate must also demonstrate strong potential for developing an externally funded, collaborative, interdisciplinary research program, and the potential to contribute to the department’s and college’s teaching and service missions.

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is one of the largest departments in the country, home to a wide variety of teams doing research in theory, observation and instrumentation. Successful applicants will contribute to a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and collegial research environment. We participate in many multi-institutional research initiatives, including the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Rubin Observatory, and the Allen Telescope Array. Our department is a major partner in the Chandra and Swift X-ray observatories, and is home to the Astrophysical Multi-messenger Observatory Network. We have strong connections with the Department of Physics through the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos and its constituent research centers. The Department hosts the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds and the Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence Center; it also co-hosts the Center for Astrostatistics in partnership with the Department of Statistics. Penn State strongly promotes related interdisciplinary research via the Consortium for Planetary and Exoplanetary Science and Technology, the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, the Materials Research Institute, and their constituent research centers. Members of the department have access to the Roar supercomputing center at the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, which provides competitive allocations of CPU and GPU computing resources.

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics takes an active role in building a talented and inclusive workforce. Applicants should have a commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive professional environment. Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing DEIB in all its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission as a land-grant institution.

Questions about the position and the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State may be directed at the Chair of the Faculty Search Committee, Prof. Jason Wright, by email at [email protected]


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

Information regarding benefits may be found at https://hr.psu.edu/.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Nov 08
Application Deadline
2023 Dec 06