Faculty Position in Exoplanet Habitability


The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UCR is recruiting a faculty member at the assistant, associate, or full professor level in the area of extrasolar planets and related searches for habitability and life. The position will be available at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year.

We seek to hire a candidate with expertise in the detection of exoplanets using the full array of available techniques as well as diverse methods for planetary characterization and host star relationships-all directed toward assessments of potential habitability. We are looking for an established track record working in and leading large teams centered around both ground- and space-based telescopes with emphasis that includes observational and theoretical perspectives aimed toward terrestrial planets; habitable zones; related orbital parameters; biosignatures; geosignatures of planetary processes, such as volcanism; surface properties; and atmosphere detection and characterization generally. The researcher should be well poised for leadership in ongoing and next generation telescopes (e.g., Kepler, JWST, TESS, WFIRST), including spectroscopic methods of direct imaging, and should have a proven record in multi-disciplinary science within and complementary to the NASA and ESA mission communities. The successful candidate will be expected to bridge with astronomers, earth scientists, and astrobiologists at UCR and participate in both the undergraduate and graduate programs of the relevant departments. The candidate will become a major part of the newly established Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center (astrobiology.ucr.edu) and offer courses in astrobiology, planetary science, and other topics related to exoplanets and their potential habitability. The successful candidate will have full access to facilities at the University of California Observatories, including the Keck Telescopes and the Lick Observatory. Potential home departments are Earth Sciences and Physics & Astronomy.

A Ph.D. in astronomy or a related science discipline is required. For senior candidates, experience in obtaining external funding is required. For junior candidates, preference will be given to candidates who have experience in fellowship and/or grant writing. Tenure track assistant professor applicants are expected to have demonstrated excellence in research and teaching. Tenured associate professor applicants must, in addition, demonstrate excellence in leadership in their research programs and experience in mentoring graduate students. Applications must include a cover letter, curriculum vita, statements of research and teaching interests, a statement of contributions to diversity, and four letters of recommendation. All application materials must be submitted through APRecruit at: https://aprecruit.ucr.edu/apply/JPF00714 for Assistant Professor and/or https://aprecruit.ucr.edu/apply/JPF00715 for Associate/Full Professor. Advancement through the faculty ranks at the University of California is through a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, occurring every 2-3 years, each of which includes substantial peer input.

For more information about the position, please contact the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Timothy Lyons, Department of Earth Sciences, at timothy.lyons@ucr.edu, or Dr. Bahram Mobasher, Department of Physics & Astronomy, at bahram.mobasher@ucr.edu. For questions on application procedures and requirements, please contact Tavia Rivera, Academic Personnel Coordinator, at tavia.rivera@ucr.edu . Review of applications will begin on February 23, 2017. We will continue to consider applications until the position is filled. Additional information about the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Earth Sciences, and the Department of Physics & Astronomy can be found at: cnas.ucr.edu, earthsciences.ucr.edu, and physics.ucr.edu.

UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body. Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Basic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Astronomy or related science discipline.
  • Tenure track assistant professor applicants are expected to have demonstrated excellence in research and teaching.
  • For senior candidates, experience in obtaining external funding is required.
  • Tenured associate professor applicants must, in addition, demonstrate excellence in leadership in their research programs, and experience in mentoring graduate students.

Preferred Qualifications

For junior candidates, preference will be given to candidates who have experience in fellowship and/or grant writing.

UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body. Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification.

posted: 24 January 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.