Assistant Professor in Astronomy & Planetary Science

Job Details

Assistant Professor in Astronomy & Planetary Science

Location: Astronomy & Planetary Sciences
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 606756
Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU aims to be the nation's preeminent engine of opportunity, vehicle of economic mobility, and driver of social impact by delivering equitable postsecondary value in Arizona and beyond.

Special Information

This is a tenure-track, full-time, benefit-eligible, academic year appointed faculty position.

Job Description

The Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science at Northern Arizona University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor, starting August 2023. We are seeking applicants who will expand the Department's current expertise into areas that include (but are not limited to) early solar system processes, exoplanets, and/or star and planet formation and protoplanetary disks. Applicants may employ any relevant techniques, including (but not limited to) observational, laboratory, and/or theory.

Candidates must be committed and able to work effectively within an increasingly diverse university community. The successful candidate will be expected to collaborate with current faculty and extend our current research, mentoring, and teaching opportunities in creative directions. Duties will include:
  • Teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels;
  • Building and maintaining a vibrant research program that includes securing external funding, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and mentoring and advising both undergraduate and graduate students; and
  • Service to the department, the university, and the broader professional community.

NAU affirms the importance and critical need for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in higher education and we seek to hire an individual with a strong track record of engagement with DEIJ in their professional endeavors. A required part of the application is a one-page DEIJ statement that addresses your values and/or philosophy, accomplishments, experiences, education, and/or training with DEIJ.

Minimum Qualifications

An earned PhD in Astronomy, Planetary Science, or related field, conferred by August 2023.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated effectiveness in:
    • Teaching, advisement, and other student-related responsibilities, especially with individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds
    • Scholarly activity, securing external funding, and publishing in high-impact journals
    • Service to the profession and the university community
  • Experience with traditional and non-traditional course delivery including the use of active learning techniques, student-centered teaching practices, online modalities, and/or other teaching methods
  • Experience working and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.

General Information

The Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science comprises 12 faculty members, around 100 undergraduate majors, and around 30 PhD students. We offer a bachelor's degree in Astronomy, minors in Astronomy, Astrobiology, Astrochemistry, and Astrogeology, and a doctoral degree in Astronomy and Planetary Science. Our faculty conduct research on a range of topics that include: astrobiology, cosmochemistry, outer planet and Kuiper belt processes, planetary surface and atmospheric processes, and small bodies. Researchers at NAU have full competitive access to all University of Arizona Observatories facilities (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, MMT Observatory, Giant Magellan Telescope, etc.). NAU also collaborates closely with Lowell Observatory and is a guaranteed time partner in the Lowell Discovery Telescope in nearby Happy Jack, Arizona. We also have access to world-class experimental facilities, field analog sites, and archived spacecraft data through our close local, regional, national, and international partnerships. Locally, the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science has close working relationships with Lowell Observatory, the US Geological Survey, and the US Naval Observatory.

Northern Arizona University has a student population of 29,569, including approximately 21,000 on its main campus in Flagstaff and the remainder at more than 20 locations statewide and online.

Committed to a diverse and civil working and learning environment, NAU has earned a solid reputation as a university with all the features of a large institution but with a personal touch, with a faculty and staff dedicated to each student's success. All faculty members are expected to promote student learning and help students achieve academic outcomes.

While our emphasis is undergraduate education, we offer a wide range of graduate programs and research. Our institution has carefully integrated on-campus education with distance learning, forming seamless avenues for students to earn degrees.

Flagstaff has a population of about 70,000, rich in cultural diversity. Located at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is 140 miles north of Phoenix at intersection of Interstate 17 and Interstate 40.

For information about diversity, access and equity at NAU, see the Center for University Access and Inclusion webpage.

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Commensurate with experience.


This is a Faculty (FAC) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP); sick leave accruals and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page. Faculty are hired on a contract basis, renewable according to terms of the Conditions of Faculty Service. Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). Employees will have 31 days from date of hire to enroll in benefits, and their benefits will then be effective the first day of the pay period following their completed enrollment. If a new employee chooses the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) retirement option, participation in the ASRS Plan (and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it) will begin on the first of the pay period following 183 days of employment. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP; an alternative to the ASRS plan) will begin to participate on the first day of employment. The long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of the pay period following 90 days of employment. More information about NAU benefits is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Submission Deadline

This vacancy will be open until filled or closed. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2022.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button at the end of the job description if viewing this position through the NAU HR website. Otherwise, to view the original post and to apply, proceed to, follow the 'Current Openings' links, locate vacancy 606756, and then "Apply" at the bottom of the page.

Applications must include:
  • a cover letter highlighting your particular qualifications for this position;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a two-page statement of teaching philosophy and experience;
  • a two-page statement of research interests;
  • a one-page DEIJ statement (see description above); and
  • names and contact information for three professional references.

Please address questions to Dr. Mark Salvatore (Search Committee Chair) at [email protected] or (928) 523-2661.

If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the HR website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773, [email protected], or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit

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Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public university offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees of high quality and societal value.  Students are at the center of the NAU experience, which is guided by a dedicated and distinguished faculty committed to teaching, individual engagement, and research excellence.

Our educational programs are designed to prepare our students for personal and professional success after graduation.

Whether they earn their degrees at our historic Flagstaff campus, regionally throughout Arizona, or online, we prepare our students to achieve their human potential in ways that serve the state, the region, the nation, and the world.

If you can see yourself as part of a university community dedicated to its students and their success, NAU might be the right fit for you.

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PO Box 4113 Flagstaff, AZ 86011

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