1. Careers and Employment

    The Astrobiology Careers and Employment page is a compilation of career opportunities available to astrobiologists. Please email Julie Fletcher to send additional listings.

    Postdoctoral Opportunity in Mars Sample Science/Astrobiology at JPL

    NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is looking to hire an early to mid career scientist in the Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology Group. The candidate would be responsible for performing scientific research within the area of Mars sample science and astrobiology. For a complete description and application instructions, click here

    Posted Dec. 19, 2014

    2015-16 Academic Year in Residence Opportunity with the Princeton Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) on the Social Implications of Astrobiology

    Application Deadline: January 31, 2015

    Each year, the Center of Theological Inquiry welcomes a residential community of scholars who pursue fundamental questions of global concern. With support from the NASA Astrobiology Program, CTI fellows in residence in 2015-16 will join one another and leading scientists, in engaging with the societal implications of astrobiology. Many disciplines and diverse individual research projects are relevant to understanding the science of life and how it becomes part of daily experience and shapes the human future.

    Proposals from scholars in theology, religious studies, humanities, the arts, and social sciences who see the connections between their own research and the science of astrobiology are all welcome. The key requirements are a record of scholarly achievement, an original research proposal of high quality, and a commitment to the collaborative research community and sustained interdisciplinary discussion that daily work in the Center’s facilities makes possible.

    For all information regarding the position and the application details, visit: http://ctinquiry.org/apply

    Posted Dec. 17, 2014

    Research Associate Position at the Institute for Pale Blue Dots, Cornell University: Extrasolar Planet Characterization

    The Exoplanet team at Cornell University is seeking several Research Associate scholars to work on Characterization of rocky exoplanets, from interior models, over Habitable Zone calculations in 1D and 3D, Mini to Super-Earth atmosphere with Earth-like and non-Earth like atmosphere composition models and the effect of life and extremophiles on the planet’s atmosphere. These positions are part of the new Institute for Pale Blue Dots at Cornell University. The successful candidates will work primarily with Professor Lisa Kaltenegger, Founding Director of the Institute, TESS Science CO-I, and NIRISS Science team member. There is considerable latitude in the science program that can be pursued.

    The position is for one year, with continuation for two more year contingent upon funding and performance. The nominal starting date is mid 2015 and is negotiable.

    Applicants should submit a CV (including list of publications) and a brief (1-3 pages) description of research interests, and a research proposal (1-3 pages) all in a single pdf file, to Ms. Lynda Sovocool at lmk3@cornell.edu. (Please note “Exoplanet Research Associate” in the subject heading.) They should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same email address (Please note the applicant’s name in the subject heading). All materials should be received by December 30, 2014. Later applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

    Posted Dec. 10, 2014

    Tenure-track Assistant Professor Opportunity in Geobiology & Sedimentary Geology at UW

    Deadline for applications is January 5, 2015

    The Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington invites applications for a tenure-track position in geobiology and sedimentary geology. Preferred research areas include, but are not limited to, biogeochemistry, paleontology and/or sedimentary geology, focusing on the use of pre-Quaternary stratigraphic records as a basis for investigation of the reciprocal interactions between the Earth (lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere), life and environments through time. Opportunities for collaboration exist between many departmental research groups.

    For all the information on this position, visit: http://careers.agu.org/jobs/6578001/uw-earth-space-sciences-geobiology-sedimentary-geology-assistant-professor

    Posted Oct. 22, 2014

    Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity in Lunar & Asteroid Exploration Science – Petrology and Geochemistry

    There is no firm application deadline, although a review of applications will begin January 7, 2015

    The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in lunar and asteroid exploration science for a full-time exempt position in the Houston, Texas area. The successful candidate will join Dr. David A. Kring and over two dozen other scientists in the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, which is one of nine national centers of excellence supported by NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. The main goals of the Center’s activities are to address NASA’s highest lunar and asteroid exploration science objectives, including activities in preparation of robotic and crewed landings.

    Applications from those with recent Ph.D.s in the fields of petrology and geochemistry are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will work at LPI and use the analytical facilities at the adjacent NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Previous experience with lunar samples, chondritic meteorites, and/or impact lithologies will be advantageous, but is not required.

    Interested applicants should apply to the posting at https://usracareers.silkroad.com/ and must submit a curriculum vita with list of publications, a two to three page statement of research interests, and a list of three references.

    Posted Nov. 10, 2014

    2015 LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science

    Deadline for applications is January 9, 2015

    The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience cutting-edge research in the lunar and planetary sciences. As a Summer Intern, you will work one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at the NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in lunar and planetary science. Furthermore, you will participate in peer-reviewed research, learn from top-notch planetary scientists, and preview various careers in science.

    The 10-week program begins June 1, 2015, and ends on August 7, 2015. Selected students will receive a $5660.00 stipend; in addition, U.S. students will receive a $1000.00 travel stipend, and foreign nationals will receive a $1500.00 foreign travel reimbursement.

    Applications are only accepted via the electronic application form found at the LPI’s Summer Intern Program website: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpiintern

    Posted Oct. 15, 2014

    2015 Masters Opportunities at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Scandinavia

    Application Deadlines: January 15, 2015

    Luleå University of Technology is a global university, attracting students and researchers from all corners of the world. In 2015, LTU is offering two Masters programs of interest.

    Earths Atmosphere and the Solar System
    Research on the Earth atmosphere and the solar system is an exciting and relevant topic. During the program’s first year, you will gain knowledge of the physical processes in the Earth’s atmosphere and the Solar System and methods to observe these. During the second year you will deepen your knowledge through courses and by participating in various space projects. Your master thesis work will be performed at a space technology company, space organization, or an academic department in Kiruna or another part of the world. The lectures are given in English.

    Spacecraft Design
    A space research environment, unique for Europe, has been established in Kiruna. Here you find the Swedish Institute for Space Physics. The Institute builds satellite instruments for distant travel to other planets and celestial bodies. Sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons are launched from Esrange. Collaboration with these agents gives you the opportunity to evaluate satellite instruments with balloon flights to the stratosphere, shaking tests, and tests in vacuum chamber. Guest speakers from the aerospace industry and academia are also a common feature. The lectures are in English.

    Most of the Master programs are free to EU (European) students.

    Posted Dec. 10, 2014

    Graduate Student Positions Exploring Major Evolutionary Transitions – NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Montana (Admitting for Fall 2015)

    Graduate Admissions Deadline: January 15, 2015

    Project Descriptions:
    Evolution of complexity via multicellularity and cell differentiation in the green alga Chlamydomonas
    PI Matt Herron; matthew.herron@mso.umt.edu
    How and why organismal complexity increases are central questions in evolutionary biology. Although the vast majority of life forms remain simple, both the maximum and the average levels of complexity have increased from the origin of life to the present day. Large increases in organismal complexity resulted from a series of events in which existing individuals combined to become parts of a new kind of individual with components specialized for various roles. Such events are known as major transitions and include the emergence of cellular life from groups of interacting molecular replicators, of eukaryotes from two prokaryotes, of multicellular organisms from unicells, and of eusocial “superorganisms” from individual animals. Among such transitions, the evolution of multicellular organisms from single-celled ancestors set the stage for unprecedented increases in complexity, especially in land plants and animals. We have used the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to experimentally generate de novo origins of simple (undifferentiated) multicellularity in two separate experiments. Using these newly-evolved, multicellular Chlamydomonas, we plan to ascertain the genetic bases underlying the evolution of multicellularity, evaluate the role of genetic assimilation in the evolution of multicellularity, and observe the evolution of multicellular development in real time.

    An experimental model for eukaryogenesis: Co-evolution of Escherichia coli and its parasite Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus
    PI Margie Kinnersley; Margie.Kinnersley@mso.umt.edu
    Among the major evolutionary transitions, perhaps the most crucial to understanding extant biodiversity is the transition from prokaryote to eukaryote (eukaryogenesis). Because the timing of eukaryogenesis coincides with the phylogenetic origin of the mitochondrion, it has been hypothesized that acquisition of this organelle heralded the prokaryote-eukaryote transition and preceded the rapid diversification referred to as the eukaryotic big bang. By selecting for metabolic interdependence between the intracellular prokaryotic predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and its host, an acetate-excreting strain of Escherichia coli, we plan to establish a simple, straightforward model for mitochodrial acquisition based on the “parasitism hypothesis” of mitochondriogenesis. This co-evolving system will be used to test hypotheses concerning ecological prerequisites for, early molecular events in, and evolutionary consequences of incipient endosymbiosis based on metabolic niche partitioning and energy generation, exactly the features that define the mitochondrion’s role in eukaryotic systems. Understanding these aspects of symbiogenesis is essential for truly understanding the prokaryotic/eukaryotic transition and thus is applicable to the study of myriad aspects of cellular and organismal diversity.

    The University of Montana
    UM is located in Missoula, MT, a college town in the heart of the Northern Rocky Mountains with a high quality of life. Missoula has excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation, an active music scene, a strong biking culture, numerous restaurants and breweries, and was listed among Outside Magazine’s “Best Towns” in 2011 and 2013.

    Application Process:
    Interested students should contact the PIs listed above with a CV (including research experience and outcomes, as well as a description of relevant coursework) and a short description of their research interests. Selected candidates will also need to apply for graduate admission to the University of Montana Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology or Organismal Biology and Ecology Program.

    Posted Dec. 1, 2014

    Summer course “Life on Earth and Beyond – The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life”

    The deadline for application is 15 January, 2015, 23:59:00 UTC

    The course will take place May 4-6, 2015 on Ven Island, Sweden. The aim of the course is to give participants a thorough overview of the historical, philosophical and ethical questions arising in this field. It is co-organized by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology and the EU COST Action “Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”. The course is open for students and scientists in humanities, natural, social and political sciences. It will, amongst others deal with the following themes:

    —Definition of life in a historical and philosophical context

    —Biochemical evolution

    —The tree of biological evolution

    —Search for life outside Earth

    —Philosophical, ethical and political questions arising with the quest for life on other celestial bodies

    A multitude of highly merited researchers have agreed to teach at the course. Visit the website for all details: http://www.nordicastrobiology.net/Ven2015/

    Bursaries for students and early career scientists (up to 8 years after their Ph. D.) from most European countries (see homepage for details) are available.

    Posted Nov. 19, 2014

    NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program Opportunity

    Deadline for NEW applications is February 2, 2015, and the deadline for RENEWAL applications is March 16, 2015

    NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2015-2016 academic year. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities.

    The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF 15 solicitation index page at: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/
    Click on “Solicitations” then click on “Open Solicitations” then select the “NESSF 15” announcement. Also refer to “Proposal Submission Instructions” and “Frequently Asked Questions” listed under “Other Documents” on the NESSF 15 solicitation index page.

    Posted Nov. 10, 2014

    Johannes Geiss Fellowship – International Space Science Institute (ISSI) Call for Proposals

    Submission Deadline: March 2, 2015

    The Johannes Geiss Fellowship (JGF) seeks to attract – for limited duration visits – international scientists of stature, who can make demonstrable contributions to the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) mission. JGF will offer a stipend, pay travel and living expenses for a stay at ISSI of 1 – 6 months, possibly in several separate intervals, to coincide with time availability on the university’s academic calendars. In return for the stipend, the JGF recipient would be expected to participate in the work of ISSI, be available to collaborate with academic and research institutes in Switzerland and neighboring countries, and possibly give public lectures.

    To find out more about this opportunity, visit: www.issibern.ch/spotlight/CallforProposalsJohannesGeissFellowship.pdf

    Posted Dec. 8, 2014

    Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity in Geobiology at the Agouron Institute

    Application Deadline March 15, 2015

    At least three postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in 2015 for young investigators pursuing studies in the field of Geobiology particularly those studies that merge an understanding of modern biological processes with application to interpretation of the ancient rock record. The Agouron Institute encourages cross-disciplinary training, therefore it is desirable for students who have conducted PhD level studies on modern processes to submit proposals focused on ancient geobiological processes, and vice versa. Each award includes an annual stipend ($60,000/year one, $62,000/year two) and an annual research supplement ($5,000 for supplies and travel). No overhead is provided with these fellowships.

    Applications will be accepted from students completing or have recently completed graduate studies for PhD or equivalent degrees. Preference will be for applicants with no more than one year of postdoctoral experience. International students are welcome to apply. Awards can only be issued to non-profit research universities or research institutions.

    Please submit the application and proposal electronically to info@agi.org. Be sure to have in the subject line: “Geobio Fellowship App: Your Name.” Please complete the following (1-3 below) in Times or Times New Roman (font size 12). Please use side margins no smaller than 0.5 inch with a bottom margin of 1” (1.7” for A4 paper).

    1. Application form (4 pages) that includes a short summary of prior research experience, summary of proposed research and a personal autobiographical statement.

    2. Brief research proposal (2-3 pages; references page 4; figures page 5 if needed). Be sure to include the title of the proposal at the beginning of the proposal.

    3. References. Please complete the top of the form (see below) and send it to your references. They may attach a letter after completing the ranking scale. a) postdoctoral research sponsor b) thesis advisor, and c) two additional research scientists.

    Please have reference form/letters submitted electronically to info@agi.org. Be sure to have in the subject line: “Geobio Fellowship App: Your Name.” Or, mail directly to the Agouron Institute, 1055 E. Colorado Blvd, Suite 250, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA.

    Awards will be announced by May 15, 2015. Fellowships may begin during the period of July 1, 2015 to January 15, 2016.

    Posted Oct. 1, 2014