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.


    PhD Position in Planetary Science at Vu University Amsterdam

    Application Deadline: September 30, 2015

    The Department of Earth and Life Sciences at VU University Amsterdam is offering a fully funded four-year PhD studentship focused on providing new constraints on the structure and evolution of the crust of Mars. The studentship is fully funded by a NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) User Support Programme Space Research grant. Within this international project you will collaborate with researchers at the University of Lyon, the University of Toulouse and at the IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe) in Paris, France. Candidates need to have completed a MSc degree in the field of planetary science, physics, geophysics, geology, or similar relevant field. There is no constrain on citizenship, all applications are welcomed.

    More information can be found here: https://www.vu.nl/en/employment/vacancies/2015/15232.asp

    Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Prof. Gareth Davies, Prof. Wim van Westrenen and Dr. Jessica Flahaut for additional information (g.r.davies@vu.nl, w.van.westrenen@vu.nl, jessica.flahaut@ens-lyon.org). To apply, email the department’s secretary Mrs. Fenny Bosse (f.bosse@vu.nl) with the subject “Vacancy #15232”. Please provide a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information of at least two references.

    Posted Aug. 27, 2015.


    Postdoctoral Position funded by ERC Consolidator Grant in La Laguna, Tenerife/Spain

    Application Open Until Filled

    ERC Consolidator Grant project PALEOCHAR is offering a 3-year postdoc position at Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain) for an experienced organic geochemist to carry out biomarker research on sediment from Neanderthal fireplaces. The project will involve a combination of organic geochemical techniques including GC-MS, GC-IRMS and PY-GCMS. This opportunity will remain open until the position is filled.

    For more information and to apply, please contact Carolina Mallol at cmallol@ull.es.

    Posted Aug. 25, 2015.


    Volunteers Needed to Review Planetary Science Division ROSES Proposals

    The Planetary Science Division is now seeking volunteers to serve as reviewers for proposals from the following ROSES-2015 programs:
    ROSES 2015 C.19 Hayabusa2 Participating Scientist Program
    ROSES 2015 C.14 Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research
    ROSES 2015 C.9 the Mars Data Analysis Program
    ROSES 2015 C.3 Solar System Workings

    To increase the pool of un-conflicted reviewers we are seeking subject matter experts to serve as mail-in reviewers of proposals and/or in-person reviewers to engage in discussions at a face-to-face panel meeting. New researchers (including post doctoral fellows) are welcome to apply as they provide fresh insight from people close to the most current research.

    More information is available at: http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/volunteer-review-panels/

    Posted Aug. 25, 2015.


    Postdoctoral Position in Environmental & Biomolecular Systems at the Institute of Environmental Health, Oregon Health & Science University

    Application Open Until Filled

    We seek postdoctoral (Ph.D.) candidates with multidisciplinary training in microbial biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, microbiology, (bio)geochemistry, environmental/aquatic chemistry or related fields and expertise with metals. Experience with bacterial culture, protein purification and analytical techniques such as ICP-MS, MIMS, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, electrochemical methods and/or UVVis spectroscopy is desired.

    As part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute Alternative Earths Research Center at the University of California Riverside, the successful candidate will study the biogeochemistry of enzymatic manganese oxide formation and fractionation of stable isotopes under different environmental conditions. The candidate should have experience and desire to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. The duties include research and publication; training, mentoring, and assisting students, postdocs, staff, etc.; care and maintenance of laboratory equipment and facilities; assisting with project reporting and development; participating in outreach activities; and serving as a liaison with the administration, other faculty and research groups. Some extended travel (including international travel) may be required.

    The candidate will join a unique, diverse, and highly interdisciplinary department in the Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems (EBS), Institute of Environmental Health. This position is located in Portland, Oregon at OHSU’s Marquam Hill Campus. This description is not intended to be all-inclusive and the incumbent will likely have additional responsibilities as required.

    To Apply: Please apply online at http://www.ohsu.edu/hr for position for position IRC48653 by submitting a cover letter describing your research experience and future goals, curriculum vitae, a potential start date, and contact information for suggested references. The position is available immediately.

    For questions, contact: Bradley M. Tebo, Ph.D. at tebob@ohsu.edu.

    Posted Aug. 20, 2015.


    NASA Spaceward Bound India 2016

    NASA Spaceward Bound, a NASA Ames initiative is an opportunity for astrogeologists and astrobiologists to work with students in remote, off Earth analogous environments to conduct field experiments and engage in scientific discussions with participating students and science educators. Scientists from NASA’s astrobiology community are teaming up with their counterparts in Australia and India to visit Ladakh, India in August 2016 to conduct experiments in a range of research areas. Ladakh is a cold, high altitude (3000-6000m asl) desert environment that offers permafrost regions, saline and palaeolakes, hot springs that have shown to harbor extremophilic microbial communities. It is also a young and active geological region that exhibits topological processes which hold clues about Martian terrain history. Interested researchers/ students can contact the team with ideas/suggestions towards planned experiments at spacewardbound@astrobiologyindia.in. Follow the Spaceward Bound India team’s updates on their website, Facebook page and twitter as they continue to refine their planned experiments, engage in webinars and prepare for the first pilot joint venture astrobiological field expedition in India! Exciting times ahead!

    Website: http://spacewardbound.astrobiologyindia.in/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SBIndia2016
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SB_India2016

    Posted Aug. 20, 2015.


    Postdoctoral Position in Astrobiology in the WiscSIMS Lab at the University of Wisconsin -Madison

    Position Open Until Filled

    WiscSIMS Laboratory, http://www.geology.wisc.edu/facilities/wiscsims

    This position is sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Research will be in the early evidence and environments for life will include in situ analysis by ion microprobe of sulfur 3- and 4-isotope ratios in Archean pyrite and C, S, Si, and O isotope ratios in associated minerals and organic matter. One area of emphasis will be 3.4 to 3.5 Ga cherts from the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia. Interest in collaborative interdisciplinary research is required. Experience with astrobiology, Precambrian geology, stable isotope geochemistry, SIMS, SEM, EPMA, or mass-spectrometry is desirable.

    Submit by e-mail a cover letter, reprints of papers, and a CV with the contact information of 3 or more potential references to John Valley, at valley@geology.wisc.edu. UW-Madison is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Posted Aug. 5, 2015


    Research Associate Opportunity at Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

    Application Deadline: September 1, 2015

    The Space Physics and Planetary group at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), University of Colorado is involved in several space flight missions. They have a level 1 (post- doc) position available, analyzing data from the MAVEN mission. The focus of the level 1 position is on Mars ionosphere analysis using data from the Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) instrument with support of data from all other instruments on the MAVEN spacecraft. Candidates with planetary ionosphere data analysis experience are encouraged to apply. We will also consider candidates with instrument hardware experience. Examples of the primary work tasks include: instrument operation, data production, and software development.

    The successful candidate will be working closely with Dr. Andersson and Prof. Ergun. The position will initially be a one year contract with a possible extension. Salary will be commensurate with hiring level, experience and qualifications.

    Questions can be sent to laila.andersson@lasp.colorado.edu. Please submit your application electronically to: https://www.jobsatcu.com/hr/postings/101636/preview

    Posted Aug. 3, 2015


    6th Annual Planetary Science Short Course

    When: September 8-14, 2015

    The Center for Planetary Science and Exploration http://cpsx.uwo.ca and the NSERC CREATE program “Technologies and Techniques for Earth and Space Exploration” http://create.uwo.ca are pleased to announce the 6th annual Planetary Science Short Course, which will run September 8th to 14th. Topics to be covered include origin of the solar system and planet formation; planetary interiors; planetary surfaces; astromaterials, planetary atmospheres; astrobiology, and exoplanets.

    Details on the course can be found here: http://cpsx.uwo.ca/study/study-1/graduate-courses/2015-ps-short-course

    This course will run at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada and is suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate students students. Questions? Please contact cpsx@uwo.ca.

    Posted Aug. 3, 2015


    GSA Planetary Science Division’s Eugene M. Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award

    Application Deadline: September 11, 2015

    The Eugene M. Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award is for undergraduate or graduate students, of any nationality, working in any country, in the disciplines of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, astronomy, or biology. The award, which will include $2500, is to be applied for the study of impact craters, either on Earth or on the other solid bodies in the solar system. Areas of study may include but shall not necessarily be limited to impact cratering processes; the bodies (asteroidal or cometary) that make the impacts; or the geological, chemical, or biological results of impact cratering.

    Details about the award as well as an application form for interested students can be found at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Awards/Shoemaker_Award/.

    Posted Aug. 19, 2015.


    Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life Postdoctoral Fellowship

    Application Deadline: September 18, 2015

    The Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life (SCOL) supports creative, innovative research on topics such as the astrophysical and planetary context of the origins of life, the development of prebiotic chemistry, the assembly of the first cells, the advent of Darwinian evolution and the earliest signs of life on the young Earth.

    With this program, SCOL seeks to support early-career researchers at an important inflection point in origins of life research resulting from an influx of new talent, new instrumentation, a growing global community of researchers and growth of the 'systems’ approach that connects disciplines, technologies and institutions.

    Candidates should have received their Ph.D. or equivalent degree within five years of the fellowship’s start date. Appointments last for three years, contingent upon annual progress report assessment. See full eligibility requirements here.


    Stony Brook University Seeks Director for the Alda Center for Communicating Science

    Application Deadline: September 18, 2015

    Stony Brook University seeks an experienced, energetic leader to provide strategic direction, leadership and management for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The Alda Center, a rapidly growing multidisciplinary center established in 2009 within Stony Brook’s School of Journalism, is widely recognized as a national leader in efforts to help current and future scientists, engineers and health professionals learn to communicate more effectively with people outside their own field, including with the general public, students, funders, policymakers, the press, and colleagues in other disciplines. The position comes with a term academic appointment.

    Required Qualifications (Evidenced by an attached resume): An advanced degree in a science, health, engineering, communications or related discipline In lieu of the Master’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree and two years of directly related full time experience may be considered. Five years of full-time relevant strategic development, leadership, and management experience in media, not-for-profit, academic or mission-driven organizations. Record of publicly recognized oral and written communication, such as invited keynote addresses; invited reviews of books or other articles in influential publications, widely-followed blogs; invited participation on public panels; high-profile media appearances; awards and prizes reflecting effective communication. Commitment to advancing science communication and public engagement with science, as demonstrated by such activities as teaching and lecturing on the subject, employment or membership in relevant organizations, published work about the topic, including presence on social media platforms; public presentations.

    Preferred Qualifications: Doctoral degree in a science, health, engineering, or communications discipline. Additional years of full-time relevant strategic development, leadership, and management experience in media, not-for-profit, academic or mission-driven organizations. Demonstrated success in building and maintaining coalitions or collaborative enterprises. Demonstrated success in raising funds from such sources as private foundations, individual philanthropists, and government grant-making agencies. Experience interacting with diverse groups, such as students, policymakers, the media, scientists in other disciplines, and members of the public. Experience interacting with people of diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Demonstrated success in teaching university courses.

    Primary Purpose/Brief Description of Duties: The overall purpose of the position is to direct the strategic development of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, including the execution of the Center’s goals and activities, supervision of the faculty and staff while representing the Center with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
    – Strategic Direction for the goals and activities of the Center
    – Supervision of faculty and staff
    – Represent the Center to internal and external stakeholders
    – Fundraising
    – Teaching
    – Other duties or projects as assigned as appropriate to rank and departmental mission

    For more information and to apply online, go to the https://stonybrooku.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=1501574

    To learn more about the Alda Center, go to: http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org/

    Posted Aug. 12, 2015


    NASA Astrobiology Program Student Early Career Collaboration Awards

    Application Deadline: October 1, 2015

    The Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Awards offer research-related travel support for undergraduate, graduate students, postdocs, and junior scientists. Applicants are encouraged to use these resources to circulate among two or more laboratories supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program (Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology, the NAI, Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research, MatiSSE, PICASSO and the Habitable Worlds), however any travel that is critical for the applicant’s research will be considered. Travelers must be formally affiliated with a U.S. institution. Requests are limited to $5,000.

    To be considered for an Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award, please submit the following material to Melissa Kirven-Brooks at Melissa.Kirven-Brooks@nasa.gov:
    – the team(s) and researchers you plan to visit
    – the approximate dates of travel
    – a brief description of the research you plan to conduct at the hosting laboratory (include, for example, any technique you expect to learn, or equipment you will need to use) and how the collaboration is relevant to your research
    – a budget describing what funds are required
    – letters of recommendation from your faculty advisor and from the researcher(s) you plan to visit

    For more information, go to https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/funding/nasa-astrobiology-early-career-collaboration-award/.

    Posted Aug. 17, 2015.


    Postdoctoral Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Research Relating to Origins of Life, Spending 50% time in Tokyo, Japan

    2nd Application Deadline: October 1, 2015

    The ELSI Origins Network (EON) announces the availability of post-doctoral research fellowships for research related to the Origins of Life. Ten two-year positions will be funded, to take place within the period 2016-2018.

    Successful candidates will split their time between the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo and another institution of the candidate’s choice, anywhere in the world. The fellowship will pay a salary for two years, which covers the time spent at both locations, as well as a generous research budget. The positions will start on or before 1st April 2016.

    EON is an interdisciplinary international network which seeks to foster dialogue and collaboration within the Origins of Life community to articulate and answer fundamental questions about the nature and the reasons for the existence of life on Earth, and possibly elsewhere in the Universe. Its goal is to bring together leading-edge research in all areas of the physical, mathematical, computational, and life sciences that bears on the emergence of life. ELSI is chartered as a Japanese World Premier International Research Center, to study the origin of Earth-like planets and the origin of life as inter-related phenomena. ELSI is located at the Ookayama campus of Tokyo Institute of Technology.

    EON-supported research addresses three overarching questions:
    1. How did life emerge on Earth?
    2. How common is life in the universe?
    3. What fundamental principles explain the emergence of life?

    Due to the split-time nature of these fellowships, the application process requires the applicant to choose a supervisor and host institution outside ELSI who will support the proposal. EON is designed to promote collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, and host institutions in all fields are welcome.

    The goal of the fellowships is cross-fertilization between specialists in Origin of Life research around the world, with a central collaborative hub at ELSI. EON aims to build a research community in which postdoctoral fellows benefit from facilities not only at ELSI but also among the centers throughout the network.

    The second deadline on 1st October will fill remaining places. Please check our web site http://eon.elsi.jp/ for more details, including the application procedure.


    2016 Vatican Observatory Summer School (VOSS) in Astrophysics on Water in the Solar System and Beyond

    Application Deadline: October 31, 2015

    The Vatican Observatory will be holding its 2016 Summer School from May 29 to June 24. During the course of the session, students will present a short paper on their research or the research of their home institution. Field trips to visit sites of historical interest to astronomy will be included.

    Water plays an important role in the origin and chemical development of comets, asteroids, icy moons, and planets including our own Earth. It is also a necessary ingredient for life as we know it. Recent space missions, remote sensing, and laboratory research have led to considerable growth in our understanding of the role of water in the solar system and in cosmochemistry. Expert faculty will direct a comprehensive four-week course of lectures, presentations, and hands-on projects in the beautiful setting of the Papal villas outside Rome. It will be an unforgettable experience!

    No formal course credits will be given, but certification of satisfactory completion of the course will be supplied.

    For more information, visit http://www.vaticanobservatory.va/content/specolavaticana/en/summer-schools—voss-/voss2016.html

    Posted June 23, 2015.


    NASA Postdoctoral Program Opportunities in Astrobiology

    Proposal Deadline: November 1, 2015

    The NASA Postdoctoral Program will be accepting applications to the Astrobiology program opportunities on November 1. The NPP provides opportunities for Ph.D. scientists and engineers to perform research on problems largely of their own choosing, yet compatible with the research interests of the NASA Astrobiology Program. For more information see https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/funding/nasa-astrobiology-postdoctoral-fellowship-program/.

    To apply, go to http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc/.

    Posted Aug. 17, 2015.


    California Academy of Sciences “Cluster Hiring” Ph.D.-level Scientists

    Application Deadline: November 1, 2015

    The California Academy of Sciences seeks to fill several endowed positions with Ph.D.-level scientists who do outstanding biodiversity/ecological science, focus on broader science communication & engagement, care about increasing diversity in science, connect their work to real world sustainability outcomes, and want to change the world.

    The Academy is especially seeking experts in coral reef biology, tropical rain forests, the ecology of California, and the impacts of global change on biodiversity, as well as candidates with interests in marine mammals and amphibian decline. They seek candidates with skills in “big data”, modeling, GIS, visualization, genomics, and innovative methods for field- and collections-based research. Candidates who connect their work to larger sustainability challenges are of special interest. Candidates must also show leadership in science communication and engagement, as well as an interest in increasing diversity in science.

    Visit http://calacademy.snaphire.com/jobdetails?ajid=vNXB8 for all the details and application instructions.

    Posted July 9, 2015


    Cyanobacterial Evolution Postdoc Position at the Fournier Lab at MIT

    Application Deadline: December 15, 2015

    The Fournier Lab within the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences department at MIT is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Postdoctoral Associate for a 1-year appointment with possible extension, to begin in the Fall of 2015. Our group studies the co-evolution of microbes and planetary processes over geological timescales, investigating major questions in planetary history from a genomic perspective. Ongoing projects include microbial phylogenetics and phylometabolomics, calibration of microbial molecular clocks, horizontal gene transfer, ancestral sequence reconstruction, and genomic paleontology. Highly motivated, independent researchers with strong backgrounds in microbiology, phylogenetics, statistics, and computational biology/computer science are encouraged to apply.

    A full time postdoctoral position to research cyanobacterial evolution (advised by T. Bosak, M. Polz and G. Fournier, MIT). The project aims to improve the sampling of the cyanobacterial phylum and the understanding of its evolution through:

    1. Sequencing and annotation of the genomes of > 60 undersampled, but geologically and environmentally relevant cyanobacterial taxa;

    2. Reconstruction of major genomic events (gene additions, duplications and losses) in cyanobacterial history;

    3. Correlation of these data with major events in Earth history and correlation of events in the evolution of cyanobacteria and other organismal groups which may lack a fossil record.

    The project is funded by the Simons Early Career Investigator grants in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution. Candidates with expertise in bioinformatics and/or microbial ecology and evolution are encouraged to apply.

    CVs and three letters of recommendation should be sent to tbosak@mit.edu.

    Posted Aug. 4, 2015