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Assistant Teaching Professor

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Boulder, Colorado

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Posting Close Date:


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Job Summary

The Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) Department at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is conducting a search for an academic year, non-tenure-track instructor with a three-year renewable contract. We seek applications from candidates with a record of teaching excellence and a commitment to science education. Nominal teaching expectations are three courses per semester (six per academic year). Significant service contributions to the departmental educational mission (e.g. coordination of undergraduate mentor program) may be substituted for some classroom teaching. APS offers a wide range of classes in astronomy and planetary sciences, and opportunities exist for teaching at all levels, with an emphasis on introductory astronomy. Instructors are faculty in APS, contribute to departmental activities, and engage in modest departmental service (e.g., attend faculty meetings, contribute to a department committee). Instructors are permitted to supplement their salary through external grants or through teaching APS classes during the summer.

We welcome all candidates to apply but particularly candidates from groups that have been historically underrepresented in the astrophysical and planetary sciences and/or have demonstrated leadership toward building an equitable and inclusive scholarly environment.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder is the intellectual core of the university, conducting research, scholarship, creative work and education in more than 60 fields. Our research generates new knowledge, solving some of the world’s most critical problems. The college leads nationally in undergraduate and graduate education, bringing world-class research and scholarship to our students, both in and out of the classroom. The college is the academic home to all five of the university’s Nobel laureates. Additionally, it is home to the university’s four National Medal of Science winners, eight MacArthur "Genius Award" winners, 100 Fulbright Scholars, 17 Guggenheim Fellows, 14 Packard Fellows, 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 23 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. CU-Boulder is the only university in the Rocky Mountain region in the American Association of Universities, a group of the nation’s leading research institutions.


The APS Department hosts one of the largest astronomy programs in the country, with over 350 undergraduates, 60 graduate students, and 30 faculty in a diverse range of astronomy disciplines. The department is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a commitment to teaching and learning that emphasizes hands-on learning, exploration, and inquiry. The college is pursuing initiatives that transcend disciplinary boundaries, encourage teaching through research/creative work, and engage the world. Faculty in the APS department are actively working and publishing in the field of astronomy education research. The department participates in CU’s Center for STEM Learning and a discipline-based education research group, which spans many STEM departments. The University of Colorado has access to a number of facilities, which are used for both teaching and research. On campus, APS runs the Fiske Planetarium with the highest resolution digital dome theater on a university campus, and the Sommers-Bausch Observatory with a 0.6-meter and two 0.5-meter telescopes. Off campus, CU has access to the ARC 3.5-meter and ARCSAT 0.5-meter telescopes, the SDSS IV and V surveys, and the Las Cumbres Observatory. The headquarters of the National Solar Observatory is located on the Boulder campus.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • The key responsibility is teaching undergraduate astronomy courses. These will typically involve introductory courses but can range to upper division classes. 
    •  A typical teaching load will be three class sections per semester, although significant service in support of the APS undergraduate program (e.g. coordinating undergraduate mentoring) can be substituted for a portion of this teaching commitment.  
    • Instructor will also attend department faculty meetings and may be asked to be a member on a committee related to undergraduate students, mentoring, or instruction. Recognizing the large teaching load associated with this position, service expectations will be kept to a minimum unless being used to offset teaching commitment.

What You Should Know

  • CU Boulder houses the highest-resolution full dome planetarium facility on a college campus in the US. This facility, along with a state-of-the-art observatory with telescopes for undergraduate instruction are readily available for instructors to pursue innovative teaching approaches. The three-year contract for the position is renewable, and it is preferred that the successful candidate be interested in establishing a long-term presence and impact within the department and campus community.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.
  • This is a 75% appointment.

What We Can Offer

The salary range for this 75% appointment is $62,000 - $68,000. The successful candidate will receive up to $3,000 for moving expenses.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

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What We Require

  • Candidates must have a PhD or Master's Degree in astrophysics, planetary science, astronomy, astronomy education, or a related field, conferred before 7/31/2022. 
  • Candidates with PhD's should have at least one year experience teaching undergraduate astronomy, which may include experience gained during graduate studies. 
  • Candidates with Master's degrees should have at least three years experience teaching undergraduate astronomy as an instructor of record.

What You Will Need

  • Instructor will teach a range of astronomy courses, from large lower-level lectures to smaller upper division undergraduate classes. Strong pedagogical content knowledge in astronomy will be valued, along with commitment to engaging in reflective practice and continued course refinement. Interest in collaborating with other faculty on classroom teaching strategies and approaches, and in particular addressing issues of equity and accessibility in the classroom is also valued.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Candidates with a PhD in astronomy, planetary science, or a related field and more than one year experience teaching undergraduate astronomy are preferred.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  4. Diversity and Inclusion Statement
During the application process you will need to enter contact information for three references who will be contacted to provide letters of recommendation and additional materials, if needed, as the search progresses.

Review of applications will begin on February 11, 2022; applications will be accepted until February 25, 2022.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: John Keller

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