The Science Engagement Division at the Adler Planetarium (Adler) is seeking candidates for a full-time Astronomer position.
The Astronomer will have the opportunity to both pursue an independent research program and impact the public through contributions to the Adler’s outreach programs and museum exhibits and shows. The role will be divided into approximately: 40% leadership in outreach, 40% research, and 20% time in service as a subject matter expert for Adler exhibit and planetarium show development, experience development, and press.
Candidates in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics are encouraged to apply.
Adler Astronomers are expected to maintain a vigorous research program embedded in the vibrant Chicago area research community and beyond. Adler has strong relationships with the astronomy and physics departments of many local universities and colleges (University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Illinois Tech, Loyola, DePaul, Chicago City Colleges, and more) and research institutions (FermiLab and Argonne National Laboratory). Adler’s partnership with Northwestern University's vibrant Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) includes Adler Astronomers holding Visiting Scholar appointments and supporting two Adler-CIERA jointly appointed astronomy postdoctoral fellows.
Adler Astronomers have led exciting world-class programs of outreach and informal education, ranging from visualization to engaging religious audiences. Current efforts include Far Horizons, Public Observing Research, and Zooniverse. Through the Adler’s Far Horizons program, we engage teens, undergraduate students, and adults in high-altitude balloon experiments, engineering, design, research, and complex image processing and data analysis. Far Horizons is currently mapping light pollution across urban areas and recently helped establish the largest urban dark sky designation through partnership with Chicago’s Park District. The Adler’s Public Observing program is launching a new initiative around public engagement in research through the Doane Observatory (co-located with the Adler). The Adler’s Zooniverse team of project leads and software engineers help make Zooniverse the world’s largest platform for people-powered research, with 2.5 million participants worldwide and over 80 active projects, including ~20 different astronomy projects in collaboration with research institutions around the world. Zooniverse is also integrated into the Vera Rubin Observatory, opening up exciting new avenues for research and engagement. Also note that Adler is home to award-winning exhibits and planetarium shows, world-class collections, and more. The new Astronomer will deepen the impact of one of these existing efforts or spearhead a new initiative aligned with the Adler's missions and goals.
Founded in 1930, the Adler was the first planetarium in the western hemisphere and is among the pre-eminent planetariums and space science museums in the world. Today, the museum hosts more than half a million visitors each year at its nationally-recognized facilities and exhibits. The Adler reaches millions more through youth STEM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, online citizen science, and other outreach projects. With Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way.
The Adler is committed to diversity & inclusion principles internally, externally, and universally, with ongoing efforts championed by our cross-divisional, cross-level Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEAs) team. The Adler Planetarium is dedicated to complying with its obligations as an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.
Interested applicants should submit a 1) cover letter, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) three-page statement of research, and 4) three-page statement of outreach experience and philosophy here. Three Letters of Reccomendation should be sent directly to [email protected]
The target start date for the appointment is Sept 2023, though open to an earlier start date. Review of applications will begin in January, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.
Inquiries about the position can be sent to Geza Gyuk ([email protected]).
If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact Jenean Featherson by email at [email protected] and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case by case basis.