Education Outreach Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
California Institute of Technology/IPAC
Street Line 1: 
770 So. Wilson Ave.
Street Line 2: 
MS 100-22
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Caltech/IPAC Communication and Education Team (ICE) has an immediate opening for an Education Outreach Scientist.

This position will support NASA’s Universe of Learning science education program, and contribute to public and community engagement activities for IPAC and the missions that it supports. The Education Outreach Scientist will be a member of a multi-disciplinary team and work collaboratively with ICE and Caltech/IPAC staff as well as external partners to incorporate NASA Astrophysics mission science, technology, and expertise into a range of education and outreach products, programs, and experiences. The Education Outreach Scientist serves as a scientific expert and participant in product and program development.

The candidate may contribute support to different areas of science education, outreach, and communications. These include: multimedia and immersive experiences; exhibits and displays; STEM experiences for youth and adults; large-scale public events; engagement of audiences traditionally underserved/underrepresented in STEM; involvement of scientists in education and outreach. The candidate’s primary responsibility will be to work with the Universe of Learning Education Video team – to identify stories of NASA Astrophysics discovery and science for screenplay development; to provide corresponding science content and ensure that it is communicated accurately but at a level appropriate for the general public in the final video product; and to lead video dissemination and maximize public engagement with the products.

Caltech/IPAC partners with NASA, NSF, JPL, and the worldwide research community to advance exploration of our Universe. Beginning with the IRAS mission in 1985 and spanning to Spitzer today, we have enabled transformative research of the infrared sky. We provide science operations, user support, data services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground. We share these discoveries with the public through education outreach programs and award-winning media. Our diverse community of active researchers is dedicated and essential to fulfilling this mission.

Active and recent missions supported by Caltech/IPAC include Spitzer, NEOWISE, Herschel, and Planck. Missions in development with Caltech/IPAC participation include Euclid, LSST, NEOCam, TMT, and WFIRST. Caltech/IPAC is home to 3 of the 7 NASA Astrophysics Data Centers (NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive -- IRSA, the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database -- NED, and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute—NExScI.

As part of the Caltech campus, IPAC scientists have access to telescopes on Palomar and other observing facilities, and are embedded in the vibrant Astronomy research community of Pasadena, CA.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics, or closely related field.
  • Practical experience in education, outreach and public communications.
  • Familiarity with NASA Astrophysics missions and research.
  • Ability to work independently on research and non-routine, complex projects.
  • Strong teamwork, collaboration, verbal and written communication, and project management skills, along with demonstrated creativity and problem-solving capabilities.

Valuable Non-Required Qualifications:

  • Two to three years postdoctoral research experience
  • Practical experience with classroom education, curriculum development and implementation.
  • Practical experience developing science communications products (e.g., for social media, websites, blogs, online videos)
  • Ability to present and publish research findings and to contribute technical expertise to research reports and other documents.
  • Experience on federally-funded science projects and missions.

The intention is for this to be a full-time position. However we will consider strong candidates at either a part-time or full-time level, with the successful candidate or candidates assuming responsibilities as appropriate.

To apply, please provide a CV, publication list, a short (<2 page) statement of research interests and experience, a short (<2 page) statement of education outreach interests and experience, and the names and contact information of three references to Dr. Janice Lee (

For full consideration, applications should be received by September 25, 2017. The position is available immediately.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, September 25, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Janice Lee