Lecturer/Assistant Teaching Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
To event remaining 3 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Faculty Positions (visiting and non-tenure)
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Penn State University
Department Name: 
Astronomy and Astrophysics
University Park
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is seeking a full-time Lecturer or Assistant Teaching Professor (non-tenure track) to join our innovative online education team to begin teaching in Spring 2023. This person will teach very large online general education astronomy classes for both University Park and World Campus students. The classes include an Astro 1 interactive video game, the University of Mars, created by our department to teach astronomy content and our very popular Astro 7N Artistic Universe which assigns art projects and discussions designed to motivate and inspire our students.

The person in this position will be part of a teaching team that facilitates student learning in these courses, exposing thousands of students to thinking about the universe in a creative way. The instructor will serve as lead instructor for several course sections, and will facilitate learning through: helping students to install and play our University of Mars video game; making announcements to students clarifying assignments once or twice each week; having Zoom office hours for 20-30 hours weekly, some of them on evenings or weekends; addressing student questions; working with other team members to arrange makeup exams and deadline extensions; facilitate discussions between students online; expand test banks; clarify the directions for art projects.

Education and Experience:

The successful candidate should have a master’s degree (Lecturer) or a Ph.D. (Assistant Teaching Professor) in astronomy, in art, or in a related field. Experience with astronomical art is ideal. The candidate should have demonstrated interest in teaching through video games and in online education. Though the primary responsibility is day-to-day class operations there is also opportunity for education research and contributing to the design of new educational video games. Above all else, the new instructor should prioritize making students comfortable by adapting to their own abilities and personal situations, with compassion and respect.

Additional Information:

Applications must be submitted electronically and include the following materials:

  1. Cover letter detailing qualifications for the position including relevant educational background as well as any related teaching experience.
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume.
  3. Two-page teaching statement discussing philosophy of online education and education via video games, as well as giving examples from their own past experiences.
  4. Applicants should also arrange for at least three reference letters to be sent to [email protected].

This position has the potential to be performed fully remote or as a hybrid of remote and on-site working.

This is a limited term (36-week/standard academic calendar) appointment funded for one year from date of hire with possibility of renewal. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2022 and continue until all positions are filled. Applications received by November 30, 2022, will receive full consideration. For more information about our department or undergraduate program, visit https://science.psu.edu/astro. Information regarding benefits may be found at https://hr.psu.edu/.

Interested candidates are to apply directly online at:


The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity in society and nature, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

Included Benefits: 

Information regarding benefits may be found at https://hr.psu.edu/benefits.

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Randy McEntaffer
Inquiries About Job