Director for Science

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
LSST Corporation
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation (LSSTC) seeks a Director for Science to provide scientific leadership and expertise to LSSTC’s philanthropic funding development initiatives.

LSSTC, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation formed to initiate the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project and advance the science of astronomy and physics. With federal construction underway, the privately-funded LSSTC is focusing on supporting science by preparing the community to use LSST data when the facility becomes operational in 2022. LSSTC is committed to foster and build new modes of interdisciplinary collaboration at the interface of astronomy, physics, computer science, mathematics, and information science and to enable the full science exploitation of the unique LSST data.

The Director for Science will be LSSTC’s development liaison to the LSSTC Member Institutions and the LSST Science Collaborations, identifying science cases and research activities of interest and importance, and developing fundraising materials and proposals for private funding opportunities. The Director for Science will also be LSSTC’s representative to potential foundations, corporations, and individual donors. The Director for Science will be supported in this effort by a full-time LSSTC Development Officer.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Work with LSSTC Member Institutions and the LSST Science Collaborations (SCs), in particular the SC Chairs, to identify urgent and necessary research and development efforts and the impactful science that could emerge
  • Work with the LSSTC’s Director of Development to identify potential donors and coherent funding opportunities that will advance preparations for LSST science and assure early delivery of science results in key research directions of the LSST program
  • Coordinate with the LSSTC Executive Officer (EO), the LSST Project, and the SC Chairs to build a strong solicitation team
  • Take the lead role in preparing science documents, proposals, and supporting materials to solicit funding from identified sources
  • Work with the relevant LSSTC Member representatives and SC Chairs to establish core teams and execution plans for initiatives that are successful in obtaining funding
  • Serve as LSSTC’s point of contact for science with potential donors, foundations, and corporations on an ongoing basis
  • Advise the LSSTC EO about the priorities and effectiveness of LSSTC’s activities in the above areas.


  • PhD in Astronomy, Physics or related field
  • Demonstrated leadership in astronomy or astrophysics research
  • Broad understanding of and interest in LSST science goals
  • Ability to speak and write effectively, with experience in the preparation of astronomy or astrophysics science reports and proposals
  • Prior fund development experience will be considered a positive factor.

Interested candidates should submit a resume or CV, a list of professional references with contact information, and a cover letter or other statement of interest via email (PDF files preferred) to

Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop and describe their own vision for the Director for Science role, consistent with the responsibilities outlined above. Applicants may propose a different job title if desired.

The role of the LSST Corporation Director for Science can be expected to represent a significant commitment of time. Depending on the professional circumstances of the selected candidate, support for this effort can be provided through direct employment by LSSTC, academic summer salary, teaching relief, contracting agreement, or some combination of these options. Compensation and benefits would vary based upon the employment status.

The position will remain open until filled. Applications received by October 20 will be given priority in review.

Included Benefits: 

Compensation and benefits will depend on specific employment status as agreed with successful candidate.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 20, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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LSST Corporation
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