About UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting. We are centrally located relative to major academic centers of the New England region, within 2-3 hours drive from major urban centers such as Boston and New York City. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.
The Department of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst seeks to hire a tenure-track faculty member in theory, covering one or more of the areas of Time Domain Astronomy, Multi-messenger Astrophysics and/or related fields starting September 1, 2024. We are seeking talented applicants qualified for this assistant professor position. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration. We welcome all applications and encourage applications from candidates with backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in astronomy.
The Astronomy department at the University of Massachusetts is a vibrant and collegial community part of the Five Colleges Astronomy Department (FCAD), which consists of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts. We offer PhD degrees as well as both BS and BA in Astronomy. The FCAD members share teaching, research, and other resources for the benefit of our students, postdocs and faculty. The FCAD covers numerous fields of study, including but not limited to, the solar system, exoplanets, star formation, the interstellar and intergalactic medium, galaxy dynamics and evolution, high-energy astrophysics, and time-domain and multi-wavelength astronomy. We investigate these fields using observations, theory, and experimental approaches, including two on-site instrument laboratories. Our department is a partner with the Country of Mexico in the Large Millimeter Telescope, the largest millimeter antenna currently in existence. Our faculty are members of many international collaborations using state-of-the-art space and ground facilities. In addition, UMass Amherst is one of the consortium members of the Massachusetts High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), a world class facility that offers computing and storage resources to more than 20,000 faculty and students.
The Astronomy department is deeply committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for every member to thrive. Initiatives towards this goal have so far included: a departmental code of conduct, a department-wide set of training workshops, paid research internships for undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups, a formalized mentoring structure for junior faculty, and journal club offerings dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
We are an R1 research university with strong grant funding and a baseline teaching load of two semester courses per year. It is common for new faculty to teach a one semester course in their first year. Our tenure system faculty teach all levels of undergraduate and graduate courses in astronomy and astrophysics, with flexibility to create courses of their choosing. The Pioneer Valley is a wonderful place to live. UMass is also interested in helping to resolve two body problems. We have excellent benefits including a generous state pension system and parental leave program. Faculty contracts are collectively bargained via a union that is part of the Massachusetts Society of Professors.
- As principal investigator, independently supervise a growing and productive research group that contributes to basic and applied knowledge in the area of astronomy and astrophysics.
- Effectively teach and co-teach existing and new courses of the Astronomy Department.
- Serve on departmental, college, and universities committees.
- Advise graduate and undergraduate students.
- Write proposals and manage externally funded research projects.
- Collaborate in research with faculty members at other departments and universities.
- Make research contributions that gain national and international attention and improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth and beyond.
- Ph.D. in a discipline such as Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Sciences, or a related field.
- One (1) or more years as a Postdoctoral Researcher.
Information for prospective faculty can be found here: https://www.umass.edu/prospective-faculty/.
Along with the application, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements of research and teaching, a Diversity Statement (see below), and three (3) letters of recommendation. Evaluation of applicants will begin on December 31, 2023, and may continue until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.
Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to our Department’s and the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual’s record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic career and degree.
As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, the department of Astronomy and the College of Natural Sciences seek an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion).
The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual’s record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic career and degree.