Postdoctoral Research Associate - Astronomy or Astrophysics (id:59911)

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Orono, MAINE
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Astronomy or Astrophysics (id:59911)


Physics & Astronomy - OPS



Orono, ME

To develop professionally as a future science education faculty member and/or researcher. This position will advance an NSF-funded project to motivate interest in STEM topics by allowing Minecraft users to ask “What if?” questions about the Earth, such as “What if the Moon didn’t exist?” or “What if the Earth was a moon,” and explore the consequences of these variation in the popular video game Minecraft. The project also seeks to provide educational opportunities related to the search for exoplanets, addressing questions of detecting exoplanets and determining their habitability. The selected candidate will be charged with creating models and supporting the implementation of Minecraft versions of fictional and known planets.  Specifically, this postdoc position will be tasked with providing: calculations, observed evidence (from other researchers), and possibly simulations, for the targeted worlds to be built in Minecraft. Typical hiring range for this soft money funded position is $45,000 to $50,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Complete Job Description

The University of Maine is a community of more than 11,200 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2,500 employees located on the Orono campus and throughout the state. UMaine is the state land and sea grant university and maintains a leadership role as the System’s flagship university.  As a result, it is dedicated to providing excellent teaching, research, and service at the university, state, and national levels.


Further information about UMaine can be found at


The University of Maine offers a wide range of benefits  for employees including, but not limited to, tuition benefits (employee and dependent), comprehensive insurance coverage including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and short and long term disability as well as retirement plan options. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, the University of Maine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.


UMaine is located in beautiful Central Maine. Many employees report that a primary reason for choosing to come to UMaine is quality of life.  Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, high quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor area a wonderful place to live. 


Learn more about what the Bangor region has to offer here .


  • Ph.D. in Astronomy or Astrophysics, ideally with emphasis on properties of stars and star systems by date of hire. 
  • Experience playing and programming Minecraft.


  • Experience and/or training in education outreach.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both at the scientific level and will colleagues in the field of education. 

Materials must be submitted via "Apply For Position" below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload:


1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position
2.) a resume/curriculum vitae
3.) contact information for three professional references


You will also need to submit the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University. We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.


Search Timeline is as follows:
Review of applications to begin: December 16, 2019
On-site interviews to begin no earlier than: December 17, 2019
Tentative start date: January 21, 2020


For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Neil Comins at .


Appropriate background checks are required.


The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Amie Parker, Interim Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

Fiscal Year (12 Months)

Cover Letter, References, Resume/CV
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