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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Assistant Professor in Planetary Science

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Earth and Space Science

Title: Assistant Professor in Planetary Science

Position Details

Position Description

The University of Washington (UW) seeks an outstanding scientist working at the forefront of planetary research in surfaces, atmospheres, or interiors of planets, exoplanets, or moons. This faculty position is in the Department of Earth & Space Sciences (ESS, of the College of the Environment at the rank of Assistant Professor. This position is a full-time, tenure track position with a 9-month service period. The anticipated start date is September 1, 2020.


The UW promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, and staff and the public. We seek applicants who are committed to these principles. Applicants should demonstrate the potential to support ESS’s collegial, collaborative culture and to fulfill our strong commitment to equity and inclusion through their research, teaching, and/or service. It is also desirable that applicants show a commitment to open science in their research.

The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, and offers one of the most exceptional research and teaching environments in the United States. Seattle is a region of explosive growth, global trade, and technological advancement. It is also a cultural metropolis surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle offers a quality of life that is among the highest in the country, with lakes and parks, walkability, bike lanes, and a lively music and cultural scene. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math (see  

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences, located in the College of the Environment, has four broad and overlapping focus areas: the solid earth, surface processes, geobiology, and space/planetary studies. The departmental community includes 42 research and teaching faculty, and typically has 80-90 graduate students and about 200 undergraduate majors. The department is home to USGS employees who study natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest. Several centers and programs, closely linked to the department, allow for unparalleled interdisciplinary educational and research opportunities. These include the School of Oceanography and other units in the College of the Environment; Departments of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics; Quaternary Research Center (QRC); and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN).


The new faculty member will be specialized in one or more of the following: geology, geomorphology, geochemistry, glaciology, or geophysics of planets and interactions with their atmospheres and oceans. They may focus on observations, experiments, and/or modeling. We seek a colleague who can contribute collaboratively within the department and has the potential to connect with other scientists in the College and the UW, for example, in the UW Astrobiology Program ( or Virtual Planetary Laboratory. Current or potential involvement in planetary exploration and/or use of remote sensing data is desirable but not essential.

Candidates should demonstrate the potential to build a vibrant, externally funded, and internationally recognized research program that addresses scientific questions of fundamental significance. Candidates should also show potential for high quality teaching in our undergraduate and graduate programs. They will demonstrate a commitment to mentoring in a diverse and inclusive university setting. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent in Geophysics, Geology, Planetary Sciences, or a related field at the time of appointment.


To apply, please submit application materials via Interfolio, including a curriculum vitae with publication list, and the contact information of 3 references. Applicants should also send 3 statements (less than 10 pages total for all statements combined): 1) A statement addressing research and leadership accomplishments, as well as future research plans. 2) A statement on teaching and mentoring. Applicants are also encouraged to include evidence of teaching effectiveness (e.g. teaching evaluations). 3) A statement on their past or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (see

Consideration of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received prior to December 1, 2019, but applications received after this date may be considered. Questions pertaining to the application process, potential disability accommodations, or the position in general can be addressed to Michelle Barr (

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed,
religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information,
gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Apply now

The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877)997-8807.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian,
staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint
( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code
recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal
opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and
responsibilities (