The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the worldwide organization of professional astronomers and a key component of its activities is the use of astronomy in furthering education — both in astronomy itself and in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in general. To this end, the IAU recently created the Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE), a joint venture with the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. The OAE is based at Haus der Astronomie in Heidelberg.
The OAE’s mission is to support and coordinate astronomy education by astronomy researchers and educators, aimed at primary or secondary schools worldwide. The OAE will organize an international network of astronomy education stakeholders, organize groups of scientists to collaborate on creating certain educational resources, facilitate and undertake a systematic evaluation of existing resources, and work towards establishing international standards of quality control and evaluation in astronomy education. Additional information can be found on the OAE’s temporary website.
Haus der Astronomie is currently seeking to fill A 5-year postdoctoral position in astronomy education research at the Office of Astronomy for Education at the newly founded OAE:
The holder of which will serve as the OAE’s Astronomy Education Research Coordinator. The postholder will contribute to all OAE activities, in particular those that directly involve astronomy education or physics education research, and will take responsibility for suitable projects and sub-projects. Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae, publication list, a brief statement of research interests, and the contact information for no fewer than two senior scientists willing to provide a recommendation, no later than 28 February 2020. Additional information about the position and the necessary qualifications, as well as a link to the online application portal, can be found
• have a Ph.D. in astronomy education research (AER), physics education research (PER), or a Ph.D. in a related subject area and equivalent qualifications in AER/PER
• have practical and, if possible, research experience in evaluating astronomy education resources, activities, and teaching methods
• be thoroughly familiar with the accepted academic standards for evaluating education resources, activities, and teaching methods
• have experience in collaborating in an international academic environment; experiences with editing and publishing collaborative works are considered a plus
The position has a preferred starting date of April 1, 2020, and is limited until February 28, 2025. The remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) depending on qualification and experience in level E13. Social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service. Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae, publication list, a brief statement of research interests, and the contact information for no less than two senior scientists willing to provide a recommendation, no later than February 28, 2020.
Subject to compatibility with the activities of the OAE, applicants are encouraged to conduct their own research projects. All in all, this five-year postdoc should qualify applicants for a faculty position in astronomy education or astronomy education research.
We also explicitly encourage early-career scientists to apply.
Deadline: February 28, 2020.
For further information, please contact
Director, Office of Astronomy for Education
Haus der Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621