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Postdoctoral Research Scholar - NASA SCoPE

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Arizona State University: Office of the University Provost Tempe: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: School of Earth and Space Exploration


Tempe, Arizona

Open Date

May 17, 2024


The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University invites applications for a postdoctoral research scholar in Earth and space science education and communication.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to work at the intersection of Earth and space science, education, public engagement, and science communication.

The NASA SCoPE (Science Mission Directorate Community of Practice for Education) project based at Arizona State University in the School of Earth and Space Exploration is seeking a postdoctoral scholar. NASA SCoPE is funded to cultivate a community of practice among NASA science and engineering experts, early career scientists and the Science Activation (SciAct) portfolio of NASA-funded education and outreach projects. This community is a collaborative effort to communicate NASA science through the creation of inspiring educational materials that are effective, scientifically authentic, and broaden participation of historically marginalized communities.

The NASA SCoPE project is currently working to facilitate the recruitment and effective connection of NASA-funded scientists and engineers with education and outreach projects within the NASA Science Activation program. The postdoctoral scholar would support this project in the following ways:

  1. Collect data in the form of reviews of publicly accessible documents (program webpages, summaries of existing trainings, etc.) and interviews/surveys with both scientists and Science Activation team members. These data will expand the NASA SCoPE team’s understanding of the existing needs of NASA’s SciAct project teams and existing practices that have been found to be effective.
  2. Complete relevant literature reviews related to best practices in engaging scientists and engineers in education and outreach activities.
  3. Provide analysis and co-author papers based on the above data.
  4. Attend and present at professional conferences.
  5. Interface with organizations and projects working broadly in the realm of training and connecting scientists to education and outreach opportunities, and use these connections to (a) identify ways that the NASA SCoPE project, or NASA SciAct more generally, can improve their practices of involving scientists and engineers in NASA-relevant education and public outreach, and (b) disseminate best practices that might improve similar activities among other groups.

Although the scholar will work closely with senior team members with education research expertise, significant autonomy and self-sufficiency is expected. The activities described above are those that align with current project needs. The ideal candidate will also bring or generate their own ideas for research that will expand on and enhance the ones that the NASA SCoPE team has already identified.

Preferred candidate would work from the ASU campus in Tempe, AZ. The initial appointment is for one year with subsequent annual renewal for an additional year contingent upon satisfactory performance, the needs of the university, and availability of resources. The estimated start date is July 2024. This position comes with a competitive salary, funding for travel to relevant conferences, and health benefit coverage.

About the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE)

SESE is an interdisciplinary school, bringing together all of Earth and space science at ASU, including astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, and geology, as well as science education and engineering for exploration. Read more about SESE at https://sese.asu.edu/.

About Arizona State University

ASU is a large, comprehensive, research university and for nearly two decades, has transformed into the “New American University,” one dedicated to the simultaneous pursuit of excellence, broad access to quality education, and meaningful societal impact. By our Charter and Design Aspirations, we center inclusion and success as values that drive the enterprise; adopt inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning as ways to address society’s greatest challenges; and develop innovative partnerships to produce master learners across the lifespan. To learn more about ASU, visit http://www.asu.edu.


Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in education (or a relevant social sciences field) or a PhD in the Earth or space sciences (supplemented by formal training in either education or social science research methods) by the start date. The candidate should also have training and experience in either quantitative or qualitative research methods in education or social science.

Desired qualifications include expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Training and experience in Earth or space science is not required, but the position will involve significant work with NASA scientists and educators, so enthusiasm for NASA’s public outreach/education work is desirable. Moreover, although not required, some relevant experience in NASA sciences is desirable for the candidate to connect with relevant subject matter experts. Candidates must be within four years from receipt of the doctoral degree.

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit to http://apply.interfolio.com/146343 to include the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Contact information for three references.
  • Curriculum vitae with a publication list
  • A statement of past research accomplishments and future research goals (three pages or less)

Deadline for initial review of complete applications will be June 17, 2024. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool. Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is closed.

Postdoctoral benefits can be found at: https://cfo.asu.edu/new-employee-orientation https://graduate.asu.edu/postdocs/welcome-postdocs

A background check is required for employment. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

(See https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html and https://www.asu.edu/titleIX/.)

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://www.asu.edu/police/PDFs/ASU-Clery-Report.pdf

You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.