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Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Physics & Astronomy

West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV
Closing date
Jan 18, 2022

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Science, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Astronomy, Physics
Organization Type
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The Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University (WVU) invites applications for a Teaching Assistant Professor position starting August 1st, 2022. This is a full-time, nine-month, non-tenure track position with full benefits. Teaching Assistant Professor appointments have renewable terms of up to three years, with no limit on the number of terms. Summer teaching assignments can be requested if desired. Teaching Assistant Professors are eligible for promotion, e.g., to Teaching Associate Professor and Teaching Full Professor; however, promotion to senior ranks is not a requirement for institutional commitment and career stability.

The successful candidate will contribute to our teaching mission by providing exemplary instruction of physics and astronomy classes at all levels and direct the WVU Planetarium and Observatory by providing oversight of the on-site planetarium and planetarium outreach activities. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: teaching primarily introductory physics and astronomy courses in a large lecture format as well as opportunities to teach other astronomy and physics courses; direction of the introductory astronomy laboratory; oversight of the on-site planetarium and associated optical and radio telescopes; development of outreach activities involving the planetarium; collaboration with Physics Education Research faculty at WVU; and engagement with the regional and national physics education communities.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy consists of 25 tenured and tenure-track faculty, one teaching associate professor, one teaching full professor, 16 research faculty and postdoctoral researchers, 90 Ph.D. graduate students, and 70 undergraduate physics majors. The main research areas are astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, physics education, and plasma physics.

WVU is an R1 research land grant university located within 90 minutes of Pittsburgh and 3.5 hours from the Washington/Baltimore area. Morgantown has been recognized as one of the most livable small cities in the U.S. There are extensive recreational opportunities, excellent public schools, and a supportive University environment in which to develop a visible and productive career. The WVU Dual Career Program is available to assist candidates with suitable employment opportunities for spouses or partners.


The successful applicant must have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in astronomy, physics, physics education research, or a closely related field by time of appointment; excellent written and oral communication/teaching skills; the ability to teach effectively in a large lecture format; and the ability to oversee a planetarium and associated telescopes. Candidates with an understanding of astronomy and a specific background in or a history of demonstrated interest and activity in astronomy are strongly encouraged to apply. The normal teaching load is 4 courses per semester with a 2 course per year reassignment to facilitate and collaborate on the operation and development of programs for the Department of Physics and Astronomy's Planetarium and Observatory (3-3 load).

To apply, please visit WVU Careers. Applicants should upload a cover letter, statement of teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references as part of the application process. The cover letter should address the applicant's qualifications for each aspect of the responsibilities listed above. The screening process will begin January 14, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. For more information, please visit our website (, or contact the chair of the search committee, Prof. John Stewart by email at (see application details).

WVU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity. The university values diversity among its faculty, staff, and students, and invites applications from all qualified individuals, including minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.
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