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Williams College
Non-Tenure-Track Position in Astronomy


Williams College invites applications for a position as Lecturer in Astronomy (0.5-time) and Observatory Supervisor (0.5-time), joint in the Department of Astronomy and the Department of Physics, beginning July 2018.

Note that this is one of two open positions in Astronomy at Williams.

We seek highly qualified candidates with research experience who are committed to undergraduate teaching and to working with a diverse student body. We welcome applications from members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the field. A Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or a closely related field is strongly preferred, as is experience relevant to the responsibilities described below. Although posted as a 3-year, renewable, Lecturer-rank position, there is some flexibility in the term and rank; depending on the qualifications of the applicant pool, it is possible that this position may be converted to a tenure-track line.

Responsibilities for this position include: teaching and maintaining all introductory-course indoor astronomy labs; supervising and maintaining the observatory and all its equipment; working with undergraduate teaching assistants (recruiting, training, and supervising nighttime observing TAs; recruiting planetarium TAs); supervising introductory-course solar observing; designing and supervising advanced-course observing projects; and supervising and maintaining the Astronomy Department computing facilities. Some funds for research may be available, as appropriate.

Our on-campus facilities include: a newly-upgraded 0.6-meter DFM telescope with dome automation, new Finger Lakes CCD, and a spectrograph, plus several smaller ancillary telescopes, all atop the Physics & Astronomy building; and Astronomy Department computing facilities. The successful candidate will be an Associate of the Hopkins Observatory. The original building of the Hopkins Observatory (constructed 1836-38), the oldest extant astronomical observatory in the United States, now houses a Zeiss planetarium and Alvan Clark’s first telescope. Please see for more information. Yearly reports on Astronomy-related activities are available in

Williams College is a member of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (, a group of eight highly selective northeast liberal arts colleges. KNAC offers a summer student research exchange among consortium schools, and hosts an annual student research symposium in the fall. Williams is also a member of the recent Northeast Astronomy Participation Group of the Astrophysical Research Consortium, through which Astronomy faculty have access to the ARC 3.5-meter and ARCSAT 0.5-meter telescopes at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Finally, Williams is a part of the educational program of the Zwicky Transient Facility of the Palomar Observatory.

All applications should be submitted online through Interfolio ( Please include: a letter of application; a curriculum vitae; a statement of teaching philosophy, including your approach to teaching a diverse student body and how your work would maintain the long tradition of Astronomy at Williams; and arrange for three letters of recommendation to arrive by the application deadline. The deadline for completed applications is October 30, 2017. Please address questions to Prof. Karen Kwitter, co-Chair of the search committee:

All offers of employment are contingent upon completion of a background check. Further information is available here:
 Williams College is a coeducational liberal arts institution located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. The college has built its reputation on outstanding teaching and scholarship and on the academic excellence of its approximately 2,000 students. Please visit the Williams College website ( Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations for non-discrimination, Williams College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive.