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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Open-Rank Faculty Position - Observational Astronomy

The faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of South Carolina, Columbia campus, invites applications for a 9-month, full-time, open-rank faculty position in observational astronomy to begin August 16, 2024.

Candidates must have a PhD in observational astronomy/astrophysics or physics with at least two years of postdoctoral experience by the start date of employment and a commitment to excellence in teaching. We welcome applications from candidates working in all areas of observational astronomy, especially galactic and extragalactic astronomy. The successful candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, build a strong externally funded research program in observational astronomy, and interact with the existing astronomy research group in the department. The department has an active research program in areas such as distant galaxies, quasars, galaxy evolution, and interstellar/intergalactic matter. This position is part of an effort to further grow astronomy research and establish an astronomy major in the department.

At the University of South Carolina, we strive to cultivate an inclusive environment that is open, welcoming, and supportive of individuals of all backgrounds. We recognize diversity in our workforce is essential to providing academic excellence and critical to our sustainability. The University is committed to eliminating barriers created by institutional discrimination through accountability and continuous process improvement. We celebrate the diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences of our employees.

From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, the University of South Carolina system is transforming the lives of South Carolinians through the impact of our eight institutions and 20 locations throughout the state. More than 50,000 students are enrolled at one of eight institutions, including the research campus in Columbia and comprehensive four-year universities in Aiken, Upstate, and Beaufort. In addition, our Palmetto College campuses in Salkehatchie, Union, Lancaster, and Sumter enable students to earn associate or bachelor’s degrees through a combination of in-person, online, or blended learning. All of our system institutions place strong emphasis on service — helping to build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and beyond.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at USC, a Carnegie Research 1 University, consists of 26 faculty members and is currently growing. Our main research areas are astronomy/astrophysics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and quantum physics. Further information about the department may be found at

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

How to Apply

All applicants must apply online at USCJobs at Applications must include: (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) list of publications, (4) research plan, (5) teaching statement, and (6) the names and contact information, including email address and phone number, of at least 3 references. References will be contacted to provide signed letters of recommendation. Review of complete applications will begin on December 1, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Inquiries about this position may be directed to Dr. Varsha Kulkarni at

You can download this job ad [pdf].

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