FULL TIME POSITION (50% TENURE TRACK PROFESSOR AND 50% SW2 - WORKLEADER) IN TEACHING AND LEARNING ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS IN A PLANETARIUM
(ref. ZAP-2019-135)Last modification : Friday, November 8, 2019
The Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Faculty of Education and Educational Sciences and the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium jointly invite applications from outstanding researchers to strengthen our (discipline based) educational research programme within the project INTERSTELLAR (INTERdisciplinary Study of (sTudEnt) Learning in a pLAnetaRium). This full time position (Prf-020) has been created in the context of the FED-tWIN programme (Programme of sustainable research cooperation between the federal scientific institutes (FSI) and the universities), which aims at establishing a sustainable research cooperation between KU Leuven and the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (www.astro.oma.be) and will consist of a 50% appointment in each of these institutions. The ultimate goal of the position is to develop an internationally recognized expertise centre on learning and teaching astronomy and astrophysics for various kinds of audiences and different age groups. At KU Leuven, the position is a tenure-track professorship (50%), jointly advertised between the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science in the field of Astronomy Education Research. The research groups involved in this multidisciplinary endeavour are the Institute of Astronomy as well as the Physics Education Research group and the Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology. The Institute of Astronomy is renowned as expertise centre for stellar astrophysics as well as its contribution to international astrophysical infrastructure programmes. It is also responsible for an international master programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Physics Education Research group focusses on the teaching and learning of physics, astronomy and integrated STEM, both in secondary and higher education. The Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology investigates learning and teaching in specific subject domains. This research takes place in experimental as well as ecologically valid settings and uses a diversity of quantitative and qualitative methods, including design experiments aimed at the construction and validation of powerful learning environments. At the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the position is a 50% contractual researcher appointment (contract of undetermined duration at the level of work leader - salary scale SW2). The Planetarium is the educational service of the Observatory. The Planetarium welcomes more than 50 000 visitors per year, most of whom are children and students. The educational staff of the Planetarium provides the content of the school visits. The educational staff comprises four scientific animators. In addition to the live astronomy lessons in the dome, the school groups can participate to specific workshops adapted to the level of the pupils (from kindergarten to university level). The position consists of academic teaching, research, and services to the community. Candidates are expected to have a strong research profile, and excellent teaching skills.
- You develop or further develop a strong and innovative research programme in the domain of astronomy and astrophysics education in a Planetarium. This research programme may also involve research on teaching and learning and/or teacher training in these two curricular domains beyond the specific context of the Planetarium
- You develop collaborations with the colleagues involved in physics education research, geography education research, educational research, astronomy and astrophysics and Planetarium professionals
- You setup a network with other research centres and Planetaria both nationally and internationally
- You publish in international scientific journals
- You acquire external research funding
- You supervise PhD students to a high standard
In general, you are expected to contribute to the further (multi campus) development of the program of Master of Education in Science and Technology and possibly other domains. Additionally, you will take up academic responsibility for MSc theses. You develop your teaching in line with the teaching philosophy of KU Leuven based on activating, research-based and practice-oriented teaching.
- You take on academic responsibilities in the Research Groups and faculties to which you are affiliated
- You are actively involved in the translation and dissemination of scientific knowledge to the field, including lectures, workshops and seminars, especially for teachers
We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate with following profile and experience:
- you have a master's degree (or equivalent) in either Science (Physics, Astronomy or similar), Science education (Physics/Astronomy) or Educational Science
- you have a PhD degree in either Science (Physics, Astronomy or similar), Science education (Physics/Astronomy) or Educational Science, obtained at the earliest 12 years before the submission date of the job application. The 12-year period is extended by one year for each maternity, parental & adoption leave & for each long-term sick leave of yourself or your immediate family.
- you have experience in science education (e.g. teacher degree, involvement in teacher education experience with science popularisation, …) or other relevant areas
- you have expertise in (discipline based) education research: 1) basic expertise in scientific methods in (discipline based) educational sciences: design and validation of measurement instruments, think aloud interview techniques, research designs (experiment, quasi-experiment, design-based research, correlational studies) and the accompanying data analysis methods, etc. 2) basic knowledge of main theoretical frameworks in educational psychology and instructional design
- you have an excellent publication record
- you have experience in research proposal writing, writing of peer reviewed journal papers and conference papers
- you have experience in oral presentations at international fora like workshops, colloquia and conferences
- you have demonstrated potential for academic leadership
- experience in obtaining external funding is an asset
- you have excellent verbal and written communication skills
- you have interest in working both with students and their teachers (primary and secondary education)
- you have organizational and time management skills
- Proficiency in English is required. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required standard.
- Fluency in French is an asset.
- As the FED-tWIN profile is truly interdisciplinary, we are seeking for a flexible and open-minded team player
We offer a full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research and is one of the most innovative universities in the world. The appointment will consist of a 50% appointment at KU Leuven and 50% at the Planetarium of Brussels. The KU Leuven appointment will be a joint appointment to both the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. Candidates will be recruited as assistant professor in a tenure track position with evaluation after 5 years. In case of positive evaluation after 5 years, the candidate will then be appointed to the rank of associate professor. In Belgium, assistant professors are allowed to be main supervisor of a PhD and can autonomously apply as principal investigator for research grants. KU Leuven is offering financial resources to new professors to start up their own research lines. They can also apply for own project funding. At the Planetarium of Brussels, the appointment will consist of 50% contractual researcher (contract of undetermined duration as work leader - salary scale SW2).
KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, … To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.
To obtain more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. Mieke De Cock (email@example.com), Prof. dr. Wim Van Dooren (firstname.lastname@example.org) or dr. Rodrigo Alvarez (email@example.com). If you have problems submitting your application online, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
- a file on your five most important publications or realizations;
- an extensive cv including a full publication list;
- your research plan with focus on astronomy and astrophysics education, and the development of your research lines and research team in this respect (maximum 4 pages);
- your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
- your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);
- your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page).
The Royal Observatory of Belgium actively pursues a policy of diversity on the work floor and safeguards equal opportunities, equal treatment and equal access to the selection process for all applicants.
You can apply for this job no later than February 24, 2020 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.