Job Opportunity: Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPIStaff Scientist

The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX invites applications for a full-time staff scientist. We seek an active, self-motivated researcher with external funding or excellent prospects of external funding who will perform outstanding scientific research in the lunar and planetary sciences.

At the LPI, the successful candidate will enjoy interactions with a diverse group of in-house scientists, with those of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), and with faculty of the nearby Rice University and the University of Houston. The LPI has expertise in many areas of planetary science and leads a NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute team. The successful candidate will have access to in-house computing and other resources at the LPI, and may negotiate access to the laboratory facilities of JSC-ARES, which includes materials analysis (EMP, TEMs, LA-ICPMS), high-TP experimental laboratory, and high-speed impact (gun) laboratory.

The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences or in a related discipline, and at least 10 years of experience in the field. The candidate must be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, and be able to pass a detailed government background investigation. The successful candidate will be expected to design and conduct research in planetary science, propose for and receive external funding for research, support and advise post-doctoral fellows and/or graduate students, seek involvement with spacecraft missions if appropriate, and participate with NASA and the science community in review panels, analysis and advisory groups, etc. We are particularly interested in hearing from prospective candidates who have expertise beyond that of our existing staff scientists.

Part of the role of an LPI staff scientist is to support NASA and the planetary community. This support includes (but is not limited to) activities such as running LPI’s highly successful summer intern program, leading the LPI Regional Planetary Image Facility, conceiving and implementing broad, multi-year science initiatives, producing material of community interest for our newsletters and the LPI Bulletin, supervising visiting students and interns, working with our sponsor to initiate and run focused workshops and conferences, and involvement in a number of public engagement activities. To enable this support of NASA and the community, the LPI will provide up to 50% of a staff scientist’s salary.

For more information about the position, please contact the LPI Director, Dr. Louise Prockter at [email protected]. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vita with a list of publications, a brief (maximum three pages) statement of research interests, and a list of three references to  Further information on current research and facilities at the LPI can be found on our website at

Lunar and Planetary Institute

3600 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston TX 77058-1113

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer