Job Opportunity: Associate Scientist/Scientist/Sr. Scientist, Planetary Science at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX, invites applications for one or more full-time staff scientists. Applicants will be enthusiastic self-starters with a record of outstanding research and a demonstrated ability to secure external funding post Ph.D. Applicants of any career level will be considered. Preference will be given to applicants with expertise in areas not currently covered by our existing staff, such as (but not limited to) giant planets, exoplanets, or astrobiology, but we are open to applicants with any relevant planetary background. The successful applicant(s) is expected to actively contribute to the LPI’s culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and community service.

In addition to carrying out their own research programs, LPI staff scientists play an important role in supporting NASA and the planetary community. This support includes (but is not limited to) activities such as: participating in and/or running LPI’s highly successful summer intern program; involvement in education and outreach activities; working with NASA to initiate and run focused workshops and conferences; leading the LPI Regional Planetary Image Facility; conceiving and implementing broad, multi-year science initiatives; producing material of community interest for our website, newsletters and the LPI Bulletin; and supervising visiting students and interns. Experience in some of these areas is desirable, and excellent communication skills are expected. LPI staff scientists also participate in NASA/NRC review and advisory panels, supervise postdocs, and are active members of NASA planetary missions and instrument teams.

In addition to collaborations with the in-house science staff, the successful candidate can enjoy interactions with scientists at the nearby NASA Johnson Space Center Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, and with faculty of the nearby Rice University and the University of Houston. The LPI hosts a NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) team focused on the Moon and on impact processes, and has recently established a center for planetary radar. The successful applicant may be able to arrange access to ARES’ analytical facilities (e.g., SEM, EMP, LA-ICP-MS) and experimental laboratories (e.g., high P-T petrology, hydrothermal, impact).

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, or a related subject; they must be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, and be able to pass a detailed government background investigation.

For more information about the position, please contact the LPI Director, Dr. Louise Prockter at 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

3600 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston TX 77058-1113

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, veteran status, disabilities, or sexual orientation or identity.