Position Information

Postdoctoral Catalyst Fellow
The LSST Corporation announces its Catalyst Fellowship Funded by the John Templeton Foundation for postdocs in the social sciences (broadly construed). The Catalyst Fellowship in social science supports early-career researchers to study social aspects of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) for up to three years.
Prospective applicants may be interested in, for example, the social organization of large-scale collaborations, broader implications of astronomical science, and methods for studying socio-technical systems. The social science postdocs will be part of a cohort with astrophysics postdocs and will be supported by a broad network of renowned mentors to realize the full potential of Rubin Observatory’s LSST. Applicants can propose to work at any LSSTC member institution (https://www.lsstcorporation.org/node/3) with a faculty supervisor of their choice.

Application deadline is January 15, 2023.

For job details see (bit.ly/lsstsocsci). There will be an online information and networking session on October 6, 2022 (for details on that see bit.ly/lsstideaslab). 

Position: Postdoctoral Catalyst Fellow
Organization: LSST Corporation
Location: Evanston,  IL 
United States
Salary: $72,000
Posting Start Date: 10/3/2022
Date Posted: 10/3/2022
Please also see the Call for Applications (bit.ly/lsstsocsci)  and Detailed Instructions (https://bit.ly/lsstsocinstr) for applying.

Catalyst social science fellows will be selected for their accomplishments and promise in two main areas: 1) original social scientific, interdisciplinary or humanistic research related to the Rubin Observatory and/or the LSST project; 2) meaningful participation in and contribution to the Rubin LSST community, including its diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DEI). 

Successful social science applicants will be enthusiastic about the novel possibilities, benefits, and challenges associated with working in a cross-disciplinary environment in which they are both studying and collaborating with astronomers and astrophysicists. Social scientists are not required to propose research that is immediately actionable to the production of LSST science, but should at minimum be open to exploring with their astronomy colleagues and/or research participants the value of social scientific inquiry and insights for informing how astronomers collaborate, communicate, and conduct team science. In other words, contribution to the Rubin LSST community may be achieved through the proposed research itself, or may involve activities that are ancillary to the applicant’s primary research question. We do not expect social science applicants to be versed in astronomy or astrophysics, but some knowledge of the purpose, origin, and scope of the Rubin Observatory and LSST project will be required to craft a strong research proposal (materials that will help applicants get familiar with these topics can be found here: https://www.lsst.org/about).    

  • Applicant demonstrates appropriate familiarity with bodies of scholarship relevant to their primary research question and makes a compelling argument for why the proposed research would advance the state of knowledge in their social scientific field(s). Due to the broad cross-disciplinary nature of this fellowship program, applicants should not assume that reviewers are experts in theories and concepts rooted in their home discipline. 
  • Applicant possesses the methodological skills to carry out their proposed research and/or has a feasible and clearly articulated plan for acquiring the requisite skills. Any quantitative or qualitative methods may be proposed, so long as the methods are appropriate for the chosen research question(s).
  • Applicant proposes creative, important, exciting, novel, and feasible research that is directly related to LSST—for example, research on other astronomical surveys or telescopes is not allowed if it does not involve direct comparison with LSST. Research questions should be clearly articulated. Although deep expertise on LSST at the time of application is not expected, applicants should be enthusiastic about acquiring such knowledge.  
  • Selection of the applicant as a Fellow would positively impact: a) the Fellow; b) the broader Rubin community; and possibly c) the broader academy and/or the general public.
  • Applicant has a strong commitment to advancing DEI in the academy and/or beyond.
  • Applicant is willing and excited to learn about the research being conducted by astronomy fellows in their Catalyst cohort and to share their own scholarly activities and insights with the Rubin LSST community. 
  • The applicant demonstrates how their proposed research has the potential to impact the way Rubin LSST science is conducted.
  • The applicant has ideas for modes of engagement or activities that could strengthen ties between social scientists and astrophysicists in a way that yields better (interdisciplinary) social science and better astronomy.
  • The applicant can demonstrate prior contributions to advancing equity, inclusion, and social justice in their field(s) of research (whether by one’s presence in the field or one’s actions); an understanding of the challenges that drive current DEI-related efforts; or an understanding of best practices for DEI (although a willingness to learn about, and participate in, the discovery of best practices is perhaps more important).
Status: This listing expires on: 12/2/2022
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Organization Information
LSST Corporation
1800 Sherman Suite 7-300

Evanston,  IL 
United States
(847) 869-3901
Lois Trautvetter

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