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Postdoctoral Research Associate (id:66790)
University of Maine in Orono, Maine
Date Posted 02/04/2021
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Postdoctoral Research Associate (id:66790)


Physics & Astronomy - OPS



Orono, ME

To develop professionally as a future science education faculty member and/or researcher. This position will advance an NSF-funded project to motivate interest in STEM topics by allowing Minecraft users to ask “What if?” questions about the Earth, such as “What if the Moon didn’t exist?” or “What if the Earth was a moon,” and explore the consequences of these variation in the popular video game Minecraft.  The project also seeks to provide educational opportunities related to the search for exoplanets, addressing questions of detecting exoplanets and determining their habitability.  The selected candidate will be charged with creating models and supporting the implementation of Minecraft versions of fictional and known planets.  Specifically, this postdoc position will be tasked with providing: calculations, observed evidence (from other researchers), and possibly simulations, for the targeted worlds to be built in Minecraft. The anticipated hiring salary for this soft-money funded position is $50,000. 


Complete Job Description

The University of Maine is a community of more than 11,200 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2,500 employees located on the Orono campus and throughout the state. UMaine is the state land and sea grant university and maintains a leadership role as the System’s flagship university.  As a result, it is dedicated to providing excellent teaching, research, and service at the university, state, and national levels.


Further information about UMaine can be found at


The University of Maine offers a wide range of benefits  for employees including, but not limited to, tuition benefits (employee and dependent), comprehensive insurance coverage including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and short and long term disability as well as retirement plan options. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, the University of Maine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.


UMaine is located in beautiful Central Maine. Many employees report that a primary reason for choosing to come to UMaine is quality of life.  Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, high quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor area a wonderful place to live. 


Learn more about what the Bangor region has to offer here .


  • Ph.D. Astronomy or in Science Education with experience in related fields.  
  • Ability to communicate effectively both at the scientific level and with colleagues in the field of education.  


  • Experience with Minecraft.  
  • Preference will be given to candidates with some training in and/or experience with education outreach. 

Materials must be submitted via "Apply For Position" below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload:


1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position
2.) a resume/curriculum vitae
3.) contact information for three professional references


You will also need to submit the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.


Search Timeline is as follows:
Review of applications to begin: April 1, 2021
On-site interviews to begin no earlier than: April 15, 2021
Tentative start date: September 1, 2021 



For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Neil Comins at or 207-581-1037.


Appropriate background checks are required.


The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Amie Parker, Interim Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

Fiscal Year (12 Months)

Cover Letter, References, Resume/CV
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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