Faculty Application Guidance

The 2023-2024 search for a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences is open to any area of astrophysics. 

Applicants to this faculty search should submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a research statement, a teaching and mentoring statement, and a diversity, equity and inclusion statement. Guidance on these items follows:

Cover Letter

The cover letter should be a brief (1- to 2-page) expression of interest and may provide any background information that does not appear elsewhere in the application package. It is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the selection committee. This letter should frame your application, highlight what you are most proud of, why you are excited about CU, and why you think you are a good fit for this position. 

Curriculum Vitae and List of Publications

The CV should include information relevant to an application for a scientific research, teaching, and service position. Commonly, these items may include educational history; research, teaching, and mentoring experience; positions held; grants, awards, fellowships, and successful observing proposals; service work; open-source codes you work on; important presentations; or other content relevant to your professional career. The list of publications can include peer-reviewed publications and non-refereed articles, book chapters, white papers, and abstracts (with clear demarcation between categories).

Research Statement

The description of your intended research program and interests should typically be about 3 pages and may include discussion of previous and current work, general interests, and future research plans. Since faculty are hired with their long-term success and tenure in mind, it pays to include long-term research plans and goals in the research statement, as well as what you envision for the scientific research group you will lead. Some CU-specific scientific resources available to faculty are outlined in the job ad.

Teaching and Mentoring Statement

This statement should be 2 to 3 pages and can include previous experience relevant to teaching and/or mentoring students, statements of your pedagogical philosophy, thoughts about how you plan to mentor research students, and/or future plans for how you wish to contribute as a teacher and a scholar. Applicants should discuss where their teaching interests complement or supplement the current course structure of APS for graduate and/or undergraduate students.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

This should be about 1 page, providing a focused discussion of your expertise and/or goals related to promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive scientific community.  This could include ideas for serving and/or mentoring a diverse student body, particularly in STEM fields; plans for bringing new perspectives to research, education, and service; or any relevant experience or expertise. Be as specific as possible and help paint a picture of how you can contribute to building an academic community that is more equitable and just. 

Evaluation Criteria

Your submitted application will be carefully reviewed by a panel of tenure-track faculty in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences. If invited for an interview visit, you will present a colloquium on your research program and future plans as a faculty member, meet with members of the department, and participate in interviews with separate faculty and graduate student panels. We will evaluate applications with the following criteria:

  • Research: We are looking for candidates with innovative research programs centered around creative ideas, techniques, and/or use of facilities. Evidence of past and ongoing scientific productivity is essential, as well as a plan of what you expect for your group’s research over approximately the next 5 years. Demonstrations of scientific leadership or community recognition are helpful too. While this 2023-2024 search is open to all areas of astrophysics, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates working in the following areas of strategic interest to the department (in alphabetical order): astronomical instrumentation, cosmology, exoplanets, extragalactic astrophysics, multimessenger astrophysics, and transient phenomena.


  • Teaching: We are looking for candidates with experience, potential, and/or enthusiasm for mentoring and teaching students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Be sure to articulate your vision for your role as a classroom instructor and as a research mentor. We recognize that some candidates may have had limited opportunities to teach or mentor students in their previous positions. 


  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We are looking for candidates who can serve as effective mentors to diverse groups of junior scientists; who will contribute by their actions or example to a more inclusive, just, and representative academic community; and who will take their responsibilities seriously as stewards of future generations of scientists. Both past experience and future plans are relevant to the evaluation.  

Need Help?

The departmental Tenure-Track Faculty Job Description and Duties page provides information about what to expect as a new APS faculty member. Questions about the application process, what to expect, life and work in APS and CU Boulder, or other topics can be addressed to APS Business Manager Robyn Ronen (robyn.ronen@colorado.edu). Ms. Ronen is not involved in the evaluation or selection of candidates.