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Lab Coord Physics

Bucknell University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Mar 1, 2024

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Job Details

Lab Coord Physics & Astronomy

Olin Science Building

Position Title:
Lab Coord Physics & Astronomy

Position Type:
Full time

Olin Science Building

Staff Exempt

Job Summary:
The Laboratory Coordinator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy is a vital link between faculty, technicians, and undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) in our two large, introductory course sequences: PHYS 211/212 (STEM majors, 200-300 students per semester and 9-13 weekly lab sections offered) and ASTR 101/102 (non-majors, no STEM prerequisites, 60 students per semester, with 3 weekly lab sections offered and night labs at the Bucknell Observatory). The Laboratory Coordinator will teach two introductory lab sections each semester, comprising approximately 30% of the Coordinator's workload. In the current configuration of course offerings, this allocation would consist of one PHYS 211 (fall) or PHYS 212 (spring) lab section, and one ASTR 101 (fall) or ASTR 102 (spring) lab section with responsibilities for a portion of the associated night observing labs for the course. Night observing labs require the coordinator to share responsibilities with other ASTR lab instructors and supervise observatory lab activities at the Bucknell Observatory 1-2 nights per week. The position also supports outreach events that reach the broader community.
We expect the largest component of the coordinator's workload, roughly 40% of their time and concentrated during the academic year (August to May), to consist of directly managing introductory lab activities, including tasks such as hiring, scheduling, and training undergraduate TAs to assist with labs, overseeing the implementation of lab materials (lab manuals, weekly quizzes, lab practicum exercises), and coordinating with technicians and other campus entities to ensure that all necessary equipment is operational and available for both regularly scheduled day labs (for physics and astronomy courses) and night observing labs (for astronomy courses). We expect that an additional 15% of the Coordinator's workload will be devoted to development work: revising lab activities, developing new activities, or exploring ways to incorporate more engaging or innovative activities into our large lab courses, which would primarily happen over the summer. The remaining 15% will be for outreach activities, including supervising monthly observing events.
The Department of Physics & Astronomy comprises 14 tenured and tenure-track faculty supported by two technical staff, one academic assistant, and the lab coordinator we seek to hire with this announcement. The Department operates a small observatory which houses an historic (1887) Clark refractor and a suite of more modern 8” and 11” Celestron CGEM telescopes for use in both introductory and advanced courses. Our introductory physics courses are taken by students majoring in math and science disciplines, students in the College of Engineering; our introductory astronomy courses are taken by students from all majors in a liberal arts environment.
The Department typically offers approximately 30 laboratory sections per year in introductory-level physics and astronomy. The Department is committed to increasing the diversity of students developing proficiency in STEM fields. At their best, our labs are one demonstration of this commitment. The successful candidate for this position will work inclusively with a diverse group of students and TAs, and be committed to equitable practices in laboratory instruction.

Job Duties:

1. Lab Management/Administration (40%): Work with faculty to coordinate activities for courses with multiple lab sections, including our introductory calculus-based physics sequence (PHYS 211/212) and our introductory astronomy sequence (ASTR 101/102). This work, supported by the academic assistant, includes maintaining lab manuals, hiring and training of student TAs, handling student scheduling issues, and working with departmental shop technicians and other campus entities to manage lab activities in the different lab spaces (including the Observatory) used by our large introductory courses.

2. Teaching (30%): Teach 2 introductory lab sections per semester. The teaching assignment each semester will typically be one section each of PHYS 211/212 lab and ASTR 101/102 lab (a daytime lab section with an additional night lab component). Daytime labs for both PHYS and ASTR lab courses meet nearly weekly for 3 hours; night observing labs are shared among the ASTR lab instructors, and involve supervising up to two hours of observing activities 1-2 nights a week, weather permitting.

3. Lab Development (15%): revising lab activities, developing new activities, or exploring ways to incorporate more engaging or innovative activities into our large lab courses. Such work may be individual, such as keeping abreast of pedagogical techniques or attending professional meetings, or collaborative, such as participating in department meetings or committees to help align labs with overarching goals of inclusive student-centered pedagogy.

4. Outreach (15%): coordinating monthly observing events, with support from an astronomy technician and student workers, and additionally supporting occasional special events at the observatory.

Minimum qualifications

1. Master's degree in physics, astronomy, science education, education, or a related field, or relevant experience enabling the staff member to sufficiently cover job duties listed above

2. A commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and the liberal arts mission

Job Exempt:
Salary Range:

The offer rate will be based on a review of the candidate's credentials compared to the qualifications of the position, internal equity, and our overall compensation philosophy.

This role is not budgeted for visa sponsorship at this time, all candidates must be authorized to work in the US at the time of submission of the application.



Eligible full- and part-time employees are compensated beyond base salary through our total rewards package that includes (but is not limited to):
  • Flexible scheduling options determined by role;
  • Medical, prescription drug, vision, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance options
  • An outstanding 10% employer contribution to your retirement plan (no contribution requirement for non-exempt positions)
  • Generous paid time off, including vacation and sick time, a community service day, and 19 paid holidays (including two full weeks off for Winter Break!)
  • Full-time and part-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for themselves. Additionally, full-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for their spouse/spousal equivalent and are eligible for various tuition programs for their children. Credit for full-time benefits eligible employment at other institutions of higher education will be applied to waiting periods.
  • A comprehensive employee wellness program including program incentives
  • A myriad of other benefits, including parental leave, an employee assistance program, fitness center membership, and the power of your Bucknell ID card

To learn more about Bucknell's benefits, click here! (*Eligibility criteria and waiting periods may apply.)

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Bucknell is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports the growth and development of a diverse campus community. We endeavor to enhance our capacity to value and capitalize on the cultural richness that diversity brings. We encourage all individuals to apply and do not discriminate in admissions, employment, educational programs and/or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex/gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or family status, military or veteran status, or genetic information.

To apply, visit



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