Instructor – Term Faculty – UMD Physics and Astronomy

University of Minnesota
July 11, 2021
Duluth, MN
Job Type


The UMN has suspended hiring for most positions. However, we will continue hiring for positions critical to the University's mission and operations at this time. Applications are being accepted for this position and you are encouraged to apply. In-person interviews are suspended indefinitely and will be replaced by interviews in a virtual format. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the University of Minnesota.


Required Qualifications:
• By the start of the appointment, have obtained a M.S. degree candidate status in Physics, Astronomy, or a closely related field from a regionally accredited university.
• Minimum of one year of experience teaching a diverse group of students at the undergraduate level as a teaching assistant.
• Ability in written and oral communication.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Undergraduate-level teaching experience beyond the conventional TA duties.
• Expertise in using technology for teaching
• Experience teaching in an active-learning classroom setting.
• Ability to enthusiastically attract students to the field of physics including those students who traditionally have been underrepresented in the STEM fields
• Ability to work well in a collaborative environment.

About the Job

The UMD Physics and Astronomy Department is seeking a one year temporary faculty Instructor (job code 9404). Extension of duties between 75% time up to 100% time may be possible depending on department teaching needs.

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute a mix of leading discussion sections for introductory physics courses and appromitely one other course each semester or possibly leading introductory laboratory sessions. Which mix will depend on the qualifications and interest of the selected candidate. The Employer retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.

No relocation expenses will be provided. Selected candidate m ust be able to demonstrate authorization to work in the United States at the University of Minnesota-Duluth by the start date .

Review of complete applications will start July 26, 2021, and continue until the position is filled. Appointment dates are August 23, 2021 - May 22, 2022.

About the Department

We are a unique physics and astronomy department at a regional comprehensive university with a total enrollment around 10,000. The Swenson College of Science and Engineering serves 3000 students each semester, has a strong research portfolio, and is the #2 science and engineering school in Minnesota.

We have more physics majors than other schools of our type, due to a focus on undergraduate and M.S. research experiences. Research in lake/oceanography, particle physics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics is especially strong. Two-thirds of undergraduate physics majors participate in research or internships. Also 40% have a substantial interdisciplinary experience including engineering physics, biophysics, electrical engineering, and computer science. The department culture combining excellent teaching and research is similar to a better liberal arts school. Our approach to teaching introductory and core courses is collaborative, and we are early adopters of active-learning and other high-impact methods.

Campus overlooks beautiful Lake Superior on land that was called home by the Ojibwe people, ceded in an 1854 treaty, and before them the Dakota and Northern Cheyenne people. The women's team has the second most NCAA D1 hockey titles while the men are the two-time defending national champions. Individual winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, city-league curling, and fat-tire biking in city and regional parks are especially prominent. Summer outdoor activities include the Superior Hiking Trail, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and biking on the Duluth Traverse Trail. A multi-decade economic transition to tourism, healthcare, and education means Duluth also has excellent arts, crafts, music, ballet, food & drink, and history for a region of 150,000 residents.

Take a closer look at our department and the city of Duluth, MN and imagine your next career move is to here! For more information on this position or future hiring opportunities, send questions to .

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To apply, go to and search for job ID 341648.First,submit the application with cover letter and CV/resume in pdf format. Then, return to the "My Job Applications" page to attach the additional documents, also in pdf format . Complete applications include the online application, cover letter, and resume/CV, plus additional documents as follows: (1) Teaching/Research Philosophy and (2) Contact information for two professional references.. Even if you provide this information within the application, you must also attach the requested additional documents. Please do not miss this important step in the application process. Applications missing any of these documents may not be reviewed.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate authorization to work in the United States at the University of Minnesota-Duluth by the start date. Final candidates may be asked to provide additional information.

Review of complete applications will start July 26, 2021, and continue until the position is filled. Appointment dates are August 23, 2021 - May 22, 2022.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact a University of Minnesota Access Consultant at 612-624-3316.

If you have started receiving retirement annuity payments from the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) or Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) your eligibility for this position may be impacted. Please contact MSRS or PERA for any eligibility limitations.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: .

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Veterans and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD)

The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) consistently ranks among the top Midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's" America's Best Colleges" issue. UMD is part of the University of Minnesota public university system and is the second largest research university within the U of M system. The Duluth Campus is affiliated with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and School of Medicine, and is home to the Natural Resources Research Institute, the Large Lakes Observatory, and the Advanced Materials Center. Duluth is also the site of a major US EPA Research Laboratory. UMD is considered a "mid-sized Masters intensive" regional comprehensive public university.

Overlooking Lake Superior, UMD provides an alternative to both large research and small liberal arts environments and attracts students looking for a personalized learning experience on a medium-sized campus of a major university. A firm liberal arts foundation anchors a variety of traditional degree programs, as well as professional and graduate students that draw on UMD's many research institutes and labs.

UMD is a regional comprehensive land- and sea-grant state university, one of five coordinate campuses within the State of Minnesota system and with a total enrollment of approximately 11,000 students. SCSE is the largest college at UMD comprising approximately 3200 undergraduate students, 240 graduate students, 180 faculty, and 80 permanent staff. The college includes the science departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Mathematics and Statistics, as well as the ABET-accredited departments of Computer Science, Electrical, Chemical, Civil and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. There are significant opportunities for fostering existing and creating new ties with local, regional, and national industry stakeholders.

Situated at the western tip of Lake Superior, the city of Duluth offers an enticing selection of adventures for four season outdoor enthusiasts as well as a rich variety of cultural opportunities. Metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul is less than three hours south of Duluth.

A dynamic city on a hill situated at the western tip of Lake Superior, Duluth was named Outdoor magazine's Best Outdoors Town in 2014, celebrating its access to the outdoors and to Lake Superior -- the largest freshwater lake on earth by area. Duluth is home to hundreds of miles of biking, hiking, and skiing trails, including the Superior Hiking Trail, a 300+ mile trail intersecting Duluth, and the Duluth Traverse, an 85-mile multi-use biking and hiking trail stretching across town. In addition to the outdoors, the Twin Ports area has vibrant music, arts, crafts and craft brewing scenes, and a variety of award-winning restaurants. Duluth is a truly wonderful place to live, with great schools, health care, and affordable housing. It mixes its historic small-town feel with a dynamic urban economy and many cultural offerings.

Duluth, with a population of approximately 85,000 people, is located at the head of beautiful Lake Superior. As a major shipping port, over 1,000 vessels from around the world pass under its iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, annually. Duluth is a popular tourist destination, with 3.5 million people visiting the city annually, for a $780 million economic impact. More information about Duluth can be found at .

Smoking, chewing tobacco and the use of electronic cigarettes prohibited on all UMD property, including indoor facilities, campus grounds and University vehicles.

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