Join Our Research Community

Join A Diverse Scientific Community

The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) welcomes applications from scientists who are interested in being active members of and contributing to our community as Associate Research Scientists, Research Scientists, Senior Scientists, Education and Communication Specialists, and Senior Education and Communication Specialists. PSI is a growing, non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1972. We are involved in numerous NASA missions, the study of Mars, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, the origin of the solar system, planet formation about other stars, dynamics, impact physics, and the rise of life. PSI scientists conduct field work worldwide and are also actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, citizen science, children’s books, popular science books and art.

Applicants are encouraged to review Who We Are.

PSI is headquartered in Tucson, AZ, and we have a office in Lakewood, CO, outside Denver. Our scientists are distributed in multiple States and sites outside of the United States.


Candidates are expected to develop their own independent, externally funded research or education programs. A Ph.D. is generally required at the time of appointment. The level of appointment will depend upon background and experience. An Associate Research Scientist is usually a newer Ph.D. in the process of establishing funding. Associate Research Scientist positions are one year, renewable. A Research Scientist has a demonstrated record of conducting research as a Principal Investigator, and Senior Scientists couple this with more than ten years of experience post-Ph.D. An Education and Communication Specialist has a demonstrated ability to design, develop and manage independent, externally funded education and public outreach programs. A Senior Education and Communication Specialist couples this with ten (10) years of experience beyond Ph.D., or equivalent relevant experience.

All applicants must agree to a background check.


The following must be submitted by all applicants:

  • Cover letter that includes a brief statement of your interest in PSI and whether you plan to locate at the Tucson office or elsewhere.
  • Current curriculum vitae (including publication list and current and pending grants, abbreviated as appropriate).
  • 1-2 page statement of research interests, goals and plans. This should also include your thoughts about being a contributing member to the PSI community (e.g., through collaborations, expanding institutional expertise in new directions, participating in ongoing programs either in research or E/PO).
  • Full contact information (email, address) for a minimum of 3 references.
  • Application for Employment & Pre-Offer Voluntary Self-Identification Form (please note that this form will be held confidentially in the HR Dept. and will not be distributed with your other application documentation).

Please submit all application materials electronically in PDF format to: [email protected]


Complete applications are reviewed by the PSI science staff during our monthly staff meetings.

PSI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, including disability/veterans.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical and/or mental disability, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you would like more information about your EEO rights as an applicant under the law, please click on the EEO poster located on this page or at this link.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or other applicable law, and if requested in advance, we will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants in need of accommodation so as to permit access to the application, interview, and selection processes. Please contact Human Resources at 520-382-0594 or email [email protected].

PSI’s Affirmative Action Plans for Minorities and Women, and for Individuals with Disabilities and Protected Veterans are available for inspection by contacting PSI’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Administrator, Linda Rueger, 520-382-0594, [email protected], during normal business hours.