Vacancy - Science Communicator

Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) is seeking an experienced astronomer/science communicator

Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) is seeking an experienced astronomer/science communicator to join our team based at the Kielder Observatory, situated within the heart of Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park in Northumberland.

This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic, self-motivated science enthusiast to use astronomy to promote the awareness and understanding of science among the general public.  The primary function of the observatory is to support public education in astronomy.  Our aim is to inspire, enthuse and educate members of the public of all ages and backgrounds and engage them in discussions and observations of the night sky.  We do this in a way that is friendly, informative and interesting through our amazing team of astronomers, guest speakers, volunteers, outreach events in schools and colleges etc and, of course, through our award-winning observatory.

The science communicator will:

  • Assist in leading astronomical events, which are currently held 7 days per week in the evenings and weekends, engaging guests in discussions via presentations and observations of the night sky using our advanced large aperture telescopes
  • Deliver Keynote or PowerPoint presentations on Astronomy
  • Be a confident and fluent public speaker
  • Welcome all visitors to the Observatory, engage with visitors including school groups and families and manage visitor flow
  • Have exceptional presentation skills
  • Work alongside colleagues and volunteers and be a strong team player 
  • Participate in science festivals
  • Assist in communicating science through the media
  • Provide support to ad hoc requests for science communication activities
  • Research, develop and maintain the materials and equipment for the events
  • Participate in planning activities for each year
  • Participate in keeping performance statistics for reporting purposes
  • Undertake various administrative functions required to support the above and facilitate the smooth running of the organisation

Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • A passion for and detailed knowledge of astronomy, ideally supported by a degree in physical science or science education and/or proven experience in this field
  • Preferably at least one year of experience as a science communicator, or other demonstrable skills
  • Excellent communication skills and confidence in communicating with the general public, children and young people
  • A valid motor vehicle driver's licence
  • Effective team working abilities
  • Computer literacy and proficiency in word-processing, spreadsheets and presentation software

Most importantly… A passion for, and knowledge of, Astronomy