ann23023 — Announcement

IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach logo
23 June 2023
IAU Vacancy: IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Director

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is a hub for coordinating astronomy public outreach activities worldwide. The aim is to make it easier for the public to access information about our Universe and local and global astronomy events. The IAU OAO is based at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Mitaka Campus, Tokyo, Japan.

The IAU and NAOJ seek an excellent individual to join the IAU OAO. The OAO Director will be appointed according to the standard conditions of service of NAOJ employees and will report formally to the Director General of the NAOJ. The OAO Director is a contract position for three years, with the possibility of renewal under the standard employment procedures of the NAOJ.

The successful candidate will meet the following requirements: 

  • A degree related to astronomy or post-degree experience working in astronomy research;
  • Demonstrable strategic vision, project management and financial experience;
  • Experience of leading international projects;
  • Experience of working and communicating with astronomical outreach/education communities;
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills while working in/managing and leading multicultural teams;
  • Demonstrable volunteer network management;
  • Experience of editing a journal or publication with several contributors.
  • Good communication (both written and verbal) and presentation skills;
  • Good computer skills (e.g. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace), knowledge of design tools (e.g. Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator) and willingness to learn new ones;
  • Demonstrable good time management;
  • Fluent in written and spoken English;
  • Skills in written, visual and verbal communication.
  • Experience of fundraising and a working knowledge of Japanese would also be advantageous.

This position requires the applicant to undergo regional and intercontinental travel.

The job title at NAOJ will be Specially Appointed Senior Specialist (full-time position, five days a week). The OAO Director will receive an annual salary commensurate with experience and qualifications, comparable to the pay scale of an assistant professor at a Japanese national university. Additional allowances like overtime, commutation, and travel will be provided.

Interested candidates should email a covering letter and full CV, including the contact details of at least three referees, to the IAU OAO Supervising Director, Hidehiko Agata ( The deadline for applications is 21 August 2023.

For further information about this position, please see the job description.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The mission of the OAO is to engage the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. This is implemented through a network of IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) and the IAU’s public engagement initiatives. The work of the OAO is about building bridges between the IAU and the global astronomy community of amateur astronomers, outreach professionals, educators, communicators, and the general public, and through international collaboration, to make the science of astronomy accessible to all.



Hidehiko Agata
IAU OAO Supervising Director
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-422-34-3929

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach logo