Science Program Officer, Astrophysics

Reporting to the director of physical sciences, the science program officer will work in collaboration with science team members in monitoring, developing, and implementing the foundation’s scientific programs. These programs include the Kavli Institutes, Kavli meetings, scientific society programs, and other science-related activities of the foundation. The successful candidate should bring to the position: scientific expertise in the Kavli science field of astrophysics as well as broad interest in science and its societal impacts; the ability to gather and analyze relevant information; the ability to evaluate programmatic processes and challenges; the ability to build and sustain partnerships with scientific leaders; the ability through those interactions to identify unmet needs of the scientific community; the ability to develop and implement newly designed programs in those unmet areas; and to monitor programs in a timely manner. The science program officer will be an integral part of a small staff that operates its programs.

Location: The Kavli Foundation Headquarters | 5715 Mesmer Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90230

Position Type: Full-time, Exempt
Travel Required: 20%


  • Developing innovative strategy and programs: Working closely with other foundation staff and the scientific community, the successful candidate will develop strategy and programs in support of science and its societal aspects.
  • Interacting, monitoring and evaluating selected foundation programs: The science program officer will interact frequently with scientists involved with Kavli programs especially the Kavli Institutes, and will make periodic site visits. Such visits are to evaluate the particular program’s accomplishments, identify any current issues, and learn of plans for the future. The science program officer will conduct intensive data gathering, prepare write-ups about programs of the foundation and be responsible for project coordination.
  • Surveying relevant literature using scientific knowledge
  • Conducting interviews with scientists to understand and develop programs
  • Actively participating in conferences, conference calls, and other events where relevant information is presented
  • Drafting written materials including detailed reports of information gathered
  • Interacting with external partners and participating on their committees as appropriate
  • Organizing, or helping to organize, scientific conferences to develop or implement programs
  • Perform special studies/projects as requested by the president and/or director of physical sciences
  • Ability travel in conjunction with job responsibility; minimum 20% travel


  • Required: Ph.D. in Astrophysics and 5 years of work experience beyond Ph.D. and at least 2 years of demonstrated experience beyond post-doc (if applicable).
  • Experience and understanding of academic organizational structures and decision-making processes
  • Ability to convene, facilitate, and develop trusted relationships among the foundation’s stakeholders
  • Familiarity with funding opportunities relating to higher education in science and its societal impacts
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to synthesize and analyze information
  • Ability to work as a member of teams consisting of both internal and external stakeholders
  • Detail oriented, must be able to effectively multi-task and have strong follow through and execution skills


    1. Submit resume and cover letter to [email protected].
    2. All applicants must complete the Culture Index Survey.

    Candidates that do not have the required science discipline and demonstrated prior work experience will not be considered.


    • Hybrid work model acceptable (in-person and remote) *travel to the foundation headquarters periodically for specific meetings will be required
    • 20% travel required
    • Medical, dental, vision, STD/LTD and life
    • Paid time off, floating holidays and wellness days
    • 401(k) plan with match

    The Kavli Foundation is an EEO employer.


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