Executive Assistant

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2024


PSD Astronomy & Astrophysics: Administration and Staff

About the Department

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, within the Physical Sciences Division, was founded by George Ellery Hale in 1892. Since its founding it remains one of the most pre-eminent departments in the country, with close ties to physics, and a faculty distinguished by achievements in science and excellence in teaching. One testimony to that history of achievement is the number of NASA missions and observatories that are named after UChicago scientists: the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Kuiper Airborne Observatory, and the Parker Solar Probe.

The department offers undergraduate (BA, BS) and graduate (PhD) degrees in Astrophysics and has 32 teaching faculty, in addition to emeriti and research faculty. Faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students share affiliations with the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP), Enrico Fermi Institute, and Argonne and Fermilab National Laboratories, and have developed collaborations that span the globe, with significant partnerships undertaking ambitious projects at the South Pole, in Argentina, Chile and in space.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Department Administrator, the Executive Assistant provides high-level administrative support for 2-3 faculty members to enable each of them to manage multiple externally funded research projects. The Executive Assistant will need exceptional interpersonal skills for navigating and influencing within a complex environment with varying demands and considerations. Success in this role will require an ability to quickly gain in-depth knowledge of each of the faculty member’s research programs and the personnel involved. This person will be initially assigned to the Vieregg research program, which leads a NASA Astrophysics Mission called PUEO, the Radio Neutrino Observatory in Greenland, and the McMahon research group that focuses on building and deploying instruments to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and analyze data through to cosmological results.


  • Manages hires and onboard postdoctoral scholars, undergraduate students, and graduate students.

  • Oversees each Research Group’s budget and invoice reconciliation and coordinates budget activities with the Dean’s office and the Local Business Center.

  • Assists with the coordination of grant proposals, collaborating with administrators from sub-award institutions, and ensuring that all documents submitted are uniform and compliant with the agency or organization to which the proposal is submitted in collaboration with the Grants & Contracts Administrator for each faculty member.

  • Manages each faculty member’s calendar and appointments.

  • Drafts emails and communications on behalf of the faculty members.

  • Organizes travel arrangements for assigned faculty members.

  • Coordinates meetings and takes notes.

  • Assists with proofreading and submission of research publications and other reports and documents.

  • Places orders and procure equipment for the research group.

  • Oversees shipping and receiving for these research groups.

  • Works with the Local Business Center to process payments and reimbursements.

  • Drafts monthly reports for research projects as needed.

  • Organizes meetings and project reviews for research projects and the research group, including making travel and hotel reservations, room and meal reservations, catering, and communicating with attendees.

  • Arranges research group visitor travel and accommodations.

  • Maintains and updates each research group’s email listserv and website.

  • Uses general understanding and experience to administer the delivery of services to program participants and/or beneficiaries.

  • Interacts with faculty, researchers, and staff for committee work or information.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through < 2 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Experience in a higher education work environment.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines.

  • Budget management skills.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Organizational skills.

  • Ability to solve complex problems and work independently.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.

Working Conditions

  • Office setting.

  • Hybrid work schedule.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • References (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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