Become a Principal Investigator

Jon Jenkins Kepler Mission

The world's best astrobiologists and SETI scientists work at the SETI Institute; so should you.

We embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of the San Francisco Bay Area, encouraging collaboration and innovation. At the Institute we worry about the administration of your grant so that you can spend more time making the next breakthrough in your field. Read on to learn more about some of the advantages of partnering with the SETI Institute as a Principal Investigator.

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How do I become a Principal Investigator? 
Scientists working in the field of astrobiology can request to have their grants funded through the SETI Institute. If you don’t already have a grant, the Institute can help you propose for one. A Ph.D is required to be a SETI Institute Principal Investigator.

What kind of proposal support is provided? 
To maximize your chances of receiving a grant, we constantly look for proposal opportunities, review their requirements, and alert you early in the application process. In addition, senior staff are available to review your proposals, and offer advice to increase your chances of success.

How am I compensated?
The SETI Institute salaries are competitive with comparable work environments in the Bay Area. Salary levels are based upon work experience, funds available and other relevant factors. Additionally, the SETI Institute offers a generous benefits package that includes full coverage of medical, dental and vision insurance for employee and all dependents, 8% 403(b) retirement contribution (after 1 year of employment), vacation and sick leave away from work, etc.

What is your indirect cost rate?
The SETI Institute was founded on the belief that indirect costs should be as low as possible in order to allow more resources to be applied to science.  Since 2004, we have operated with an indirect cost rate of less than 26% while providing a superior level services at a fraction of the cost of comparable organizations. One way we achieve this is by affiliating with world-class organizations such as the University of Southern California and the NASA Ames Research Center.

Where do I work? 
You can work at the Institute’s completely re-modeled headquarters in Mountain View, California. Purpose designed to promote scientific collaboration, this impressive modern space features large lecture halls, technology equipped conference rooms and an abundance of windowed offices. You can also choose to work at NASA Ames, located a mile from our offices, if you have a collaborator there who can help you secure space, work from your home office or other remote location. 

To be contacted about joining the SETI Institute as a Principal Investigator,  please completely fill out this form.

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