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On this page: EligibilityReach out | Apply | Visit | Post-visit | Frequently-asked questions (FAQs)

Over 90% of postdoc jobs at R1 universities are funded from grants and contracts to faculty. How do you find out about them? By being a part of the network.

The Research Exchange supports postdocs and Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy in the fields of Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Computer Sciences, and Engineering with travel funds to visit and network at one of eight prestigious R1 partner universities. The Research Exchange has grown out of NSF-AGEP, which is dedicated to “increasing the number of underrepresented minorities obtaining graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” At present, we have hosted three Research Exchange trips, and sent 17 students and postdocs on trips to our partner universities .

Photo: Loranzie smiling in front of shrubbery.
Photo: Loranzie smiling in front of shrubbery.

Is there a faculty member you want to explore working with? Use the Research Exchange to make that connection.

“The really great thing about going on a research exchange was that I was able to stay longer than the typical postdoc interview visit. The ability to go out there and interact led to an offer to do a postdoc following the completion of my PhD. The offer came a year ahead of graduating, so it was great to not have to worry until the last minute about the future.”

Loranzie Rogers, PhD Student, Psychology- Animal Behavior
Research Exchange to Harvard University, April 2022.


Eligibility

  1. Postdoctoral scholar or all-but-dissertation (“ABD”) Ph.D. student in the Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science, and Engineering
  2. Member of:
  3. Is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or “dreamer” under DACA

In particular, we seek to assist those who are broadly under-represented in their fields (on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, having a physical or mental disability, or something else entirely).

If you have questions regarding eligibility, please contact the UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Program Coordinator, Jazzmine Waugh, at ruacoordinator@uw.edu.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and wish to participate in an exchange, please contact your department and/or the relevant member of the leadership team to learn more about other potential travel opportunities.


Reach out

Planning a Research Exchange visit starts with finding a lab that fits your needs, run by a faculty member you can see yourself working with.

In addition to checking with your current faculty advisor and your emerging network, we suggest:

 

Step 1. Check out faculty in your field(s) of interest at RUA partner universities. Here are the RUA contacts at each university partner. They are happy to help you make contacts.

Group of 27 people posing in front of a wall.
The RUA team at the 2022 RUA conference.

Step 2. Once you have a list of potential faculty you would like to visit, initiate contact to find out whether a Research Exchange visit is the logical next step. Need help? The leadership team (see below) can connect you.


Apply

The deadlines are approximately monthly in October, January, April and July. Please apply to the UW RUA Research Exchange first so that we can assist in completing the programmatic application on the RUA site at UC Berkeley. The UW will fund approximately 15 senior Ph.D. students and postdocs on Research Exchange visits each year.

You will receive confirmation that your application was received within a week and a formal determination letter via email within 30 days.

Need help? Contact UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Program Coordinator, Jazzmine Waugh at ruacoordinator@uw.edu.

Apply now!


Visit

What happens during a Research Exchange visit?  Here are some things you should plan for:

As a Ph.D. candidate:

  • Work with your host faculty member and their lab, to exchange techniques, ideas, and information.
  • Set up 1:1 meetings with faculty, postdocs or graduate students  find out what it’s like to be there.
  • Give a lab meeting presentation or a “chalk talk.” Set up your visit so that you can show them how good you are.
  • Attend networking mixers, meals and social events. Figure out what life is like at a new institution.

As a postdoc:

  • Work with your host faculty member and their lab, to explore research and proposal writing collaborations.
  • Set up 1:1 meetings with the associate dean and department chair/director  get to know the leadership.
  • Give a departmental seminar. Set up your visit to maximize interactions with faculty.
  • Attend networking mixers, meals and social events. Get a feeling for departmental culture.

Post-visit

Once you’re back at the UW, there are just a few more things you’ll need to do:

  • Submit travel expenses for reimbursement within 30 days
  • Complete a visit evaluation to receive your reimbursement

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: Can UW principal investigators reach out to Ph.D. students and postdocs from other institutions to apply for a visit to UW?

A: Yes, then they should direct these candidates to the RUA contacts at that institution. Need help? Email UW’s Research University Alliance Program Coordinator Jazzmine Waugh, ruacoordinator@uw.edu.

Q: Are long-term funds for visiting postdoctoral scholars available?

A: No, no salary or benefits are available through this program. The Research Exchange provides short-term travel funds, up to $1,500 USD.

Q:  Are there specific institutions that UW students and postdocs can visit?

A: Yes, any eligible postdoc or Ph.D. candidate can apply to visit a faculty lab at: Berkeley, CalTech, GeorgiaTech, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, UT-Austin, or UCLA.  And postdocs and students from any of these eight RUA partner institutions can visit UW.

Q: Do I need to identify a host lab before filling out an application?

A: No, this is optional, but it’s a great idea to talk with your faculty advisor about possibilities before applying. Need help making a connection? Email UW’s Research University Alliance Program Coordinator Jazzmine Waugh, ruacoordinator@uw.edu.

Q: How will I know my application is received and accepted?

A: You will receive an email that your application has been received within a week and a determination letter within 30 days of submission.

Q: I am not a member of one of the 26 listed UW schools/departments/institutes, can I still apply for an exchange?

A: Yes, Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars from research science disciplines outside those listed may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please check with the UW’s Research University Alliance Program Coordinator Jazzmine Waugh, ruacoordinator@uw.edu, before applying.

Q: I do not identify as one of the underrepresented minority groups listed, but I am considered a minority in my field (e.g., Persian female in engineering) can I still apply for an exchange?

A: Yes, Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars from groups outside those listed will be considered.

Q: I identify with multiple underrepresented groups, or a mix of groups, is there a way to specify that, and can I still apply?

A: Yes, multiple, or mixed groups, can be specified within the application, and these individuals can and should apply.

Q: I do not identify as a minority, but I would still like to apply for an exchange. Is that possible?

A: Yes, all applications from Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars in participating units will be considered.

Q: I just graduated with my Ph.D., but I was hired as “Research Scientist” can I still apply?

A: No, only those with UW postdoctoral scholar titles can apply.

Q: Does my postdoctoral position cover my salary on my exchange?

A: Work with your supervisor/PI to determine how your salary will be covered during your exchange – via contract/working hours, vacation time off, personal holiday time off, unpaid time off or some combination.


Post-application

Q: Which university pays for my research exchange?

A: Your home university pays for your exchange to another university (e.g. UW pays for UW’s students and postdocs to visit other universities).

Q: Can some travel expenses be purchased a priori, instead of through reimbursement?

A: Yes, for airfare. No, for lodging. Contact the UW’s Research University Alliance Program Coordinator Jazzmine Waugh, ruacoordinator@uw.edu, for additional questions.

Q: Is the duration of my exchange restricted?

A: Exchange visits vary from 2-7 days in duration and reimbursement will not exceed $1,500 in travel expenses.

Q: Are travel expenses restricted?

A: Yes, travel expenses are limited to an economy fare airfare, lodging, food per diem and incidental travel expenses (e.g. uber/lyft/taxi, light rail ticket, airport parking, etc.).


Post-trip

Q: How long do I have to submit my travel expenses after my trip?

A: Submit expenses within 14 days (2 weeks) of travel.

Q: What else am I responsible for?

A: Participants in a Research Exchange visit need to fill out a post-visit evaluation.

Q: Is it possible to go on a second exchange?

A: Second visits, to a different lab and university, may be possible, depending on funding availability. Check with the UW’s Research University Alliance Program Coordinator Jazzmine Waugh, ruacoordinator@uw.edu, before applying again.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

Email Jazzmine Waugh, UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Program Coordinator, at ruacoordinator@uw.edu.


National Science Foundation logo    Washington Research Foundation logo
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. HRD-2015104 AM03. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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