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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.

Every year, UW RUA provides ~ 15 postdocs and senior Ph.D. students up to $2000 for travel expenses to go on a Research Exchange.

Research Exchanges support STEM postdocs and Ph.D. students with travel funds to visit and network at one of eight prestigious R1 partner universities. At present, we have hosted five Research Exchange trips, and sent 18 students and postdocs on trips to our partner universities .

Guadalupe smiling in front of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University.


“I had a great experience. I had the opportunity to showcase my dissertation work, and receive mentorship during this pivotal postdoc application period of my final year.”

Guadalupe Tovar Mendoza, PhD Student, Astronomy and Astrobiology
Research Exchange to Harvard University, October 2023

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


  1. Postdoctoral scholar or PhD candidate.
  2. Member of one of the following:
  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, or something else entirely).

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.


What happens during a Research Exchange visit?

As a Ph.D. candidate:

  • Set up 1:1 meetings with faculty, school leadership, postdocs, and/or graduate students. Exchange ideas and information.
  • Give a lab meeting presentation or a “chalk talk.” Show them why they want to offer you a position.
  • 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.

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:

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


What to do: Check out faculty in your field(s) of interest at RUA partner universities. Identify a first, second, and third choice for your faculty host.

Note: Thinking about a visit to Georgia Tech? Please contact Jazzmine Waugh at before applying, as their program is very limited in scope.


To apply, you will answer demographic questions, identify your top choices for hosts, discuss when you want to go, and upload two documents:

  1. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  2. A current research statement that explains why your potential host PIs of interest are a good fit for hosting you on an exchange visit (~250 words, one paragraph describing your research and one paragraph explaining why the research of potential PI[s] are relevant to your career/research trajectories)

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

Apply now!


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. If you submit expenses more than 90 days after your trip, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reimburse you.
  • Complete a visit evaluation to receive your reimbursement

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)



Need help?

Email Aina Hori, UW RUA Program Coordinator, at

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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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