Collaboration & Mentorship

Postdoctoral Portal &Concierge

Supporting the advancement to postdoctoral positions

Graduate and postdoctoral scholars can receive support with the postdoctoral application process and matching prospective postdoctoral scholars with prospective postdoctoral positions.

Program Focus:

The Research University Alliance (RUA) supports the advancement of underrepresented graduate students to the postdoctoral level within the Alliance and to the nation’s faculty. The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program defines underrepresented students and postdocs as: US citizens, permanent residents or US nationals who also belong to one or more of the following groups: African American, Hispanic/Chicanx/Latinx American, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. RUA includes students and postdoctoral fellows from all groups whenever possible, and those who do not meet these NSF eligibility requirements are invited to contact the Postdoc Concierge for more information about possible participation. Eligible disciplines are Mathematics, Physical and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (MPESE).

What is the Postdoc Portal?

For the first time, nine of the nation’s most prominent universities are engaging in joint mentorship, scientific collaboration, career development and guidance of advanced PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.

The postdoc portal is designed to bring current and future postdoctoral scholars within the Mathematics, Physical and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (MPESE) disciplines together with those who are seeking to fill postdoctoral positions available at the nine RUA partner institutions.  Advanced PhD students, PhD holders and current postdocs, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, are encouraged to create a postdoc profile. If you are a faculty member at a RUA institution who hires postdocs for your research group, please create a research group profile. You can also post a job listing if you are hiring for a specific position. 

How does it work?

Everyone starts by creating an account.

Advanced graduate students and postdocs from any college, university or research laboratory begin by creating a postdoc profile including biographical information; statements of research, diversity and mentoring; a short CV; and up to 4 research interest areas. 

Faculty members and senior research scientists at RUA-affiliated institutions wanting to reach out to potential postdocs create a research group profile including statements of research and mentoring; opportunities available to postdocs; contact instructions; and up to 4 research interest areas.  Once a research group profile is created, any number of postdoc job listings can be added.

With an account and a submitted profile, users are automatically matched to all the profiles and job postings, based on shared areas of research interest. Users can also browse and search though all postings in the Portal.

Photo from 2018 AGEP Conference

What is the Postdoc Concierge?

The Research University Alliance (RUA) Postdoctoral Concierge works with prospective postdoctoral fellows and with RUA faculty mentors and staff. The Concierge serves as the initial point of contact for inquiries from prospective postdoctoral scholars, staff, and faculty, to help navigate the application process. The RUA Concierge facilitates matching prospective postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented communities with prospective postdoctoral advisors. As part of this effort, the Postdoc Concierge is engaged with the RUA postdoctoral professional development and postdoctoral portal groups to demystify the postdoctoral scholar application process, and to facilitate cross-institutional collaborative approaches for advancing underrepresented graduate students to the postdoctoral level within RUA.

Research University Alliance Team

Meet the Postdoc Concierge

Meagan Heirwegh, Research University Alliance Postdoc Concierge, Caltech

Meagan (she/her) has spent the past 10 years working in many facets of academia. After graduate school she worked as a teaching lab Laboratory Technician, Program Advisor and Instructional Assistant in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. She has worked with teaching faculty to develop online courses and update curricula for student labs with an eye towards creating inclusive, nurturing environments conducive to life-long learning. As the Undergraduate Affairs and Course Coordinator for Physics, Math and Astronomy at Caltech she served as a point of contact for all PMA undergraduates as well as all course instructors, TAs and students. She also worked to create a sense of community among the student population in the division and support the introduction of a variety of teaching practices among faculty and TAs. Meagan is now the Research University Alliance Program Coordinator at Caltech and serves at the Postdoctoral Portal Concierge for all applicants. When not at work, Meagan enjoys baking, exploring southern California with her family and road trips to National Parks.

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