UW Graduate School

Research Exchange

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.

Lucas Vargas Zeppetello

“My experience with the Research Exchange was fantastic. Getting outside the UW and having the experience of a visiting scholar was empowering and gave me a lot of confidence in my research that carried me forward towards graduation”

Lucas Vargas Zeppetello, PhD Student, Atmospheric Sciences, Research Exchange to McColl Lab, Harvard University, January 2020


The Research Exchange supports eligible 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.

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


  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. Identifies as an underrepresented minority group (Black or African American, Hispanic/Chicano/Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander)
  4. Is a US citizen, Permanent Resident, or “dreamer” under DACA

If you have questions regarding eligibility, please contact the UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Coordinator, Jane Dolliver, dolliver@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:

Step 2. Initiate contact with prospective faculty member or research scientist hosts and find out whether a Research Exchange visit is the logical next step. Need help? The Leadership Team can connect you.


The application to participate in the first cohort (2021) is now open! Please apply by 31 May 2021. Submissions are reviewed weekly. The UW will fund ~15 senior PhD students and postdocs to participate in this first cohort.

Apply now!

You will receive a determination letter by Wed 9 June 2021, ahead of the following activities:

  • Virtual orientation for the cohort: June 23, 2021, 10am-11:30am PDT
  • Virtual connection with your faculty connection: July-August 2021 (individually scheduled)
  • Research Exchange (in-person visit): September-November 2021, but later visits are possible (scheduling depends on host campus, and travel restrictions at the home and host campuses)

Need help? Contact UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Coordinator, Jane Dolliver, dolliver@uw.edu.


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

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


Once you’re back at 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


You can read FAQ on the Research Exchange site, as well as read or download the Participant Guide to the Research Exchange.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Email Jane Dolliver, UW Research University Alliance (RUA) Coordinator, dolliver@uw.edu.

Alliance Opportunities

Research University Alliance Faculty Job Search Boot Cam​p, Monday, May 17–Thursday, May 20.  Topics: navigating the faculty job search, CVs & cover letters, research statements, teaching statements, diversity statements, job talks, and an institution types panel & faculty Q&A. 

Deadline to register: May 10, 2021.

Funding Opportunities

  • Funding for Postdoctoral Researchers to Mitigate COVID-19 Impacts (NSF 21-066). Deadline: 6/1/2021.
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences Ascending Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MPS-Ascend). Deadline: 6/15/2021.
  • Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OPP-PRF). Deadline: 6/18/2021.
  • EAR Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF). Deadline: 9/8/2021.
  • NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships (AAPF). Deadline: 10/15/2021.
  • Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF). Deadline: 10/20/2021.
  • Social, Behavior and Economic Science (SBE) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF). Deadline: 11/1/2021.
  • Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF). Deadline: 11/12/2021.
  • Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (AGS-PRF). Deadline: apply anytime.
  • Innovative Postdoctoral Entrepreneurial Research Fellowship (I-PERF). Deadline: registration phase open.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB). Deadline: TBD, as of April 2021.

UW Opportunities

“Participating in the Research Exchange provided me with a structured opportunity to interact with potential collaborators and advisors, share my research, brainstorm potential future research projects, and receive crucial mentorship/feedback at an early stage in my career. Furthermore, my visit hosts were adamant about sponsoring me along my journey as an academic. In contrast to basic mentorship, sponsors use their positions to provide resources and opportunities that empower you to succeed. They give you a seat at the proverbial table and commit to the idea of your success being their success. I came away from the Research Exchange with multiple sponsors at many different institutional levels – from faculty to deans. Most excitingly, it kicked of a sequence of events that led to a successful tenure-track faculty interview and offer at the Georgia Institute of Technology before I even defended my PhD”

Isaiah Bolden, PhD Student, Oceanography, Research Exchange to Kobb Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology, January 2020

Leadership Team

  • Julia Parrish, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, College of the Environment, jparrish@uw.edu
  • Jane Dolliver, Research University Alliance (RUA) Coordinator, dolliver@uw.edu
  • Bill Mahoney, Associate Dean for Student and Postdoctoral Affairs, UW Graduate School, wmahoney@uw.edu
  • Daniel Pollack, Divisional Dean for the Natural Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, pollack@uw.edu
  • Daniel Ratner, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, College of Engineering, dratner@uw.edu
  • Kevin Williams, Executive Director, Applied Physics Laboratory, klw8@uw.edu