With the support of the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program the Research University Alliance (RUA) officially launched in October 2020. The RUA is made up of a nine-university partnership that includes UC Berkeley, Caltech, Stanford University, UC Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Harvard University, Georgia Tech, University of Texas at Austin and University of Washington.
RUA builds on the model’s created and implemented in the initial California Alliance and its predecessor the Research Exchange Program that focused on the training of under-represented minority postdoctoral scholars that are pursuing academic careers in mathematics, physical and earth sciences, and engineering (MPESE). The goal of RUA is to diversify the future professoriate at these nine institutions and elsewhere by creating robust professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities, including research exchanges and retreats.
Looking toward the future:
Over the next four years RUA will focus on the following four program areas:
- Research Exchange — Graduate and postdoctoral scholars can receive funding to visit any of the nine university partners for several weeks to learn new research techniques, find mentors, start new research collaborations and hear about postdoc opportunities.
- Extensive Outreach — Advanced graduate students from colleges and universities beyond the nine Research University Alliance schools will be invited to take part in the Alliance’s professional development activities.
- Concierge Service — Free, individual help will be offered to scholars wanting to be
connected to postdoc opportunities, as well as to principal investigators searching for highly skilled, ambitious postdocs.
- Online Postdoc Portal — A new website will list postdoc and faculty opportunities available within the nine schools, accept scholars’ applications and forward them to principal.
- Annual Professional Meetings — Gatherings for scholars will focus on networking and professional development that leads to faculty positions, with advice ranging from how to do a chalk talk to how to negotiate a job offer to how to prepare to meet with a dean.