This is a collaborative initiative designed to promote the fantastic research and training opportunities that Northwestern, UIC, and UChicago have to offer and to help faculty recruit top talent for their research groups, while addressing the "pipeline" challenge in academia by expanding opportunities for early-career researchers from gender, racial, and historically marginalized backgrounds. Last year, 76 prospective postdocs and 140 faculty members from the three universities participated in the Initiative.
The Initiative invites faculty to participate by volunteering to meet with up to three potential postdocs for virtual informational interviews during the recruitment period (October 20-November 4, 2022). Responsibility for scheduling the individual informational interviews will lie with the prospective postdocs. This is a great opportunity if you are currently recruiting for your research group, if you would like to promote your department or program's research, or if you wish to support early career scientists as they launch their careers. Faculty do not need to be hiring postdocs to participate.
Please see below for frequently asked questions!
For any additional questions, please reach out to your institution-specific contact:
No. You will be matched with up to three prospective postdoc participants and it will be the responsibility of the prospective participants to reach out to you to schedule a 1:1 virtual informational interview. Your only responsibility is to respond to the email request from your matched participant and meet with them at a mutually agreeable time for an informational interview any time during the recruitment period (October 20-November 4, 2022).
Recruitment organizers will create the matches between faculty and prospective postdoc participants. Neither faculty nor prospective postdoc participants be allowed to pick-and-choose who to meet with. However, to better facilitate the matching process this year, faculty are asked about their research interests and their motivations for participating in the Initiative as part of the faculty application. Prospective postdoc participants will be asked about their research interests, and will be asked to select 3-5 faculty of interest from each institution along with a short statement about why they are interested in meeting with each faculty member they selected. Organizers cannot guarantee a closely-related research match, or any match at all, but all of these factors will be taken into account during the matching process.
Informational interviews are meant to be short, informal conversations (approximately 30 minutes) in which you and the prospective postdoc discuss research and training at your institution. Possible topics of discussion include your career path, your experience as a faculty member, your research interests, how to best find and apply for postdoc positions in your field, or opportunities in your research group, department, or program. You may also wish to recommend other colleagues who the prospective postdoc participant could reach out to following your informational interview.
First and foremost, this is meant to be a learning experience for the prospective postdoc participants in which they can practice constructing an email to a faculty member and requesting a meeting in a safe environment in which the faculty member is guaranteed to respond. If you are currently hiring and a prospective postdoc participant is a good match for your research group, the conversation may lead to an invitation to formally interview for a position in your group. If you are not currently hiring or if a prospective postdoc participant is not a match for your research group, your only duty is to provide each participant with a meaningful experience in which you share information about any of the topics as listed above.
Yes! All faculty volunteers will receive the full list of prospective postdoc participants following the official recruitment period (October 20-November 4, 2022) and you are encouraged to contact any candidate of interest. Likewise, all prospective postdoc participants will receive the contact info of all faculty volunteers and will be encouraged to reach out to any faculty of interest. Upon request, event organizers can also share with you all candidates who indicated they were interested in meeting with you in their applications.
No. Salaries for postdocs hired through the Initiative are expected to be funded by the hiring faculty member.
The Northwestern, UIC, and UChicago campuses reside on the original homelands and traditional territory of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa Nations, as well as other Tribal Nations that know this area as their ancestral homeland, including the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Miami, Peoria, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, Kiikaapoi, and Sac and Fox. Indigenous peoples are the traditional stewards of the land that we now occupy, living here long before Chicago was a city and still thriving here today and current home to one of the largest urban Native American communities in the United States. Native people are part of Chicago’s past, present, and future.