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Finding a Faculty Host

photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester -Kyle Fuerschbach, right, a graduate student at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester' Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and professor of Optical Engineering Jannick Rolland work on a free form lens experiment in Goergen Hall March 22, 2013. //

RocDocs: How to Find and Approach Potential Faculty Hosts

Making connections and finding the right host can seem daunting. Here are some suggestions to help facilitate that process.

Start with your research interests and career aspirations

  • What are your research interests?
  • Your career aspirations?
  • What excites you in your research field?
  • Can you identify a productive research area that fits your values and your career plans?
  • Who is engaged in research that is complementary to your interests?
  • Do you have geographical limitations?

What kind of host best fits your needs?

Famous mentors have connections and resources but may travel a lot and have big labs.
Up-and-coming mentors may be in the lab every day but may still be developing resources.
Do you prefer hands-on guidance or a more removed mentoring approach?
Are they nurturing?
Is that important to you?
Are they collaborative? Competitive?
What kind of connections do they have in academia? In industry?
Where have former postdocs from that lab ended up?
Read their work and work from their lab widely and critically.

Approaching potential hosts:

Introduce yourself – generally  in a succinct cover letter or email.


  • The story of your current research (question, approach, results, and significance
  • Your career goals, your plan to achieve them, and how a postdoc position in that lab plays into that plan
  • Your postdoc project interests (be creative!) and proposed approach
  • A description of how this connection is a great match

Adapted from John Boothroyd’s “Finding the Right Postdoc for YOU,” Preparing for Faculty Careers, and “Questions to Ask When Choosing a Postdoc Advisor,” Pathways to Science.

Potential Faculty Hosts

All RocDocs applicants must submit the names of 3-6 faculty members they are interested in being matched with as a host. We recommend you reach out to them yourself to help ensure they are a good fit. You may reach out to any faculty member at the University of Rochester and request to have them be matched with you for the RocDocs program. Below is a list of faculty members who are particularly interested in hosting our RocDocs to visit their research environment.

Ashton, JohnBiomedical
Bennett, Nancy M.Center for Community
Chhabra, KavaljitEndocrinology and
Dirksen, RobertPharmacology and
Dozier, AnnPublic Health
Dumyati, GhinwaInfectious
Dunman, PaulMicrobiology &
Elder, AlisonEnvironmental
Ermolenko, DmitriBiochemistry and
Fowell, DeborahMicrobiology & Immunology
Georas, StevePulmonary/Critical Care
Hill, ElainePublic Health
Jin, Zheng-GenCardiovascular Research
Kelly, Douglas H. Mechanical
Korman, BenjaminImmunology/
Kuo, CatherineBiomedical
Li, Yan Michael
Lueck, JohnPharmacology &
Martinez, LuisMicrobiology &
Mathews, DavidBiochemistry and
McCall, MatthewBiostats Computational
McIntosh, ScottPublic Health
Mesfin, Addisu
Miller, JimCenter for Vaccine Biology and
O'Reilly, MichaelPediatrics
Ossip, DeborahPublic Health
Ovitt, CatherineCenter for Oral
Rahman, Irfan
Environmental Medicine
Robert, JacquesMicrobiology &
Samuelson, Andrew
Biomedical Genetics
Sant, Andrea
Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology
Schwarz, EdwardCenter for Musculoskeletal
Singh, Ruchira
Sundar, Isaac K
Environmental Medicine
Thakar, JuileeMicrobiology &
Thirukumaran, Caroline
Van Orden,
Wang, Kuan
White, Jim MDPulmonary/Critical Care
Yao, PengCardiovascular Research
Yarovinsky, FelixCenter for Vaccine Biology and
Yu, Yi-Tao
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Yule, DavidPharmacology &
Apply to RocDocs today