Future Leaders Program

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The Future Leaders Program aims to broaden the pipeline of diverse materials researchers by providing targeted information and support to senior graduate student and postdoctoral researchers pursuing academic positions. Several events are held throughout the year. If you are interested in participating, please apply here.

Future Leaders Events


  • New Faculty Networking: The Future Leaders Committee and junior faculty in the MRSEC hold a virtual information sharing and networking event for new faculty in MRSEC-affiliated departments. (September)
  • Faculty Search Open House: The Future Leaders Committee and select search committee members host a virtual open house to describe research areas of interest and answer questions from prospected applicants. (October)


  • Demystifying the Faculty Hiring Process (Panel Discussion & Small Groups): The Future Leaders Committee and NU MRSEC faculty host an online panel discussion to demystify the faculty hiring process and lower barriers to application.  The panel discussion will be followed by small group meetings with faculty. (February) Apply here.


  • The Academic Research Proposal (Panel Discussion): This event will give attendees an understanding of the typical structure of and expectations for the research proposal that is part of the faculty application package. Hosted by MRSEC and MSE faculty with recent service on search committees. (April)
  • Future Leaders Seminar Series: Select participants in Future Leaders events will be invited for a virtual visit to give short seminars, meet MSE faculty, and expand their network. (April-May)
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Past & Present Future Leaders

Click here to view alumni of the Future Leaders Program.

Click here to view detailed profiles of the current cohort of Future Leaders, who are listed below:

Current Cohort
Mustafa Abdelrahman Postdoctoral Fellow Harvard University
Steven Baksa Ph.D. Candidate Pennsylvania State University
Flavia da Cruz Gallo Postdoctoral Associate University of Florida
Adriana Eres-Castellanos Postdoctoral Fellow Colorado School of Mines
Sebastian Fernández Ph.D. Candidate Stanford University
Lillian Hughes Ph.D. Candidate  University of California, Santa Barbara
Serin Lee Ph.D. Candidate Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kevin Nixon Postdoctoral Fellow University of Delaware
Eveline Postelnicu Postdoctoral Scholar Stanford University
Jonathan Salmerón-Hernández Ph.D. Candidate University of Chicago


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Click here to apply to the program. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Current position (grad student or postdoct)
  • Current institution
  • Why do you want to apply for a faculty position? (<100 words)
  • Provide 5 keywords related to your research area.
  • What is the anticipated impact of your research? (<100 words)
  • What activities are you involved in outside of research? (<100 words)
  • Describe any involvement in activities to broaden representation and promote inclusion in materials research. If desired, describe how your own identity informs your participation. (<100 words)
  • If available, provide a link to your CV.
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