Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) Fellow

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Dr. Eugenia Vasileiadou (Caram group) is one of eight postdoctoral scholars selected as inaugural RCSA fellows. The RCSA Fellows initiative aims to help increase faculty diversity in the physical sciences through job search preparation and community building.

A native of Greece, Vasileiadou received her B.S. in chemistry from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) in 2017.  Part of her undergraduate research was in Archaeological Materials Chemistry and Archaeometry, studying the use of non-destructive analytical techniques for the chemical and structural characterization of ancient antiquities. She also collaborated and conducted research for Professor R. G. Raptis at the Florida International University (FIU) working on the design of ligand precursors and studying their coordination chemistry.

Vasileiadou received her Ph.D. in chemistry at Northwestern University in 2022 with Professor Dr. Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, where her research focused on the exploratory synthesis of perovskite materials for optoelectronic applications. In the Kanatzidis lab, she developed extensively the structure-property-stability relationships in several novel, 2D perovskites. Vasileiadou joined Professor Justin Caram’s group in Fall 2023 where her research focuses on developing new surface chemistry and new synthetic avenues for semiconductor nanocrystals emitting in the visible and infrared spectrum, as well as the characterization of their structural and photophysical properties.  Her research interests are centered on the rational synthetic design and structure-property relationships of functional inorganic (nano)materials.

“I’m excited to chart the growth mechanisms and employ spectroscopic tools to understand the emissive properties of light harvesting materials for next-generation optoelectronic technologies,” Vasileiadou said. “I am honored to be selected in the inaugural class of RCSA Fellows! I am very excited to engage with my cohort and the RSCA community! The RCSA Fellows Initiative will tangibly support my academic faculty pursuit, while allowing me to continue to advance in my interconnected passions in research and mentoring.”

From the RCSA Fellows announcement:

RCSA Selects Inaugural Class of RCSA Fellows

Top row: Carlos Blanco, Sarah Blunt, Michelle Brann, Catherine Denning-Jannace. 2nd row: Philipp Gemmel, Said Jalife Jacobo, William Ndugire, Eugenia Vasileiadou.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement has selected eight postdoctoral scholars to participate in the first year of its new RCSA Fellows initiative, which aims to help increase faculty diversity in the physical sciences through job search preparation and community building.

The first cohort will access professional development programming and support as part of a multiyear program that includes preparation for a job search, a mock interview at a host institution, structured feedback and guidance throughout the job search process, and transition to a tenure-track faculty position.

“Even for very successful postdocs at top institutions, the faculty search process can be daunting and difficult to navigate,” said RCSA President & CEO Daniel Linzer. “Our goal is to provide guidance, support, and a network that can better prepare postdocs throughout their transition to independent positions.”

The 2024 RCSA Fellows are:

Carlos Blanco, Physics, Princeton University
Sarah Blunt, Astronomy, Northwestern University
Michelle Brann, Chemistry, Harvard University
Catherine Denning-Jannace, Chemistry, Duke University
Philipp Gemmel, Chemistry, University of Michigan
Said Jalife Jacobo, Chemistry, University of Houston
William Ndugire, Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Eugenia Vasileiadou, Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

“These early career researchers are ambitious to join the professoriate and advance their science,” said RCSA Program Director Eileen M. Spain, who leads the initiative. “They are eager to use inclusive teaching and mentoring practices and to engage in community-minded leadership – values we nurture through our established programs, Cottrell Scholars and Scialog.”

The first RCSA Fellows conference will be held May 21-23 in Tucson, Arizona. Cottrell Scholar 2005 Teri Odom, Northwestern University, will give the keynote talk on the faculty hiring process from the perspective of a department chair. CS 2018 and Scialog AES Fellow Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, University of Utah, and CS 2008 Casey Londergan, Haverford College, will serve as Facilitators, engaging the cohort in professional development programming on topics including how to plan for a faculty job search, work-life balance as an academic scientist, and how to manage a research team.

The leap from postdoc to academic scientist can be overwhelming,” said Spain. “New faculty can be better prepared for the many responsibilities they will have in addition to research, teaching, and mentoring. This critical period can be full of pitfalls, especially for those without strong professional networks to guide them.”

Also attending the conference will be members of the RCSA Fellows Advisory Committee, experts in their respective fields in the physical sciences and in contemporary, evidence-based practices to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Members are: Cyndi Atherton, former Science Program Director, Heising-Simons Foundation; 2023 Holland Awardee Luis Colón, University of Buffalo; Scialog Time Domain Astrophysics Awardee Jackie Faherty, American Museum of Natural History; and Cottrell Scholar 2006 Keivan G. Stassun, Vanderbilt University, who led the successful RCSA-funded Cottrell Scholar Collaborative project that has evolved into the RCSA Fellows initiative.

“Multiple years of community building, planning, listening, program building, and testing have gone into this initiative,” said Linzer. “From those who nominated Fellows or who have volunteered to host mock interviews at their institutions, to the new cohort of RCSA Fellows themselves, community will power its success.”

“Over time, the strength of the initiative will be the strength of the network,” Linzer said.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement is a private foundation that funds basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, physics, and related fields) at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It creates and supports inclusive communities of early career researchers through two core programs — the Cottrell Scholar Program and Scialog — as well as its newly launched RCSA Fellows initiative.