Mentor: Dr.  Lisa Schwiebert, PhD, Professor & Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

merit logosmThe primary goal of the Mentored Experiences in Research, Instruction, and Teaching Program (MERIT) is to provide Postdoctoral Scholars with outstanding research and teaching experiences while improving the recruitment of underrepresented groups into the field of biomedical research. The immediate objective of the IRACDA-MERIT Program is to enhance the research backgrounds and teaching experiences of developing scientists in order to prepare them to conduct high quality research in an academic environment. Long-term objectives for this program are three-fold:
  1) to enhance research-oriented teaching at partner institutions that have a historical mission and a demonstrated commitment to providing training, encouragement and assistance to students from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research;
  2) to further promote interactions between research-intensive universities and partner institutions that will lead to collaborations in research and teaching; and
  3) to develop highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists from diverse populations.

To achieve these objectives, qualified Postdoctoral Scholars are recruited into a four year program that provides research experiences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and teaching experiences at Oakwood University, Lawson State Community College, Stillman College, and the University of Montevallo. Through these experiences, the Postdoctoral Scholars gain knowledge and skills in both biomedical research and higher education instructional design. Together, UAB and its partner schools collaborate in the overall design, improvement, and sustainability of the IRACDA-MERIT Program. 


Eligible applicants to the MERIT Program must be Ph.D. candidates or recent Ph.D. graduates (within the past year) and a US citizen or non-citizen national; individuals with comparable degrees, including MD and DVM, are also eligible. Women and persons from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, are encouraged to apply. Click here for a list of required application materials. Email materials to  The deadline for applications is February 1, 2021.   

For additional information about the MERIT program, please visit our website, or contact Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, Program Director. 

About the University:

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. The Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) at UAB provides mentoring and career guidance. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB. The NCI-designated UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the nation's leading cancer research and treatment centers. There is access to several outstanding interdisciplinary programs and core facilities. The Birmingham area provides a metropolitan lifestyle, excellent schools, comfortable climate, and low cost of living.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

For more information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at UAB, visit the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or call (205) 934-8762. Or contact the office at 701 20th Street South, AB 336, Birmingham, AL 35294-0103.

About our Postdoc office:

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Here at UAB, nearly 300 postdoctoral fellows are training currently in a variety of disciplines, including dentistry, engineering, health professions, medicine, natural sciences and mathematics, public health, optometry, and social and behavioral sciences. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB, and teaching opportunities at local universities. There is also a Postdoc Research Day with monetary awards. The OPE strongly encourages UAB research mentors to follow the National Research Service Award stipend level guidelines, and postdoctoral scholars qualify for health, life, and other insurances. They may also have the right to participate in the university’s 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.