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Intersections Success Story: Melanie McReynolds, PhD

September 03, 2021

When Melanie McReynolds, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton, attended the first Intersections Science Fellows Symposium in January 2021, she already had three faculty job offers. But, she says, she saw the program as an opportunity to expand her network even further, to receive valuable career mentorship, and to develop her negotiating skills.

“Intersections came at a great time,” says McReynolds, who has accepted an endowed chair position as the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Early Career Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University beginning January 1, 2022. “It gave me exposure to all these schools and ultimately I received better offers.”

Sponsored and run by Yale School of Medicine and supported by more than 20 top institutions, the Intersections Science Fellows Symposium is designed to showcase the work of mid- to late-stage postdoctoral researchers who can advance diversity in the biological sciences and offer networking opportunities with hiring institutions. Fellows are selected through a rubric-led review process, matched with faculty mentors, and invited into a community of other promising postdocs, many of them from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. While the symposium itself is held over three days—happening Nov. 1-3, 2021—mentor meetings and conversations with other fellows continue well into the following year.

McReynolds says she gave a 20-minute presentation of her work during the first day of the symposium to attendees from a large number of institutions. She also attended workshops on how to negotiate and other job market skills that helped guide her decision-making. “I was able to gain so much more in negotiations because of these workshops,” McReynolds says.

To other postdocs who may be timid or unsure about their qualifications, McReynolds says: “This symposium is a year-long endeavor. Every encounter is wonderful for connecting with faculty jobs and gaining tenure. It’s a priceless opportunity.”

The deadline to apply for the Intersections Science Fellows Symposium is Sept. 6. The symposium will be held Nov. 1-3. Postdocs underrepresented in medicine are strongly encouraged to apply. Details and application available at

Submitted by Brita Belli on September 03, 2021