How to Find a Postdoc

Postdoctoral training can be a springboard to success in a variety of careers. First, be sure to investigate whether a postdoc is expected in your field and in your chosen career path(s) ahead. Then, identify what type of postdoc would provide the experience to match skill sets that you would like to develop for your future career. Finally, to maximize your postdoc experience, choose a program (and a mentor!) well aligned with your career goals. Read on to learn more…

Selecting the right postdoc or training fellowship is critical whether you are interested in an academic career or a nonacademic career.  Your postdoc should be viewed as a step toward the career you want, and you should begin narrowing down your career choices at least one year before you are ready to defend.  You should begin networking and looking for a postdoc at least 9 months before you are ready to defend. A short postdoc is unlikely to hurt you no matter what career you end up in. It’s unlikely to hurt you, that is, unless your postdoc adviser is not supportive to the idea of career exploration and/or professional development for trainees. You should enter your postdoc with a plan to achieve the career of your choosing. Furthermore, you should tailor your postdoctoral experience to the career path of your choice so that it advances your scientific expertise or qualifications, publications,project management experience, teaching experience, etc. in a way that will make you a better candidate for your next move.


Finding a Postdoc:

Advice on Choosing A Successful Postdoc

Finding a Postdoc Position by Jerry Breslin, UCD Postdoctoral Scholar

Finding the “Perfect Postdoc for You” by Carol Manahan, PhD

Going in With Your Eyes Open: What to Ask before Accepting a US Postdoctoral Position

How to Play the Postdoctoral Game


Learn more about the postdoc experience:

Doctors without Orders: Highlights of the Sigma XI Postdoc Survey


Where to look for postdoctoral positions:

National Academies Research Associates Program

National Academies

Postdoc Jobs is a great site that lists Postdoc positions in Europe



The Chronicle of Higher Education

National Institutes of Health & NIH-Related

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

How to make the most of your postdoc:

National Postdoctoral Association Core Competencies

Postdoc Survivial Skills by Paige Gordon, Chronicle Careers

Moving Toward Autonomy in a PostDoc from Chronicle Careers


Return to: Career Resources

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