How do I Find Postdoctoral Opportunities?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Just like any kind of job, there are numerous ways to go about finding and applying for postdoctoral opportunities. The first place to start is the career counseling office within your doctoral department. Career counseling offices often have entire databases full of information about postdoctoral opportunities. Furthermore, numerous job-searching databases require pass codes that are only available of those who pay a fee to use them. Often, career counseling offices will pay for subscriptions to such databases which students and alums can use.

Unfortunately, not every college and university has a good career counseling office. Furthermore, if you move far away from campus during or after your doctoral work, the office and its resources may not be as accessible to you as it would be if you still lived in the area. For this reason, it is important to know how to search for postdoctoral opportunities on your own.

A good place to start looking is in industry-based magazines, journals, newsletters, and other publications. Such publications often have articles on companies and programs in your industry to which you might apply. Furthermore, such publications might include details on postdoctoral opportunities and calls for applications.

Another great place to look for postdoctoral opportunities is on industry-based websites. In addition to having current articles and posts on the industry, such websites also often have job listings. In fact, there are some sites that are entirely dedicated to open positions in specific industries.


One of the best possible scenarios for doctoral students nearing the end of their programs is to have a job lined up prior to graduation. In order to do this, it is advisable to work or intern while studying. Some doctoral programs are so intense that it is not possible to maintain a full-time job or, in some cases even a part-time job, while students are working toward their degrees. If it is feasible, it is a good idea to work at least a few hours per week or dedicate school holidays to working in the industry.

Almost all doctoral programs include heavy amounts of research. For this reason, most people who have successfully completed their doctoral studies are well-trained researchers. It is not a surprise, then, that numerous postdoctoral opportunities are research-based projects and positions. Most research-based positions are offered by companies that are known for their research as well as universities. Look into companies that conduct research in your field. Also, look for universities that are looking for a researcher in your area of expertise.

The best advice is to start looking early and do your best to develop a strong resume and curriculum vitae while you are still studying.



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