Recently, I saw that a post-doc, “assistant professor”, converted to become a full-time Research Associate at their school, moving all of their online content out of the department faculty page and onto their own, personal website. I am guessing that they are no longer in the running for tenure-track jobs and are happy being full-time researchers. It seems they are still publishing and doing what they love.

What is the difference between becoming a full-time Research Associate and staying on tenure-track and waiting / hoping to become a professor? Do you give up something substantial by taking yourself out of the tenure-track race?

(To me, it seems that all they gave up was a faculty homepage.)

For reference, it’s a large U.S. research university.

I am a Phd student in Applied probability looking for postdoc jobs after submitting thesis. My question is that what is the value of arxiv papers (not yet published in a journal) compared to papers published in a journal while applying for postdoc. For example, If I have 2 journal papers and 1 arxiv paper whereas someone has 3 journal papers, will he gets any benefit over me.

Thanks in advance.

Few days ago I appeared in a postdoc interview. The PI was very much impressed with my resume and the interview went very well. The PI asked me when do you want to join. The next day he asked recommendation letters from two of my references (I am sure that they will give me a very good recommendation). After 2 weeks I got the rejection letter. How to interpret this rejection (he told me that the position is filled by some other candidate). This will be useful for my future postdoc endeavors.

I politely asked him the reason. He did not reply.

Thanks in advance. Sorry if this question is inappropriate.

Before giving the context of my situation, I sum up my questions:

– As a 3rd year PhD student, what would you do if you have a nice result but cannot publish it because your advisor is too busy and doesn’t help?

– If the main result of your PhD is not published by the time you apply to postdocs, can you still talk about it in the research statement? Will it have much less impact than if it was published?

I am currently a third year PhD student in the field of mathematical physics in a small unknown university. I will graduate before June 2019, but I will apply for postdocs this year.

For the last 1.5 years, I mostly worked alone on a theory A, and I found out that there was a correspondence between this theory A and a theory B. Each of them have raised a lot of research in their own direction since 30 years, but I never found anything on the literature about a possible connection. So I guess it’s interesting.

The problem is that I got kinda far from my advisor research interests: he is a specialist of the theory A, but B sounds esoteric for him. The first time I asked his opinion, he was suspicious “no no, it has nothing to do”. When I came back with more “proofs” (one year ago), he got much more enthusiastic. He wanted to publish a paper by the end of summer 2017, and sent me an outline for the paper. He even discussed with the “boss” of the theory B (who knows almost nothing about A), and he seemed really surprised and intrigued.

Since one year, NOTHING happened. I did further and more precise computations, but he is very active in his own fruitful research and travels a lot. Since last summer, I sent him several versions of my notes and asked about discussion, but every time we discussed a little about it (maybe 3 times in one year?), I realize that he didn’t read anything. Several weeks ago, he said it would be nice to publish the paper before I apply for postdocs, but that maybe he is too optimistic…

Today, I feel kinda discouraged and powerless. I am in a weird situation where I think I have nice unexpected results which raise many new questions, but I have on the bottom of the bottom of the list of my advisor priorities. Besides him, scientifically I am completely isolated in my university. I am supposed to apply for postdoc in September/October, and I put a lot of hopes in those results. I have 2 other papers but I find them way less interesting. I don’t know what to do.

I would be interested to know if someone have been in a similar situation, and how was it during the postdoc process.

I am giving in the next days a presentation to a UK university, as a part of an interview for a post-doc position.

The PI of the lab asked me to put one slide at the beginning with my academic CV.

However, academic CV is in general long and I have no clue on what I should put in this slide and what not, beside the obvious things.

What should this slide contain?
Which is the common practice for this?

I am sure I will need to add:

  • Previous degrees (Bsc, Msc).
  • Phd

What I do not know:

  • Professional experiences?
  • Teaching experiences?
  • List of papers?
  • List of conferences?
  • List of journals for which I served as a reviewer?

Backgrounds: I’m an international researcher (biologist) in Europe; with a PhD and one year postdoctoral experience. I want to increase my chances to get a second postdoctoral position through contacting potential PIs and expressing my willingness to apply for my own funding and to write a postdoctoral research grant applications.


1) When I cold contact professors for postdoc positions, what is the most polite way; Should I immediately (with my cv) send a cover letter including research ideas and informing them that I want to apply for my own grant? Or just present myself and my research interests and wait for a reply. Then if it is a yes I fellow up with my ideas etc..

2) Often Professors are busy and have big research group to handle so I feel like they might not be interested in hassling for a grant with a new postdoc. Especially if they don’t know him or his PhD advisor, so they tend to not reply. (I don’t blame them though).
So is it better to contact the second most senior researcher in the team, to improve the chances to get a reply?

I’m in the last year of my PhD and I’d like to get a postdoc after my program is done. In a few days, I’m going to present a poster about one of my projects (manuscript to be submitted soon) in a conference and I want to know how to approach professors.

I have a pretty good idea about the professors that will be present and the ones I’d like to join but how to approach them is something new for me. I don’t think it’s appropriate to focus on my current work when approaching them since I’ll not work on the same subject in a postdoc. Moreover, I feel that some subjects are more delicate to discuss such as funding, flexibility and independence in the group.

How should I proceed in this matter ?

I’ve found the answers and comments in this question very informative but they work for the specific case of a talk: "Looking for a postdoc" ad inside a conference talk?.

3 years before I exchanged email with a professor for Ph.D program. He sent me several links including the process of his university for PhD and some useful links, in the meanwhile I also contacted to another professor in another country. I selected the second option to continue my PhD. Now I completed my PhD. Is it ethical to send email and ask the first professor for postdoc position?

I’m doing my PhD in computer science and I’m almost finished (maybe one more year).

In fact, my background was engineering, but in my MS study I got interested in CS and took courses about “pattern recognition”, and “distributed AI” and “robotics” so I tried to continue that line in my PhD which is about machine learning and data analysis.

I tried to become an expert (in a PhD level) in my topic of PhD as I read a lot of papers and got focused on one topic, but here and there I see my colleagues (same discipline) are talking about methods and principles that I’m not familiar with.

The fact is that I want to continue in this field as a post-doc and even more, but I feel a gap in my background, and I’m wondering how I can fill it? For example, should I take online courses related to commonly taught materials in a bachelor/master CS program?