It is indeed very appealing and a great experience to follow a Postdoc abroad in a foreign country. New living style, new academic experience, new culture and circle of people to interact with not to mention a whole new personal challenge. That is why the request for finding a suitable postdoc position abroad is booming nowadays. Everyone is eager to build up outside the box way of thinking. In addition, by the mainstream view in scientific research, experience in a foreign lab is beneficial to a scientist’s career. The benefit of working overseas is further evidenced anytime you scan the CV/resume of a laboratory head or manager. However, there are many factors to consider and look into when deciding upon the new destination from a postdoc perspective. Getting feedback and advice from current supervisors are at all times very handy indeed. Let’s look at some of these tips and advice on finding a Postdoc abroad:
- Really research the city and country you are thinking of moving to i.e. visa requirements, cost of living and availability of affordable accommodation.
- If possible, meet with your potential boss and colleagues in person before you accept a job offer. Maybe there is a need to do a lab visit for example
- Approach a number of labs and keep applying for other jobs while waiting for funding to come through. Do not rely on merely one option.
- Look for a postdoc before submitting your thesis. Potential employers would keep strong candidates in mind when applying for funding. In addition, it’s better to have something planned ahead.
- From a future employer’s perspective, the purpose of the phone interview is to screen your CV and get an idea of your technical competence in the lab. Use this phone interview to your advantage, ask questions regarding the makeup of the lab, i.e. the number of postdocs, students, and research assistants. This can give a sense of how the PI runs their lab and the relationship they have with their staff. For a first time postdoc, being the most senior postdoc/scientist in the lab is probably not ideal.
- It’s a good idea to ensure that a specific project is in place for you in a potential new post, as you don’t want to have to come up with a project from scratch.
- Another issue to consider is funding. The length of the funding is very critical. Some contracts are for a year initially, and extension depends on you personally bringing in funding.
There are many more elements involved when making this move. This was a basic overview.