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I keep getting rejected for post-doc


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#1 Curtis

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:38 AM

I feel terrible. I never imagined finding a job would be so difficult after getting a 'precious' PhD degree. I keep getting rejected, but my CV is quite OK.
Damn it... :(
Does anyone know a good website? Nature and New scientists jobs are very competitive. I think that's the same for all big magazines

Edited by Curtis, 26 January 2011 - 08:42 AM.


#2 GeneTurk

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:58 AM

I think you might have already checked it, but you may try postdocjobs.com or higher-education chronicle (http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/).

#3 K.B.

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 09:59 AM

Curtis, I understand your pain..

I am looking for a post-doc for 6 months (ie. before I got my PhD), and for a job - 3 months now (from the next day after I got PhD).

Where do you live and/or in which countries are you interested in?

From what I know CV is secondary to cover letter / application letter. If you have bunch of people on similar level of education and skills, what matters most is how they present themselves and first thing recruiter sees is your cover letter. In feedback I got I was told to highlight how my experience fits with the job that is being advertised and "sell" myself in my application. It is also good to get in touch with the department and ask about the work, project, what they are after so it would look you're very interested. I was also told always to ask to see the labs.

#4 Curtis

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:23 AM

I have an offer, but the salary is terribly low.

I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I am interested in a US job. But I keep getting rejected. It is true that it is hard for a foreigner to land a job in the US, but I see many of my friends going there, and later come back with a good CV and find a top job here.

I applied for University of Colorado, and also MUSC in Charleston.

#5 K.B.

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:00 PM

I can't really help you with the US jobs or post-docs. I'm from Europe and looking only for those EU-based - if you're interested I can give you few links. Similarly to you I have no luck in applying abroad.

#6 Ameya P

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:31 PM

I have an offer, but the salary is terribly low.

I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I am interested in a US job. But I keep getting rejected. It is true that it is hard for a foreigner to land a job in the US, but I see many of my friends going there, and later come back with a good CV and find a top job here.

I applied for University of Colorado, and also MUSC in Charleston.


Curtis,

I know how you must be feeling when friends get jobs in foreign countries. But I would suggest taking a job where you would learn more, get to do more, rather than the place where you are working. The good thing is that your long term aim is to get a top job in your own country. Probably, you could take a job with a low salary, gain experience and then work abroad and with the added experience of having worked abroad and in your own country come back again to the top most job (there is always the route to work up the ladder in your own country).

Salary is always an issue. When I joined my place of work, I thought I was not being rewarded for the work I would put in. But soon, I realized that others were being paid much lower and in comparison to them, my contributions are well rewarded. Its all relative. Please do not compare salaries in the US, UK to those at home. And keep your spirits high, you will soon get a good job.


KB: Still looking for job??? A couple of my friends from the EU got jobs in Ireland. Have you tried there????

Edited by gt_ameya, 26 January 2011 - 10:32 PM.

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#7 Curtis

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:58 PM

Thanks guys,

The problem is that when you get older you are more unlikely to find a post-doc abroad. I am 33 now.

I did my MSc in UK, University of Essex, and I remember when I wanted to start my PhD there I was considered old. I was just 26 at the time and the maximum age for a PhD applicant was 27 in top places. I got rejected from Cancer Research UK 2 times because of my age.

I have many friends who hold PhD degrees when they just turn 25. ...it is insane, the world is becoming more competitive every minute.

People used to get university jobs with just a PhD degree, now for some places they need to have at least two post-docs. Somebody kill me

#8 Curtis

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:03 PM

I can't really help you with the US jobs or post-docs. I'm from Europe and looking only for those EU-based - if you're interested I can give you few links. Similarly to you I have no luck in applying abroad.


yes please shoot, thanks

#9 Ameya P

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:08 PM

The problem is that when you get older you are more unlikely to find a post-doc abroad. I am 33 now.

I did my MSc in UK, University of Essex, and I remember when I wanted to start my PhD there I was considered old. I was just 26 at the time and the maximum age for a PhD applicant was 27 in top places. I got rejected from Cancer Research UK 2 times because of my age.

Your post has started scaring me now. I am 25 now and was thinking that I should take another year or so, before I take up my PhD. I thought age did not matter, if you had some experience and could think in a logical/scientific manner.


I have many friends who hold PhD degrees when they just turn 25. ...it is insane, the world is becoming more competitive every minute.

People used to get university jobs with just a PhD degree, now for some places they need to have at least two post-docs. Somebody kill me


PhD at 25 is insane. A lab-mate at my uni had taken a PhD just because he wanted to do science and not take a job. I am not sure how will he keep himself motivated as his PhD progresses. But at this rate, in probably ten years time, we will have unemployed PhD holders...

Dont worry Curtis, you will get a job

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#10 Curtis

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:19 PM

the problem is that I'm getting married soon

#11 casandra

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:30 AM

the problem is that I'm getting married soon


Hi Curtis,

Advanced congratulations then :). And what is a “terribly low” salary anyhow? A 40k USD may put you at poverty level in LA or Boston but would probably be enough in some Midwest cities. And besides, legally, most institutions would have pay scales adjusted to the cost of living but of course, if you’re looking for good salaries, you may have to gain more experience first. Not to sound pessimistic here but the economic slowdown and the severe cuts on research budgets translate to fewer jobs created or available. It is especially more difficult for international applicants bec you’re competing with natives or residents. And some PIs would not want to wait or wade through all the bureaucratic red tape of getting someone from abroad when there are many who are just around the corner so to speak. But that doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities, you just have to be more patient. And I think in the US, they have a quota for the working visas they issue so if it’s already filled, you wait again for the next round.

And I guess most of us also know that getting a job doesn’t solely depend on our CV or how qualified we are…a lot depends on luck and connections. I have heard some PIs say that they don’t even open unsolicited e-mails from people they don’t know (they get a lot of those all the time). So it’s always a good strategy to do some networking …i.e., when attending congresses/meetings- introduce yourself, your work etc bec many of the attendees are potential employers or try to start collaborations with labs doing something related etc. So when you’re done with your degree, you already know people who can probably help you out in one way or another.

And for your job search, you’ve to continue going thru the usual channels eg recruiters, websites, science magazine ads etc. or if you’ve enough patience, I’d suggest checking out the big funding agencies grant decisions. Here in Canada- we have the CIHR and the NSERC (the US –NIH perhaps?) or the equivalent in other countries and here, the awards are given twice a year...you’ll find a list of the successful labs and PIs and their research topic. So you’d know whose labs have money and are most probably hiring. Or check too those labs which are up for renewal (end of their funding period)....they have a better chance of getting fresh funding. Anyways, the important thing is never to give up.....it can be hard, challenging even frustrating for many, it doesn't matter which field and finding THE perfect job is a myth of course...good luck...
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#12 Curtis

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:49 AM

And for your job search, you’ve to continue going thru the usual channels eg recruiters, websites, science magazine ads etc. or if you’ve enough patience, I’d suggest checking out the big funding agencies grant decisions. Here in Canada- we have the CIHR and the NSERC (the US –NIH perhaps?) or the equivalent in other countries and here, the awards are given twice a year...you’ll find a list of the successful labs and PIs and their research topic. So you’d know whose labs have money and are most probably hiring. Or check too those labs which are up for renewal (end of their funding period)....they have a better chance of getting fresh funding. Anyways, the important thing is never to give up.....it can be hard, challenging even frustrating for many, it doesn't matter which field and finding THE perfect job is a myth of course...good luck...


Hi, long time no see Casandra,

very good suggestion, I'll do that. Hope I can find it on NIH website

Edited by Curtis, 29 January 2011 - 08:49 AM.


#13 Curtis

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:09 PM

guys I think I got the post-doc position already, we had some verbal agreements with my own supervisor. So it's done...the news came out of nowhere just now. my hands are shaking of happiness, couldn't accept the fact of being a jobless-old-PhD-holder-who-cannot-feed-his-wife

#14 Clare

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:34 AM

Hang in there Curtis! I am sure you'll find a job soon :)

As for your age - I don't think you're too old at all.

I know a woman who did a PhD in her 50's (Immunology) and now has an awesome job in an awesome institute!

Clare

#15 Curtis

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:03 AM

50's? she must get Nobel prize




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