Postdocs applying for a project

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Postdocs applying for a project

Postby Ana M » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:28 pm


I\'ll finish my PhD next year and I\'m considering where to go for my first postdoc. I think I already know most of the things regarding postdoc positions but there is one thing that I would like to know but I can\'t find in the net. This is: are postdocs allowed to apply for research pojects in USA and Canada?

I indicate the countries because I am not sure whether this depends on the country (and I\'m european, I don\'t know if this can limitate the projects I could apply to)

And I mean a \"new\" postdoc, applying for a project funding when you are yet working in another\'s lab.

I would like to build my carreer as strong as possible since the beginning, and being able to get economic support from a project seems to me a good way to have autonomy in the lab and get an independent position sooner.

Thank you very much for the forum, that\'s nice to find a place like this to ask carrer questions,

Ana M
Ana M

Postdocs applying for a project

Postby Meredith » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:31 pm


You are welcome to apply for positions in the USA and otherwise. If you have friends overseas in these countries, or know people whom have made the journey, you may want to ask them their perspective on making the transition.

Aside from this, you will need to move through the various departments involving Immigration and Naturalization Services (used to be INS) in the US. You will also need to apply for a visa. For example: You will need to prepare initial immigration documents (DS-2019 or I-20) to enable admitted students to apply for the J-1 visa. (Usually post-docs do not get H-1.) I would also recommend that you try to determine all you can before making the journey; possibly coming for a short period of time to see if where you obtain your post-doc is a good fit.

Postdocs applying for a project

Postby Gokce Toruner » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:57 pm

Dear Anna,

I think you have chosen an excellent time to think over this issue.

Technically speaking, postdocs can not apply for "research grants" (i.e. say an NIH RO1 grant), since they are not considered as independent scientists. They are considered as "scientists in training" rather than the principal investigators

However they can apply "training grants" (i.e a grant for a research project endorsed by the principle investigator in whose lab will the postdoc work. e.g. NIH K series grants) That training grant will usually cover the stipend of the postdoc (and sometimes even reagents and travel funds). As you have mentioned, it is quite prestigious for the postdoc to have these grants, since they are awarded as a result of competetive peer review. It is the most objective indicator that your future project will result in good science and you will not be working on an artifact In addition, in US system bringing your own money and indepence goes hand in hand.

Before jumping on these grants, however, it is prundent to clarify the issue of benefits with the host institution. Because sometimes when you come with your own grant money, they may not give you fringe benefits such as health benefits, which may cause enormous problems for yourself and significant others

GrantsNet( will be a good start point for your quest for the grants.

Best of luck

Gokce Toruner

Gokce Toruner

Postdocs applying for a project

Postby Ana M » Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:33 am

Thanks for you replies,

I will read more about those training grants,

Ana M

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