How to secure postdoc position without publications in PHD

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Re: How to secure postdoc position without publications in PHD

Postby MFM » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:54 am

In most academic labs that I know (in biochemistry/molecular biology), PIs would only hire postdocs that had at least one paper published or accepted by the time they applied. In my experience "in preparation" is not sufficient. It doesn't necessarily have to be a really high impact journal, although it certainly is a big bonus! If you have co-authorships on other papers, do be sure to include them in your publication list. Whether co-authorships alone can get you a job really depends on how large your contributions (intellectual and experimental) were...

The only case I know where somebody was hired as a postdoc without a publication was within the same institution, ie. his new boss already knew both the person in question as well as his PhD advisor. Alternatively, bringing your own funding always helps. However, as D. Martin mentioned in his post, getting external funding often requires a publication as well. In any case, check out funding options both in the country you want to work in as well as your country of origin.

Good luck with the job hunting!
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Re: How to secure postdoc position without publications in PHD

Postby BMK » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:19 pm

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'll chime in anyways.

Honestly, networking is probably the best answer to your question (actually, at this point I am convinced its a better answer than having the pubs, but having both is obviously the best position to be in). I was very much in your position when I was finishing grad school, with no accepted/in press publications (I had two in preparation), but I happened to do a summer fellowship/co-op while in grad school, and while I didn't know it at the time, my post-doc PI knew my co-op adviser (who was one of my recommenders) and she basically hired me on his recommendation + a phone interview + the quality of the writing samples I did have. It helped that I had some full-length conference manuscripts so I wasn't a complete unknown (and mine is a field were conference have short papers that somewhat count in peoples' minds).

So long story short, find the professors you know (and like you) in your department/field and see if they can put you in touch with PIs that they know are hiring in sub-fields you are interested in pursuing.
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