Is it ok to ask for a post-doc again at a scientific congress?

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Is it ok to ask for a post-doc again at a scientific congress?

Postby D. Murlen » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:36 pm

Hi :)

I am thinking about one problem I have all the time and can't find a solution. Maybe you can help me and give me some advice.

About one year ago, I met a manager of a department who offer internships for phds but also post-docs. He said although all vacancies are filled I can send him my CV and he would forward it to the department That's what I did. I received a thanks email and that's it. A few months later I found a postdoc-advertisement in the internet and applied to that officially and sent him one month later an email that I applied via the application platform. Unfortunately, he did not write me back. One month later I wrote him again. Well, I am still waiting for the answer.

In a few weeks, I will go to a congress where he will give a talk. I am unsure if I should contact him again.

What do you think?
D. Murlen
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Re: Is it ok to ask for a post-doc again at a scientific congress?

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:51 am

So -- you don't want to look like a "stalker." But in reality, it's just business basic courtesy for this person to at least let you know whether you stand a chance. I think if you are polite and sincere in your interests, you can walk up after his talk and make a comment about it (positively, I hope) and close with "I'm still very interested in what I can bring as a postdoc . . ."

What do you have to lose? You do not want to appear too intense (my "stalker" comment above). You're just doing some follow-up and you'd like to know where you stand. (Sometimes, an attitude of "It's important to me, but not all consuming" is a better approach and brings more job opportunities).

It would also be a good idea between now and the meeting to find out by doing some networking with existing postdocs what the atmosphere is like there, and what they seem to be looking for in this present need. Keep in mind that no one postdoc is so all important that you need to look like you are desperate. Don't do that, but if you can learn more from other people, you may find that your background just isn't what they need. They may be trying to round out their lab with a CHO cell biologist, and you are a Mass Spec guy. There are many reasons for interest or lack of interest. Find out what you can about this one and then start to focus on other opportunities, all the while realizing that postdocs are not the end goal in themselves, just an "in-between" step.

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