Washington University is recognized as one of the leading research institutions in the world. The School of Medicine conducts internationally renowned research in many areas and has a rich tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration and a strong link between basic science and clinical medicine. Washington University is committed to excellence in research and education, and recognizes that postdoctoral appointees make a critical contribution to the University’s overall research mission through the generation of new ideas, sharing of research knowledge, and the publication of research results. Washington University also recognizes that postdoctoral appointments are temporary training positions designed to enhance scientific, professional and other skills.
All postdoctoral positions at WU are appointed individually by WU faculty members and not through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). There are several ways to search for a position at WU:
- The Washington University jobs board lists open postdoctoral positions.
- DBBS Faculty Research Interests Database – 500+ faculty members affiliated with the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences, search by keyword and contact faculty directly.
- Search by department to see if there are positions available or to find faculty in a specific area of research.
Postdoctoral training is a transitional period in your career and you need to find the best fit. Ask questions now and evaluate the answers carefully to save time and energy later. When you interview for a position, you are also interviewing the faculty mentor, other colleagues and the university. Know what you need to be successful, and start from there. It’s better to choose wisely than to try to get out of a bad situation later.
A few questions to think about:
What do you need to succeed?
What type of environment is best for you? Do you prefer large or small groups? What kind of management style are you looking for in a faculty mentor? What are your goals short and long term career plans? Will working with a specific group or mentor help you achieve these goals? Do you have a partner who needs to find a position? Do you have geographical constraints?
What kind of faculty mentor do you want?
Research prospective mentors before applying, during and after the interview. Where have former postdocs gone after training? What is their reputation concerning postdocs? Is this type of research a good fit? Will you have the opportunity to develop independence? Will you learn the skills and techniques you need to succeed in your field? How well respected are they? What do current & former mentees say about their experience? Will you need to apply for funding?
Finding the “Perfect Postdoc” for You by Carol Manahan of the NPA
“Questions to Ask When Considering Postdoc Positions” – by Nicholas Schade, PhD
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