Washington University is recognized as one of the leading research institutions in the world. The university is committed to excellence in research and education, and recognizes that postdoctoral appointees make a critical contribution to the 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.

Finding a WU Postdoc Position

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:

University benefits and postdoctoral policies can be found on our Policies & Benefits Page.

Choosing a Postdoc Position

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?

Other resources:

National Postdoctoral Association Resources

Finding the “Perfect Postdoc” for You by Carol Manahan

“Questions to Ask When Considering Postdoc Positions” – by Nicholas Schade, PhD

Words of Advice: choosing the right lab for your post-doctoral fellowship