Prospective Postdoctoral Associates
Seeking a postdoctoral position in many respects is similar to securing admission to a doctoral program. The crucial element in your search is the compatibility of research interests between you and your potential mentor. Another important factor is the source of funding.
- Start by identifying faculty members and research groups in your research field. Explore websites of the academic departments that relate to your area of expertise. The obvious choice is the academic department that offers your major, but don't be afraid to look outside of the box. For example, if your major was electrical engineering and you specialized in image processing there may be someone in an interdisciplinary center such as the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute or a faculty member in Biology, or even Psychology who may be interested in similar research problems.
- Use Texas Tech University's online index of department web sites to explore departmental pages for more information on their labs and research projects.Look through the faculty profiles listed on departmental websites and choose the faculty whose research interests most resemble yours.
- Contact the faculty member and inquire about a possibility of a postdoctoral appointment.
- If a faculty member does not have any openings it may not hurt to ask if s/he knows of someone with similar research interest who may have an opening for a postdoc.
- If you receive a negative response move to the next closest match in terms of research interests and repeat this process. As a rule of a thumb avoid contacting more than three professors in a single academic department. Word travels, it would make you look unfocused if it turned out that you contacted all on faculty in a specific department.
- If none contacted have openings you may want to repeat this process with another university.
In many cases a conversation with your potential mentor about potential postdoctoral position may take a positive turn when you mention the magic phrase "I would come with my own funding". A Postdoctoral Associate that covers all or most of his or her cost in an opportunity for a faculty member to expand his or her research group and potential for proliferation of research and publications. We recommend that you explore external funding options while seeking postdoctoral positions.
First step in searching for funding are major federal funding agencies:
Other external listings of external postdoctoral fellowships are available on the following sites:
- Texas Tech University Graduate School's external funding website
- Minority Postdoc Association Resources
Best of luck in your search!