Resources for finding a postdoc abroad

7/13/2018 5:48:33 PM

The “American” in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology may be a bit deceptive. While based in the U.S., the ASBMB truly is an international organization as reflected by our membership base, journal editorial boards and programs aimed at strengthening global research cooperation (e.g., PROLAB).  

As such, the ASBMB encourages U.S.-based researchers to consider studying and working abroad. And there are so many benefits for your career, from gaining a global research perspective to building international collaborations.

For this week’s post, we looked more into international postdoc opportunities for U.S.-based scholars and crowdsourced related information from the science community. Here are some resources we found on factors to consider before working abroad and how to find postdoc opportunities.  

  • is an international job board for academic vacancies in the biological sciences that includes postdoc positions. Jobs are searchable by country on the website. You also can register for free to receive a bimonthly newsletter with updated postings and the option to upload a C.V. (H/t to ASBMB Communications Director Angela Hopp for sharing this website.)  
  • The Fulbright Scholar Program, an academic exchange program sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has multiple programs and awards available for postdoctoral scholars from the U.S. to research and teach in other countries. A full listing of programs can be found in the searchable awards catalog. The program also hosts a number of informational webinars for applicants that are archived on the website. The application deadline is Aug. 1.  
  • Science Magazine has published articles that feature useful resources for U.S.-based scientists who are interested in doing a postdoc abroad. These include “An American Postdoc Abroad” by Edward O’Brien and “Independent Postdocs: Resources” by Elisabeth Pain. The latter article contains a comprehensive list of where to find postdoc grants and fellowships both within and outside the U.S. (H/t to Adriana Bankston, Associate Director of Fundraising and Strategic Initiatives at Future of Research, for sharing these resources.)  

Adriana also connected me to Sina Safayi, Assistant Director of Career Development at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, who co-hosted a session on “Careers, Funding and Mobility in a Global Research Landscape” at the 2018 National Postdoctoral Association Annual Conference. Here are some useful resources he graciously has shared:

  • A copy of slides from the NPA session that includes: 1) a presentation by Sina on challenges to consider when working abroad; 2) a presentation by Viktoria Bodnarova, EURAXESS North America Regional Representative, detailing the resources available through EURAXESS, which supports researchers pursuing careers in the European Union; and 3) a presentation by Dietrich Wolf Fenner, Program Director for the German Academic International Network, overviewing all the many opportunities to do research in Germany.

  • A handout on “Global Mobility Resources” that provides links to online resources for expats living abroad (e.g.., cultural assessments, cost-of-living analyses).
We also took to Twitter to crowdsource information on postdoc opportunities in other countries. Here is what people responded with. FYI, many of the programs listed in the last bullet also are included in the slides mentioned above, so be sure to check out those slides for more details.

Donna Kridelbaugh is a contributor to the ASBMB Careers Blog. She holds an advanced degree in microbiology and is a former lab manager.   

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