Career advice

4 Reasons You Should do a Postdoc Abroad

2 min read · By Academic Positions

Have you ever considered doing your postdoc abroad? There are several major benefits to doing an international postdoc.

More Opportunities

At this point in your career, you have your own research area and specialty. As you start to look for postdocs, you may find that the universities in your home country do not have many PIs working in your particular subfield and they may not be hiring. Widening your search to include international postdoc positions will give you more options and allow you to find the perfect position. Additionally, if your research requires access to certain resources like museums, sites, libraries, archives, or equipment, doing a postdoc in the same country might facilitate your access.

More Funding

You may have access to more funding if you do your postdoc abroad. There are many fellowships that are designed specifically to increase researcher mobility, such as the Fulbright Scholar Program, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and Humboldt Research Fellowship. Fellowships like this are not available to researchers who do their postdoctoral training in their home country.

It’s also worth considering that in some countries postdocs are considered university employees, meaning they are entitled to employee benefits like health insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, and paid parental leave. The same may not be true in your home country. 

Widen Your Network

One of the big perks of doing an international postdoc is the chance to broaden your network by making connections in a new county. You will have the opportunity to build relationships with academics in your lab, department, and institution who could come from all over the world. They could become lifelong international collaborators. Global connections will quickly enhance your academic reputation and will be crucial when you start looking for faculty positions. Doing a postdoc abroad can also be especially beneficial if your goal is to find a faculty job outside your home country.

Embrace a New Culture

Doing an international postdoc will allow you to gain a global perspective. You’ll be exposed to new ideas, teaching styles and academic cultures that will shape your work. You will learn how research and funding work in other countries. Your personal development will also benefit from time spent abroad. You might be able to improve your language skills by new language or improving your English.

By Academic Positions  ·  Published 2019-10-09

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