Post-Doc Question

VintageRed

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I did a brief search to see if this had already been discussed, but wasn't able to find anything, so I apologize if I am rehashing an old thread. I am beginning to seek out formal fellowships that I would like to apply to. For internship, the recommended amount of applications was 15. Is there similar guidance for post-doc about recommended number of applications? The application process seems a little more vague to me compared to internship. Any insight would be appreciated!
 
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R. Matey

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My exp is probably no more than ten and that's on the very high end. Myself and people from my doctoral cohort all applied to 3-5 places and had multiple offers. It's not nearly as competitive as internship. I know one person who did ten and had eight interviews. These were in diverse areas (peds, rehab, health) and most of us weren't restricted geographically. Not sure if it's different for neuro.
 
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WisNeuro

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My exp is probably no more than ten and that's on the very high end. Myself and people from my doctoral cohort all applied to 3-5 places and had multiple offers. It's not nearly as competitive as internship. I know one person who did ten and had eight interviews. These were in diverse areas (peds, rehab, health) and most of us weren't restricted geographically. Not sure if it's different for neuro.

I applied to 8, got 7 interviews. The one that missed actually withdrew their position altogether due to funding issues. In general, talking with other neuro friends, they got a much higher number of interviews per application than in the internship process. I do think neuro has gotten slightly more competitive as of late, though a large number of applicants in neuro come from some....less than reputable sources, so a large number of those apps are simply not competitive.
 
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Mercury in Taurus

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I did a brief search to see if this had already been discussed, but wasn't able to find anything, so I apologize if I am rehashing an old thread. I am beginning to seek out formal fellowships that I would like to apply to. For internship, the recommended amount of applications was 15. Is there similar guidance for post-doc about recommended number of applications? The application process seems a little more vague to me compared to internship. Any insight would be appreciated!
For internship, I applied for 25 sites diversified between highly competitive sites (200-400 applicants) and less competitive sites (65-100 applicants), including VA, private and state hospitals, and university counseling centers. Two programs withdrew due to funding issues. Out of 18 interview invitations, I attended 16 (this was pre-Covid time). Out of 16 interviews, I only ranked 14, and matched at the first round. 25 applications were probably an overkill. It was a highly anxiety driven due to many reasons, primarily my poor group interview skills. If you are good at interviewing, you can save some $$$.

For postdoc, I applied for 12 sites that included VA, state hospitals, and private practices. Got 8 interview invitations and attended all 8; however, matched at the 2nd round.
 

AcronymAllergy

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Mirroring what others have said, I and folks I've talked with over the years applied to fewer sites and received a higher proportion of interviews for postdoc than for internship. For neuropsych, I received pretty variable advice in terms of number of sites to apply to (i.e., ranged from maybe 5-6 to 12-15), which I think related to the advisor's risk tolerance and experiences with previous interns not matching. I think I ultimately applied to 10 or 12 and received interviews at all but one or two.

As WisNeuro mentioned, neuropsych seems like it's a bit more competitive overall, given that the fellowship is generally viewed as a requirement. But even then, folks tend to apply to fewer sites than they did for internship. Outside of neuropsych, from what I've heard and seen, folks tend to apply to even fewer sites, and sites are generally receiving many, many fewer applications than they did for internship.
 

foreverbull

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Highly variable based on competitiveness and applicant supply of the sites you apply to. In here, many will say apply to fewer, as I was told, too. But if you apply to formal postdocs with only 1 position open (at least a few of the sites I pursued needed just one person), your chances aren’t going to be great if there are many applicants.

For reference, I think I applied to 8 sites, all in California. Got a fair number of interviews, but one site never even contacted me after applying to let me know if I’d been selected for interviews or not. At that point I realized that my sites were probably far more competitive than I’d expected (I knew it would be competitive, but had hoped my app would stand out enough), and I ended up empty-handed.

That said, college counseling (and possibly other) postdocs appear to be more insular and networking-based in very saturated states. Colleagues whose TD knew other college counseling site TDs in the area had an easier time securing interviews and a postdoc than I did (I was coming from out-of-state).

I’d suggest applying to several sites in a wide geographical area and of varying levels of competitiveness to maximize chances.
 
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AcronymAllergy

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Highly variable based on competitiveness and applicant supply of the sites you apply to. In here, many will say apply to fewer, as I was told, too. But if you apply to formal postdocs with only 1 position open (at least a few of the sites I pursued needed just one person), your chances aren’t going to be great if there are many applicants.

For reference, I think I applied to 8 sites, all in California. Got a fair number of interviews, but one site never even contacted me after applying to let me know if I’d been selected for interviews or not. At that point I realized that my sites were probably far more competitive than I’d expected (I knew it would be competitive, but had hoped my app would stand out enough), and I ended up empty-handed.

That said, college counseling (and possibly other) postdocs appear to be more insular and networking-based in very saturated states. Colleagues whose TD knew other college counseling site TDs in the area had an easier time securing interviews and a postdoc than I did (I was coming from out-of-state).

I’d suggest applying to several sites in a wide geographical area and of varying levels of competitiveness to maximize chances.
I would agree. Or if stick to a certain geographic region (which is more common with postdoc that prior levels of training), still try to vary the competitiveness of sites and maybe add in a few more applications than you might otherwise. At the end of the day, the only real downsides to applying to more sites for postdoc are monetary (hopefully reduced with virtual interviews and fewer site visits) and time.
 

R. Matey

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As WisNeuro mentioned, neuropsych seems like it's a bit more competitive overall, given that the fellowship is generally viewed as a requirement.

#sorrynotsorry for the thread hijack, but I have to ask: how suspicious should I be of people who haven't completed a fellowship in neuropsych and/or are not boarded, but refer to themselves as neuropsychologists? In other words, is boarding a requirement to call oneself a neuropsychologist everywhere or does it vary?
 

AcronymAllergy

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#sorrynotsorry for the thread hijack, but I have to ask: how suspicious should I be of people who haven't completed a fellowship in neuropsych and/or are not boarded, but refer to themselves as neuropsychologists? In other words, is boarding a requirement to call oneself a neuropsychologist everywhere or does it vary?
I don't think boarding is a requirement to call oneself a neuropsychologist in any state, although I believe a couple (e.g., MN) may require it to bill insurance or for some other stipulation. And a couple other states (e.g., LA) have specific carve-out criteria to use the term "neuropsychologist" or (e.g., FL) to call oneself "board-certified."

While I fully support boarding, I wouldn't immediately be suspicious of someone I didn't know personally and who wasn't boarded; I'd just want to look at their training, if possible (which I might do with someone who's boarded as well, just to be thorough). However, I would be very suspicious of someone who hadn't completed a fellowship, assuming they'd finished their training within the past couple decades and I didn't recognize their name from a textbook.
 
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WisNeuro

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Thanks for the replies. Can you express preference during postdoc interviews (i.e., this site is my top choice)? Or is that the same as internship interviews?

If there is some sort if match process, check their protocols. As far as I know, the rules are different for most postdoc matches. Someone correct me if it's changed, but the APPIC uniform notification system and the APPCN match do not forbid discussing ranking decisions for the most part.
 

AcronymAllergy

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For APPCN sites (neuropsych), there are specific rules that I can't remember exactly, but that I think allow a bit more leeway than with internship (e.g., site can't necessarily say where you're ranked, but is allowed to say something like, "if you rank us highly enough, you will match here"). Outside of APPCN, there's the APPIC guidelines regarding Postdoctoral Selection found here: Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines. I don't see anything barring expression of preference by the applicant, but I only skimmed them.

Outside of APPCN and APPIC, pretty much anything goes. Although you'd probably want to avoid telling multiple sites they're your top choice to avoid getting stuck in a potentially (professionally) awkward position if more than one of those sites makes you an offer.

Edit: Here's what APPCN says about discussing rank order:

Programs must not request that an applicant state how the applicant intends to rank any program and applicants must not communicate their ranking intentions to programs. The communication of a program's ranking intentions to an applicant is not permitted, except under very specific circumstances as provided for in the APPCN Match Policies. In particular, an applicant who receives a preemptive offer from a program that is not participating in the Match may inform a participating program about that offer; if the participating program intends to rank the applicant in a manner that will guarantee a match, the program may so inform the applicant (please refer to the APPCN Match Policies for complete details).
 
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Daisy2021

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Does anyone know if forensic post-docs with ABPP waivers are more competitive? I am currently planning on applying to 8 but wondering if I should expand that if those are typically more difficult to obtain.
Applied to 8, received 7 interviews. Was able to successfully make a reciprocal offer. If I could do it over again, I would probably applied to 4-6 rather than 8. But it also depends on what will make you feel comfortable anxiety wise. Since interviews are offered presumably over zoom/Webex scheduling is less of a hassle. But I will say there were a few days where I had interviews back to back which was very tiring. Competitiveness depends on the site, as there are a few sites that historically offer few interview slots (e.g., 2-3 interviews per slot) for their positions. Feel free to DM me if you have questions about waivered sites.
 
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forensic13

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Does anyone know if forensic post-docs with ABPP waivers are more competitive? I am currently planning on applying to 8 but wondering if I should expand that if those are typically more difficult to obtain.
They are pretty competitive, but eight is a lot. I applied to five and interviewed with all five, successfully getting my top position. I can't imagine doing eight interviews during postdoc season!
 
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