Timing post-doc apps

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Ollie123, 09.29.14.

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  1. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    Quick question - anyone else struggling to figure out the best time to submit post-doc applications? Since most of these seem to take apps on a rolling basis and they aren't necessarily all on the same schedule, I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Rumor has it that unlike grad schools where you have a set deadline to apply, these work more like "real world" jobs where people have a couple days to a couple weeks to decide - though I'm sure that varies immensely by the post-doc, how bad they want you, etc.

    As an example of a possible conundrum - one just came out that I would definitely consider but probably isn't going to be my #1. Its still quite early in the cycle. I'm considering delaying applying as long as I can justify to try and push it onto the same cycle as the others, to try and avoid ending up in a position where if they do extend an offer and only give me a week to decide, I have to turn them down in the hopes of something better. Of course, I also don't want to completely miss the opportunity in the event they fill right away. I know the process is way less competitive than internship so I'm not worried about finding "something" - just don't want to end up accepting an offer that wouldn't have been my first choice and either missing a great opportunity or pissing folks off by later retracting an acceptance. Curious if others encountered this issue and how they handled it.
     
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  3. researchgirl

    researchgirl 7+ Year Member

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    With the caveat that I am not pulling this off well at ALL right now, my plan was to apply only to ideal amazing post docs through Nov 15, then apply to great but not perfect ones through Jan 1, and then in January slowly start applying more broadly.

    Would love to hear from someone who is on the other side, though.
     
  4. neuronic

    neuronic 2+ Year Member

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    From the other side, I would say apply to everything you think could be a good fit (career and location wise). Quite a few good sites will post announcements now and in the near future, though many will not actually start reviewing applications until at a later point. Also, you never know what will and won't open up, so it will not hurt to get an interview or two under your belt, in preparation for your more preferred sites. Turning sites down is not uncommon, though accepting and then doing so can burn a bridge (so just make sure it is really worth it).
     
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  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Also from the other side…I recommend starting to network early, as you want people to know that you will be looking for a job in Summer/Fall 2015. The calendars can be slightly different for strictly academic v. clinical jobs. There are also some wrinkles when a place has an opening and it needs to be filled NOW…vs. one that is more of a planned position aimed at the end of the fellowship cycle. Most of the AMC jobs I looked at where targeting the end of the fellowship year as their start time (Aug/Sept/Oct), though I did have a couple of places who had openings that they needed to fill more immediately.
     
  6. siamesekitten

    siamesekitten 2+ Year Member

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    never mind...I had typed out a question, but I re-read your post, and I understand what you mean. good advice :)
     
  7. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    Can I threadjack a bit and ask if it's better to get an LOR from a grad program faculty or internship staff? Like, will it look weird if it's only internship staff and no program faculty?
     
  8. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    Threadjack away!

    I think only internship would look weird just because they don't know you that well at this juncture...I imagine the opposite is more common (all program and no internship folks). I'm going to try for 2 program faculty (though I cheat since one will be a combined letter from two people) and 1 internship person. I imagine it also depends on the nature of the position - probably makes sense to rely more heavily on internship for a heavily clinical post-doc.

    I think I have a decent sense of my post-doc options at this point (though some may not have positions this year). Its a careful balance to strike with regards to avoiding a move vs. what is the best for me professionally vs. where do I want to end up long-term. As I suggested above - my hesitation is just about things not necessarily operating on the same cycle and wanting to avoid any potential awkwardness. I'm much less certain where geographically I would like to end up then I was a year ago, so hate to upset anyone when I might well find myself applying there for a faculty position 1-2 years later.
     
  9. oathkeeper

    oathkeeper 2+ Year Member

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    Do you guys have a sense of how many you'll be applying to?
     
  10. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    You will likely get a higher percentage of interview offers than you did on internship. I was about 60% on internship, and was 90% on fellowship interviews. So, take that into account in terms of budgeting for travel and whatnot.
     
  11. oathkeeper

    oathkeeper 2+ Year Member

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    that's really helpful, thank you! out of those how many made offers?
     
  12. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Like me, I believe WisNeuro went through the neuropsych match, which means that offers weren't made in the traditional sense, at least from match programs.

    As for me, my numbers were similar to WisNeuro...a bit lower for my internship return rate (I think around 50%?), and the same for postdoc (90+%). I also primarily applied to match programs; of the three non-match program to which I applied and in which I was interested, two made offers to other folks, and one called me immediately after interviews at INS were finished to gauge my interest and ask if I would be participating in or withdrawing from the match. I of course don't consider that to be the same as an offer, but that's as close as I got.

    I applied to 10+ programs, but in hindsight (which is of course 20/20), would've had a much less-hectic INS and saved some money on travel if I'd aimed for 7-8 instead. However, at the time, I didn't want to risk it.
     
  13. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It's different in NPsych, I was in the match, it's identical to the internship match process, but less cumbersome since the apps are easier and we do all of our interviews at INS.
     
  14. mindfulnessiszen

    mindfulnessiszen

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    I'm thinking of applying to 6 or 7 for now. I do not anticipate anymore than 10 though. 10 would be really stretching it for me because of all the application requirements.
     
  15. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    I'm applying to 8
     
  16. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    I do not think there is a sure fire way to handle this problem. I think the is VA doing the uniform notification date again this year, which was actually a hindrance for me last year. In hindsight, I recommend that post doc applicants realize their worth as a commodity. I was in a bit of a pickle last year having to decide on my position before I knew all my options. In hindsight, I am very confident I would have been offered all 3 of my top sites with enough time. I also saw one position go unfilled at a VA after the uniform notification date for which I turned down an interview. I did end up taking the first offer I received, which I am very happy with but I now know I would have had other options.

    I should say I was not applying for neuro positions or very narrow specialties. Also, I was applying across the country (but geographically limited to be with my partner). I am also not a superstar or anything. However, by the time post docs come around a lot of applicants become more geographically restricted, some get real jobs (meaning not time-limited post docs), and a large portion go to informal post docs. Thus, the applicant pool is much smaller. I understand the risk averse nature that many applicants have - as I did- but understand that you have much more power and choices than you may think.
     
  17. oathkeeper

    oathkeeper 2+ Year Member

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    From what I understood in speaking with a supervisor, the post docs are announced on a rolling basis- when do most post by?
     
  18. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    On the subject of timing applications, I was wondering if there is any advantage to submitting an app earlier than the deadline with regards to the selection process.
     
  19. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    My impression is that most post around this time (October/November), a few don't until December/January and then there are stragglers all the way out to about April. Some may be recruiting on seemingly odd cycles (e.g. January start dates) because they aren't necessarily only looking for clinical students.

    Cara - if there is a formal deadline, I doubt it (beyond the usual "this person probably has their ^$&# together a little more than someone who submitted at 11:58PM on the deadline date with an addendum at 1:36AM"). I imagine most sites with a deadline won't start reviewing til after. If its rolling though, I absolutely think there is an advantage to applying early - especially if its a place that will likely fill.
     
  20. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Depends, if it's through the online portal. No one cares. They all get downloaded after the deadline, and the reviewers don't see a timestamp. As a reviewer of internship apps in the past, I never knew who submitted when. And, even as a postdoc reviewer, I don't think the timing of the apps really mattered. We glance at them beforehand, but it's still all CV and app. You can be as on top of **** as possible and if your CV sucks, I don't really care.
     
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  21. LMK

    LMK 7+ Year Member

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    +1
     
  22. CBTFTW

    CBTFTW 2+ Year Member

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    I suspect there can sometimes be an advantage to applying early, especially with sites that aren't using the portal this year. One place I'm looking at specifically stated that they get the bulk of their applications in the week before the deadline, so you're more likely to get one of their "limited interview slots" if you submit earlier.
     

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