I’ve signed enough important paperwork by now, so I can announce that I’ll be joining The Naturhistorisches Museum Bern (Natural History Museum Bern) as a postdoc by early August. I’m very excited to start working with the Vertebrates team, doing collections-based research with mammals, birds, and (hopefully) amphibians. My project has the explicit aim of highlighting the importance of scientific collections in the study of macroecology and conservation. Check out the team’s website here. The guys there do some really cool work on various topics and study groups including: phylogeography, diversification, conservation, morphology, frogs of Borneo, Middle Eastern Birds, and dog breed evolution.
With this announcement I also wanted to post a brief summary of my experience with the job hunt, following Rob Salguero-Gomez’s advice on the importance of communicating scientific ‘failure’.
Over a nine month period, I:
- Applied to fourteen positions in six different countries.
- Was contacted for interviews for two positions, both of which led to further selection stages before someone else was hired.
- Received nine polite rejection emails, with no news at all for three of the positions and no way of checking on the application status.
- Ultimately secured funding from my government to go do a project of my choosing (for considerably less pay than any of the other positions I applied to :( ).
I have no bad feelings for the labs/PIs/HR departments that opted for other candidates. If in the future new opportunities open in the same places and I happen to be looking, I’d apply without hesitation. I haven’t checked to see who was hired instead of me, but this got me thinking about the other people out there applying for the same jobs. Postdoc positions are extremely competitive; all I can do is keep working hard and remember that I’m not the only person that finished a PhD without dozens of high profile publications and PI’s fighting each other for first pick…