NSF plant postdoc

Anne Britt abbritt at UCDAVIS.EDU
Thu Mar 24 13:02:35 EST 1994

I had an Environmental Biology postdoc, which I
used to work on environmental effects on
transposable element activities in the Walbot lab.
Ginny generously paid for all my supplies.

Environmental Biology is not broad enough to
include most of the really active and successful aspects
of plant biology (i.e.,  developmental biology
and intermediary metabolism).   The plant biology
postdoc program, and NSF's support of plant biology in
general, has made an order of magnitude change in the
direction and quality of basic plant science.  I'm really
sorry to see such a successful program go.  As regards the
foreign requirement- obviously there are terrific labs
available overseas.  Go to the best lab you can- the
location is far less important than the science.

About the foreign postdoc experience: I was just on
a search committee for a plant-related position, so I
can give you my point of view re interviewing postdocs
form Europe:

We were perfectly happy to pay for their flights out,
but we ended up interviewing zero Europeans simply
because it was hard to communicate with them via
snail-mail.  Our position was advertised only a month before
the due date, and the ad was ambiguous as to whether
letters of recommendation should be sent.  Thus, by the time
the applicant in Europe received a letter from us asking
for their letters, the applications were already being
reviewed, and the deadline was past.  The lesson being-
you can apply for jobs from overseas, but

1) Send your letters of recommendation, whether or
not the ad asks for it (the committee usually needs to
look at everyone's letters anyway).
2) Include your email and fax numbers, and follow
up with a phone call to the department to make
sure your application and letters were received.
3) Keep your eyes peeled for those ads, and
respond well before the deadline.

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