Post Doc - how to pick

mynlieffm at mynlieffm at
Mon Jan 29 16:43:05 EST 1996

In article <4e8tu4$msp at>, jcoleman at writes:
>On this issue of how to get the right Postdoc....when is it appropriate to
>Also has any one here done a Postdoc and spent that time away from your
>partner? Like bicoastal? or intercountry relationships? Is this really

When I was looking for post-docs my husband and I gave very careful thought to
this issue.  I had lots of great offers and  he wanted to stay where we were
living for a few more years.  One of my professors who was married to a woman
with a career advised me to compromise during my postdoc years because it would
be so much harder to find a faculty position.  My husband and I managed to stay
in the same state with hour long commutes in opposite directions.  On my part,
it was no sacrifice because I found someone doing exactly what I wanted who is
very well known in his field.  In retrospect I'm very glad I didn't move away
from him since I was a post doc for 5 years!!  And even with all of the time
spent commuting we managed to start a family (my oldest daughter was great in
the car - she came with me on my hour long commute).  Since we made the deal
early on in my postdoc it was never a question of him moving when I got a
faculty position - it was my turn.

Along the same lines - another posting a little later (I believe from Suzanne
Moreland) said that postdoc is not a time to look for geographic location but
rather later when you are looking for permanent jobs.  This may be true when
you are single but is difficult if married.  I was in a geographic location
that had a lot of good scientists so I chose to stay for my husband.  At least
8 years ago it was relatively easy to find a postdoctoral position (this may
have changed with the tight funding) and I found myself with at least 10 offers
around the country.  Permanent jobs on the other hand are extremely rare.  My
requirements were fairly flexible on location.  The city had to be big enough
to offer my husband employment, we both wanted a place with seasons and
affordable housing.  Other than that I applied everywhere that advertised and
ended up with only 2 offers.  When you send out applications be careful not to
rule out a location sight unseen.  You would be surprised.  I won't tell you
what my picture of Milwaukee was before the interview.  But, I loved the
department and the city was a surprise.

Michelle Mynlieff
Marquette University

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