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I'm currently looking for a PhD position and have started to realize that a lot of my time goes into sporadeously surfing the web in hope of finding an open position. Are there good job directories for academic work that lists available positions?

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Have you checked ACM Career & Job Center? link:… – mert Apr 9 '12 at 11:48
Based on your question title and phrasing, I'm assuming in my answer below that by "PhD position" you mean a job requiring a PhD, not a student position for working towards a PhD. If you mean the latter, then the answer varies even more between fields and countries. – Anonymous Mathematician Apr 9 '12 at 14:47
...unless you're European, in which case "PhD position" may very well mean "position as a PhD student". Could you clarify? – JeffE Apr 9 '12 at 19:34
@Speldosa How did your job search go? I added another link to my answer. I am guessing you might have already checked that website! – drN Jun 9 at 18:06

8 Answers 8

up vote 12 down vote accepted

It would depend on what your field of work is. But heres a nifty little list that I keep an eye on (I am looking for a postdoctoral position in academia / research and these websites are quite helpful to me)

There are a few websites suggested in the answers below/above my response to this question and they are quite nice too!

Besides that you probably have a general idea as to what you'd want to work as / work for. You could perhaps target a bunch of universities and faculty members for prospective positions?

Good luck!

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It's almost impossible to give a general answer to this question, since different fields handle things in very different ways. Your profile says you're a cognitive scientist and philosopher, which is beyond my competence, but for other readers here's an answer for mathematics jobs in the US:

The largest number of job ads for US academic jobs in math, especially at but not limited to reseach-oriented schools, are found at In particular, most math departments do not advertise on generic websites (not field specific) unless there are university requirements to do so, and you cannot find most math jobs without going to math-specific sites. I have no idea whether this is typical for academic fields, or unique to mathematics.

One unusual feature of mathematics (compared with computer science, for example) is that there's a centralized application site,, which covers a surprisingly large fraction of jobs and makes handling letters of recommendation very easy. It's still important to look at ads on math society websites, since some schools do not allow departments to use mathjobs.

For industrial or government employment, it's a real mess, and different subfields advertise in rather different places (or sometimes hardly advertise at all). I don't think there's anything valuable to say there without narrowing things down quite a bit.

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They have jobs broken down by Job Category, Region, and Institution Type. They also do a great job of keeping you informed of opportunities when they are added to the their database. You provide your CV and potential employers can search for applicants by credentials.

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You should consider location-specific job directories:

  • Some countries maintain such directions: in this UK, for example, there is
  • Most universities have a job directory, so if you have decided on your dream geographic area, you can look at the corresponding listings.

Also, some journals have a job listings section (just like your local newspaper):

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The European Commission supports the web-portal EURAXESS - Researchers in Motio which has also a job portal. EURAXESS is especially helpful as it lists jobs from all European Union member countries in all disciplines (incl. sciences, humanities & social sciences). You can filter for countries, research fields, positions (PhD, postdoc, professor, ...) and your own keywords.

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In case you are interested in working in Germany:

(I guess relevant ads will be in English)

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Take a look for a good research job adverts aggregator. Also adverts in top-notch magazines like Nature, or similar in the field of your interest are relevant. Your nearest library is your friend.

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Many jobs are advertised by scientific associations. At least this is true for political science, but I figure it applies to other disciplines as well. You can easily find relevant associations by googling for $discipline association. For example, the American Political Science Associations (APSA) has a nice job directory on their website.

Moreover, scientific associations frequently circulate vacancies through their mailing-lists. Non-association mailing lists are another great source for academic job-hunting. For example in Germany, jobs in the discipline of international relations are advertised through the IB Liste, jobs in history and cultural studies through HSozKult. Again, use your favorite search engine to find relevant mailing lists for your discipline.

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