I'm currently halfway though my interviews for tenure-track computer science faculty positions in the US. I've been offered a really great postdoc opportunity. I want to take up the postdoc and defer the start date of my faculty position by a year.

The trouble is that the postdoc wants a definite answer from me soon and they have said that I should get approval from the places where I have interviews. I feel like it is premature to discuss deferring an offer before I even have one. Potentially it will look bad.

How do I delicately raise this issue with the places I am interviewing at? Or should I simply accept the postdoc and deal with the deferral problem later if and when it arises? I assume this situation is pretty common and someone can tell me how this is usually dealt with.

  • R1 or undergraduate schools?
    – BeauGeste
    Feb 23, 2018 at 18:57
  • @BeauGeste I'm interviewing at research-focused departments.
    – user88034
    Feb 23, 2018 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


It's normal and good to tell places you're interviewing about any deadlines you face, that way they have the opportunity to move up their decision process in response. If I were you I would tell the places you're interviewing something like

I have a deadline to decide on a postdoc offer at location X by date Y. If I accept their offer I would still be very interested in taking a job at your school with startdate of year+1.

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