I am applying for different postdocs at the same institution. They hire during the year in different subfields of my main field. I already read some questions related to my problem (here, here, here), but I think that my situation is little bit different, because I just keep applying to one institution.

My situtation, consecutively:

  1. I applied for a fellowship to one professor for a specific project. It was not successfull.
  2. In the same time, a similar position in a different group popped out. I'v asked the professor what he thinks, and he advised me to apply for it. No success.
  3. Several weeks later, the professor told me that he discussed my CV with a different group. They want to invite me for an interview.
  4. Now, a new postdoc is available. I am thinking of waiting for the result of option 3 and than apply for option 4. Or should I apply for both at once?

What if they will not hire me now, but a new job will pop out in a few months? I would like to know whether they can perceive me as someone who want to be hired to a particular institution and a particular country rather than someone who want to be hired for doing research.

  • 8
    Your situation seems normal, and I don't think applying to multiple positions will hurt you. It is also normal that you want to work in a particular country and in a particular reputable institution.
    – Alexey B.
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


Disclosure: I applied for two positions at the same time in the same department and it worked out fine for me.

Clearly, I think doing this is fine. And I wouldn't be particularly worried about being perceived as trying to work in a particular country/institution if you're appropriate for both positions. Make sure to write your cover letters appropriately - both of them should speak to your interest and qualifications for that particular job.

You might, however, consider informing the people involved that you have applied for both positions. This lets them discuss you in the context of which position might be best for you, etc. For example, if Option 3 is super-interested in you, then Option 4 can take that into consideration. Or if strategically one is having a harder time filling their position, etc.

  • Thank you @Fomite. When applications are sent to human resources department, do you recommend to inform the other people involved? Or should I let to do this by the HR department? Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 21:32
  • @user3624251 I would probably wait to inform until an interview stage, unless the positions are so closely related that the same person is likely to be involved in hiring decisions at each. If both positions would like to interview you, at that point it would make sense to coordinate the interview process both for the reasons Fomite mentions and also to coordinate travel if applicable.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 22:48

While such an inference would not necessarily be drawn, it is desirable if they perceive you as a person who would particularly like to work for their institution. The mere fact that you are willing to apply for multiple positions in this institution over a broad range of possible research topics would not be treated as a negative. I cannot imagine any selection panel being happy with your credentials but worried that you are too keen to work there.

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