A month ago I applied for a postdoc in a renowned institute in my field. Through the process of evaluating the different candidates, an assessment was performed by other professors from the same institute but from a different team.

An assessment here means a paragraph written by someone in the field but not the potential PI that summaries the candidate studies and experience and ends with: qualified or not qualified for the job.

My assessment was very positive so I reached the interview stage but at the end I didn’t get the job. Two weeks later the professor that wrote my assessment published a postdoc position ad, and I’m very interested in the offer. The institute is famous in my field and the position fits with both my expertise and interest.

Question: Do you think that applying for this postdoc position only after few weeks will be regarded negatively by this professor? Do you think that I will look like someone who wants to work in the institute no matter what?

Update: Thanks everyone for your valuable replies;

I indeed applied for the position, I wrote a personal statement from scratch and I had a really great time reading about the proposed project, I really learnt a lot while preparing for the application.

However, I couldn’t even pass the first stage of pre-selection (I think my transcripts are to be blamed).

But I have no regrets, as everyone here said; if I don’t apply, I won’t get the position. as Buffy said, Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Thanks everyone again!

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2 Answers 2


If you're interested in the new position, just go ahead and apply! If the two teams in question are working in closely related fields, the new position is presumably a good fit for your profile anyway. In that case you're unlikely to look like someone who just wants to work at that institute. If they're in rather different fields (maybe they fall on different ends of your spectrum of interests) make sure you really explain why you're interested in the cover letter.

In any case, what's the worst that can happen if you're viewed as only looking to get into institution X? You don't get the position there? Well, you're even less likely to get it if you don't apply for it...

  • Many thanks for the reply; the two teams are indeed working in two closely related fields. In this institute there is both the expertise and the facilities that can allow me to do good quality research. You are right; I won’t lose anything if I apply!
    – guest86
    Jun 18, 2018 at 8:30
  • 1
    Agree completely. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It should in no way reflect negatively on you. The Professor in question may already have formed an opinion about you, but you can't predict that. It could be good or bad. It could even be bait to try to lure you back. If you have detected any weakness in your first application, you can address that first, of course.
    – Buffy
    Jul 17, 2018 at 23:52

Do you think that I will look like someone who wants to work in the institute no matter what?

You’re overthinking this. If you apply to the position, you will look like someone who is potentially interested in the position, nothing more or less. That is what it means to apply. It doesn’t signal any other information.

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