As an international student in the united states, I am legally allowed to work for 12 months, extendable to 29months for STEM fields, after graduating with my PhD (or masters degree for that matter) without having to change my visa/student status.
Now, I am looking for post doc opportunities in the US at several univerities but unfortunately none of the PI's respond to any queries OR application material that I send them for opportunities advertised on their websites.
I am seriously considering working voluntarily, without pay for my current advisor after I graduate in Dec 2012 with my PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
- I am legally allowed voluntarily as part of the optional practical training period available to me after graduation.
- I intend on doing my post doc / work pro-bono in the US because, lets face it, my home country doesn't really do much research and the pay grades are about $140 a month for fresh PhD graduates whilst I earn several times more as a grad student here in the US.
- Visa regulations make it horrendously difficult to move to an other country for post doc opportunities and it is easier for me to continue in the US as I am alreadly legally here.
- I am planning on writing a couple of proposals with my advisor so that I may grow my own post doc
- It is an absolute pleasure working for my advisor and I wouldn't mind doing it for free for the mental stimulation that it provides (although I wouldn't want to work for free forever teeheehee
How should I approach this situation? I am planning on requesting him to retain me on a pro-bono thingy as I genuinely like the direction my research has taken since I signed up with him 3 years ago!
Has anyone else encountered such a quandary?