When having fund for hiring postdoctoral fellow, it is tricky to find highly qualified applicants, since they can get aware of the opening position by chance. For almost any postdoctoral position (it should apply for any position, but more severe for post-doc), there are better candidates who were also interested, but did not hear about the opening.

Possible approaches are not very effective.

  • Spreading by word of mouth through colleagues is very limited.
  • A few applicants may browse research group websites for checking opening positions. Moreover, search engines do not index and rank them quickly to reach the deadline.
  • Posting on academic job websites is good, but most of them are paid websites. For faculty positions, universities have enough fund to pay for advertisement, but it is difficult to cover the advertisement cost by the limited fund of a postdoctoral position.
  • Free job websites are not very common for academic positions.

How to find more effective ways to inform and encourage more potentials candidates to apply for a postdoctoral positions to have a better chance to select a highly qualified applicant?

4 Answers 4


Possible outlets I can think of include:

  • Field-specific e-mail lists
  • Department email-list forwarded through collegues at other departments
  • Adverts inserted in talks/presentations held by people at your department (e.g. at invited talks, conferences etc.)
  • Job ad websites (national and global)
  • Advert at research-focused web communities/forums, such as Researchgate and Academia.edu, as well as LinkedIn.
  • 2
    +1 for ads in talks. Another approach not yet mentioned is to put ads at conferences.
    – Memming
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 19:48
  • @Memming good point and I was actually thinking about that as well. Adding it to the answer. Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 19:49

There are sometimes subject-specific mailing lists available on which one can post job advertisements. Examples that I am currently subscribed to are All-Acad.com ([email protected]) and allstat ([email protected]).

I can't say whether this is a more effective way to advertise, though.

ADDENDUM: Actually, I think it would be useful to expand the question in the following way, that would be useful for both prospective employers and job-seekers. This could be a community-wiki style question. So, the question could be: what resources are available for job advertising? And each answer could be for one subject, and divided into free and non-free sections, and within each could be web sites, mailing lists etc. I don't know whether such a question would fall within the scope of this site. I do know the SE sites vary in their policy wrt such "list" questions.

  • it's seems to be a good option, but if finding a list of mailing lists, since each mailing list usually include people in a limited community.
    – Googlebot
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 17:41

In some departments it is common practice to publish available postdoc positions in other institutions via the departmental mailing list. You can try mailing administrators/faculty in relevant departments.


I second both Faheem and Bitwise's options of mailing list, in two different manners:

  • Each field (and subfield) has its own “go to” places for vacancies advertisements. In my field, people typically subscribe to CCP5 and CCL mailing-lists (the first one offers a choice of UK-only, Europe-only or worldwide postings). Some of these mailing-lists include a fee, but it may be reasonable (shelling out $50 is not much compared to 12 months of salary).
  • You can send it to group-, department or institution-level mailing lists in places where you know people who will act as a local relay. I personally find that this is the best way to advertise a position, and I got great candidates this way in the past.

Other options available, both of which can have good efficiency:

  • Some countries have national website, such as jobs.ac.uk (UK) or ABG (France). Sometimes, advertising through them is even mandated by your funding agency or institution!
  • Post it to job sections of high-level journals, such as Nature Jobs or some highly-read journal in your field.

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