My PhD advisor has offered me a postdoc position in her group with specific projects and duties post graduation. However, she has time and again advised me to do a postdoc from somewhere else as according to her, doing postdoc from PhD university is not seen in a positive sense in academia.

I on the other hand want to stay for 6 to 12 months in the same group as I have lot of additional projects to complete which would be impossible to attend to in a new environment. Also, my PhD research was in a modeling technique which was far away from my advisors expertise. And, I want to learn the new modeling technique and work in a project for which my advisor is known for. So, that way I can get the direct expertise of my advisor.

Also, I love the city I am currently in. I am not ready to leave it for someplace else.

What do you think I should do?

(Here, I have made an assumption that I will surely be getting a good postdoc position somewhere soon).

  • 4
    It is not completely unusual to have a short 'post-doc' with your advisor as you look for a 'real' post-doc somewhere else. When hiring post-docs that never bothered me.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:08
  • I did it up to 12 month. Then moved to a post doc and realized my prolonged stay was already considered a post doc, and before finishing the new post doc, run for a permanent position and got it. So why not
    – Alchimista
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:51
  • Which academic field and country?
    – Tommi
    Mar 22, 2019 at 16:18
  • I would suggest working pretty hard to take her advice. She probably has a better perspective than you. Use a local position only as a backup.
    – Buffy
    Mar 22, 2019 at 16:33

3 Answers 3


In mathematics and in Northern Europe I have seen more than a few people do this. A grace period after graduation is not rare. But it is expected that you spend time elsewhere, preferably abroad, either employed or on long and frequent visits, or that you are very good. (Even if you are very good, there are probably other very good people seeking employment, so travelling is still a good idea.)

More importantly, going elsewhere gives you perspective:

  • New ways of teaching.
  • New fields and problems to solve and methods for solving them.
  • New contacts and collaborators.
  • If going abroad, usually a new language and a more-or-less new culture, depending on how far you go.

In most life situations, it is easier to travel now then later, even if you intend to come back. So if your situation allows, consider seeking for positions elsewhere. Current co-operators of your current research group would be especially useful, since that would probably allow you to contribute to the ongoing projects in some way, too.

Also, unless you specifically aim for it, you will never not have unfinished projects going on, though this is probably field- and personality-specific.


There is no hard and fast rule or good answer to this. Generally speaking, changes early on in your career prepare you for similar changes later on, when making adjustments can in some ways be harder. There is also the general perception of "so-and-so's little helper" that you need to shake off.

Still, opportunities to get good papers out and good grant applications in are not to be dismissed lightly.

So just follow your heart on this and ignore what everyone else (including myself) says, as it is you in the end who has to live your life.


I have been told that it is important to show you aren't ONLY able to do good science/publish with your advisor. When applying for a faculty job, if you've only ever published with your advisor, some may question if you are capable of publishing when not under their wing. If you have had additional collaborations during your PhD (ideally outside your advisors lab group) then it shouldn't hurt at all! If not, as long as you plan to do that with another postdoc after this short one, then I don't think it would hinder your future job prospects.

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