Good side of my background

I'm 27 years old with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and now I'm about to finish my postdoctoral research.

During my Ph.D. program, I've developed an innovative device that successfully passed a trial operation period and entered into commerce operation. I'm one of the authors of the patent on this device.

Also, I have a number of papers published in scientific journals that are widely known in this field in my country. I have experience in lecturing and supervising students.

Bad side of my background

All of my accomplishments are made in my country's language, not in English. Almost all of the engineering journals in my field are not indexed in Scopus or Web of Science (some of these have translated versions that are indexed).

In short, I'm known in my field in my country only, not world-wide.

Does it make any sense to try to get an academic job (tenure track) with such a background or it's better to build my career "from scratch" by publishing new research papers in English so that I would get a chance ?
I'm interested in getting a job in Europe or Canada.


3 Answers 3


My guess is that you could move without a lot of turmoil. As you describe your background it seems pretty solid.

But you could try an intermediate approach first. I'm assuming you are still active. I suggest that future papers be in English (or some European language) and submitted to journals there. I also suggest that you make sure to reference your older work that isn't in English as appropriate.

You can, in parallel, see to getting some of that work (the stuff you cite) translated. If you need practice in English you could use the older work as practice to get an English body of work available, even if on some informal sites. You are probably the best person to do this sort of translation, actually. And if it improves your language skills, so much the better, though you may not need that, I realize.

You can also, if funding is available, start to make a presence in conferences in one or more of the countries you'd consider moving to. Preferably get on the program with talks on new stuff that references the larger body of work.

It might be easier to move if you establish some visibility in the world you want to move in to, but it may not be essential to do that.

And if you have a tenured position somewhere, or even a tenure-track position, you can often move and get some credit for that, resulting in a shorter probationary period than the typical (for the US) seven years.


No, I could not in good conscious advise you to start from scratch just because your publications are not in English, especially given that you clearly have mastery of the English language. What you need to happen is to be judged for the work that you've done. Here are two options: 1) Create a detailed summary of each of your papers, in English, to go alongside each of your publications 2) Translate, yourself, your top 3 publications into English 3) Hire someone to translate all of your papers into English.

The point is, you are your work, so let your work be known. You still face a hurdle with the journals perhaps having low impact factors being outside the English speaking world, but you can work through that to a large extent.

Good luck!

  • Do you mean that translated publications or detailed summary are needed to be sent to my potential employer or it's essential to publish it in journals? Jan 15, 2020 at 6:04
  • 1
    I don't think publishing translations is feasible or reasonable. Just make translations available. Jan 15, 2020 at 7:45
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    Sorry I did NOT mean publishing translations. Just making them available
    – HEITZ
    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:57

To build an international career in academia, you need to show mastery of your field. Your background makes good progress, but you've yet to publish in an internationally leading venue in English. This creates a risk for any potential employer. A further postdoctoral position overseas could help mitigate, if you can get one. Regardless, you need to showcase work in English. That could be future work or existing work, e.g., you could publish or extend & publish some existing work (depending on rules of publishers).

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