I am applying for postdoc jobs, in particular, I am interested in jobs out of the U.S.

I have a few questions:

  1. Is there any particular date when Postdoc decisions are announced in European universities?

  2. I heard that many universities will make offers after the AMS deadline (on Feb. 3rd), and suggest we email universities asking about the status. Do the European Universities also follow the AMS coordinated deadline?

  3. Do you suggest we email Universities right now, or is it better to wait until after the deadline?

  4. What do you say when you email universities? Just asking about status, or saying that we are still interested in their jobs? Or what?

  • What field? Also, this depends on when the jobs were advertised... there were a lot of postdocs in my field with closing dates before Christmas, so I expect all those have been filled by now. However, there are some that have only just been advertised, so the decisions on those won't come for another month at least. Jan 28, 2020 at 18:26
  • Mathematics(ODEs, PDEs, etc.)! I heard various things about typical dates, and now just got more confused and worried as well! I have not heard anything from universities; and I do not know if I should email them or not!
    – Hamid
    Jan 28, 2020 at 19:31
  • It might help if you narrow it down by country as well. I don't think there is anything coming close to a unified approach in Europe as a whole, but some particular countries might be a bit more organized. I would guess though that the main reason for a lot of offers after Feb 3rd is that they move on to the next candidate on the list, after the first accepted a job in the US...
    – mlk
    Jan 28, 2020 at 19:54
  • Western European countries @mlk
    – Hamid
    Jan 29, 2020 at 14:56
  • You are right @MorganRodgers. I thought maybe somebody has some information about some countries that would be helpful. I think it is really hard to understand what is going on in most European universities. There is no special rule it seems and it makes it hard.
    – Hamid
    Jan 29, 2020 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Let me start with UK, as this country I know best. Unlike US, in the UK research grants are awarded by several large funding bodies and there is no particular date when all the decisions are simultaneously announced. Hence, it is not possible to syncronise postdoc hiring process across the UK, and AFAIK, most professors do not see any need for it. Still, many Universities will advertise new positions for staff two times per year, with the anticipated starting date on 01 Oct (start of term) and 01 Apr (mid-term). There are two "waves" of recruitment, but they are not completely in sync.

In the rest of EU, customs differ but still I never came across anyone following AMS deadlines in the EU. It seems that people advertise as soon as they have funding confirmed, but different funding streams announce at different times.

  • The situation in Germany is quite similar with hiring throughout the year, but especially for positions associated with some teaching duty the intended start date usually coincides with the start of the semester i.e. April & October. Positions are also often directly associated to individual professors who do the hiring themselves, so practices may vary even inside the same department.
    – mlk
    Jan 29, 2020 at 17:44

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