I wonder, in the general field of electrical engineering and computer science and in the USA, how often does a postdoc applicant secure her own fundings before applying to a certain open position? Or is it the norm that the applicant will be on her mentor's funding during the postdoc study?

Thanks a lot for helping!

  • 3
    Mentor's funding is more common. I doubt you will find numbers. May 23 '20 at 5:00
  • @AnonymousPhysicist I was really just expecting an answer based on experience :) I'm planning to apply for a postdoc position but getting a fellowship seems hard for non-citizens. I was just hoping to find out how much of a disadvantage it is to not have your own funding prior to applying. Thank you for your answer!
    – msd15213
    May 23 '20 at 14:46

Citizenship may matter less than you think. Many post-docs expect to get something back from you for the funding you get. If you can do the required work, it doesn't matter much where you are from.

There may be some, of course, that favor citizens and some (national defense work) that require it. And getting appropriate visas has become a problem for many.

But, don't assume that you are ineligible without at least asking or doing a bit of research into positions that are offered. I'd expect that getting your own funding is actually harder, unless you have support from your own government.

I think that self funded post docs are pretty rare and, perhaps granted sometimes as a courtesy to someone who needs an academic home for a while and can, perhaps, assist some regular faculty in their research. But, again, funding strictly out of the candidates personal funds would be more rare still, but with some people bringing funding with them from another institution (or government). It could be the only option for some who don't qualify for a "visiting professor" position for some reason. And few institutions are likely to have a regular process to cover such a case.

  • 1
    Thanks for answering! Yes I meant that I expect getting my own funding to be harder given that I'm not a citizen or permanent resident. Thanks for confirming my intuition. I've already come across a fellowship opportunity that explicitly mentioned that they would favor citizens and permanent residents when making the decision :(
    – msd15213
    May 23 '20 at 15:03
  • This doesn't answer the question and @msd15213 is correct that this answer is often wrong. May 24 '20 at 2:24
  • @AnonymousPhysicist I felt that this answer is definitely helpful but is nevertheless a bit tangential, which is why I did not accept. Since your comment was posted earlier than this answer and is really what I needed, if you want you can re-post it as an answer and I will accept it. Not sure if you'd care given how much reputation you have already :)
    – msd15213
    May 24 '20 at 4:39

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