My significant other and I are doing our PhDs in physics, and we both want to continue in academia and to stay together.

He did his masters in a first-world country and I did mine in a third-world country (but in one of the best institutes of the region), on the same topic. We both had very high qualifications and we are young. We are now doing our PhDs at the same university (the first-world country one), continuing on the same topic. I will probably end up with considerably more peer-reviewed publications than him, but he will probably complete his PhD in a shorter time. He also did some teaching and, so far, I have not. He will also finish ~1 year before me, as he started earlier, and it's very likely that he will get a 1-year post-doc at the university where we are now (bridging the gap until I finish). By that moment we will both have to apply to postdocs.

These are my questions:

  • Improve our chances: In general, is there something we can do now to give us higher chances of both getting post-docs in the same institute/city? In particular, can we do something to have more similar chances? Do you have a rough idea of how many positions we should apply to in order to have a fair chance of finding something together?
  • Search: How should we look for postdocs that allow us to live together? I imagine looking for institutes that offer 2 or more positions on the same topic (I have not seen many!), or cities with many institutes (although we are not fans of big cities...). Do you know other or better ways?
  • Different topics?: We are both very open regarding the topic and country of our postdocs. I would be particularly eager to change to another branch of physics. Would this give us more chances to find positions at the same institute/city? Is it even realistic to try to apply to to a topic that is not tightly related to what I did? Would it be a bad move on the long-term if we split to different branches of physics?
  • Application: Is not being yet married a disadvantage at the moment of applying? Is there any way to apply as a couple or do we just have to apply independently?

Thank you very much in advance.

  • 5
    Being legally married will make it easier to get visas if you move to certain countries. Chances are very slim as postdocs are both specialized and competitive. You could try CERN or some of the larger US national labs. You can try very large cities. If you both publish really a lot of papers, that would help too. Jan 10, 2021 at 8:42
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? two body problem - tenure track and PhD Jan 23 at 10:06
  • @CrimsonDark I think the differences in career levels and geographical scope makes this a distinct, non-duplicate question.
    – Anyon
    Jan 23 at 14:30


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