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I obtained my Ph.D. degree last year and I work in the same department for several years. I like this workplace but I also think about applying for a postdoc position somewhere else. I don't intend to keep it a secret for too long at my current place but I also don't want to reveal it before I see my chances at the other university.

With my application, I need to provide contacts of peers who can recommend me, but I have only worked together with my current colleagues so far. Therefore proposing any of them would be an obvious sign of applying for a new job. I absolutely want to be fair, but I think I have the right to make attempts without any indication. What could be an appropriate solution for this problem?

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What’s wrong with just talking to them about your plans, and asking them to be discreet about this until you make them public?

If they can’t respect that I doubt they will provide good peer references.

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