I am currently writing my PhD Thesis in Computational Engineering applied to Civil Engineering. My background includes an MSc in Civil Engineering, an MSc in Computational Engineering, and a BSc in theoretical mathematics and physics. As part of my PhD, I am working intensively with weather data. I was wondering if that PhD could lead to a Postdoc within atmospheres studies of other planets, i.e., that postdoc wouldn't be in Civil Engineering, but rather in an Astrophysics department. Any thoughts?

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    It certainly is possible, since most folks would be more interested in what skills you have that could be applied to their projects. The main hurdle is getting them to look over your resume closely enough and not just stop on the words "Civil Engineering". Some of that can be managed by going to a conference or two on planetary sciences and meeting people.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 19:37
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    This can only be answered by someone hiring for a postdoc. You have to fulfill their needs.
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 20:03
  • A friend of mine once told me that (in his opinion) the first piece of work you did after you got your degree was the most important marker for continuing to be productive. He changed fields (in mathematics) to do his. So do try to parlay your experience to get a position in a new field you are excited about Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


Firstly, the topic you mentioned about studying the weather on other planets is extremely interesting. I used to listen to a weekly podcast, a decade ago where the speaker will talk about changing weather on planets. It was amazing.

Secondly, coming to your question; it is absolutely possible. It is dependent on two things, the acceptability criterion of the principal investigator of the project and the competition. You need to tune your resume for this purpose, communicate efficiently with the committee and effectively highlight your current work on weather data. Attend a related conference and talk to the potential PostDoc.

Finally, it won't be easy and you might need to push hard and maybe push for long. Luck could play a factor. You might have already spent many years coming this far in your studies; so you might look for stable opportunities.

Best wishes!

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    Out of curiosity, could you share the name of the podcast? Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 8:59
  • Sorry, I was a teenager at that time. Do not remember. Was 15 years ago.
    – kosmos
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 2:15

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