I am a young researcher searching for a postdoctoral studies. I found a researcher that works in a field similar to mine and I have in mind a project for postdoctoral studies supervised by her.

However, she is not a full professor. In fact she has been named as an associate professor just a year ago. Is it appropriate for an associate professor to be a supervisor for postdoctoral studies in this case?

  • 2
    Why would that not be possible?
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 23, 2022 at 18:27
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    In my department, associate professors can certainly supervise postdocs, but it seems quite possible that other universities, and especially other countries, may have different rules. Sep 23, 2022 at 18:41
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    In my institution in the United States, you need not even be an assistant professor to supervise post doctoral fellows. Whether that's a good idea for the post doc is another question...
    – Ian
    Sep 24, 2022 at 3:40

1 Answer 1


Assuming you don't mean a part time faculty member, yes, it it possible. The only real issue is whether she has, or can obtain, funding to support you.

Supervising a postdoc would be a boost to her career as well.

You should ask her what the possibility is and what funding is available. Describe the project or research arc you have in mind.

  • 1
    I would think that even a not-full-time professor could supervise a postdoc and graduate students. Various job-share appointments and other posts that enable work-family balance should not impair the ability to actually perform all aspects of the job.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 23, 2022 at 18:50
  • I meant full professor. My apologies!
    – Emo
    Sep 23, 2022 at 19:00

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