I am applying for a postdoc position, and on the advertisement page, there is the address in case you want to send it via post, followed by an email address for sending it via email (as a single PDF file).

So it looks like this:

Name of the University

Human Resources

Password: ABCD

Actual address

12345 (postcode), City

[email protected]

Unfortunately, I am pretty new to these applications and need help figuring out what to do with the "password. " I am sending my application via email. Should I add it to the first page of my application? Or is it only for actual posts?

Note: It is a German university.

Note 2: In the German version it says Kennwort.

  • 5
    I think you need to ask them. It is a bit weird.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 21:03
  • 2
    It may be a mistranslation from German and refer to a reference number or similar. Not a native speaker, but I think Kennwort can be used for both in German. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 21:45
  • 1
    It does say Kennwort in the German version of the webpage. So should I add it to the email line or cover letter header? Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 22:10
  • 8
    @academic137 Both. "Kennwort" is not a password. It's a reference number. Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 1:00
  • German here. @WolfgangBangerth is correct, it's a reference string (not necessarily numeric, hence "string" and not number).
    – til_b
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


It sounds like they have a system where they have a code for each open position and to make it easier for them people who apply should refer to that number so the applications can be easily sorted when they come in. If you send the application per email, I assume the sensible thing would be to reference the pass code in the subject line e.g. "Application for postdoc position - ABCD" so they can instantly know for which position you apply to. I don't think you need to put it in the cover letter or the actual application.

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