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Can you be a post-doc if you secured funding from a private organization to do research at a university in the social sciences/humanities, or do you have to have governmental funding to do a postdoc?

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  • You could even be self-funded if you have enough money to pay your living expenses and the other costs of your research are covered in some way. Nov 6 '15 at 7:44
  • thank you for this, but I specifically asked this question and I was told a clear NO. very strange to hear that you say you can... I am starting to think, would there be a difference from one institution to another?
    – Ree
    Nov 6 '15 at 7:49
  • As @Fomite writes, this might be a (strange) institution-specific rule. They might have a reason for it. I'd suggest you simply ask them why this rule exists. Nov 6 '15 at 7:56
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It is absolutely possible to have a postdoc funded by a private organization - there's nothing about a postdoc inherently tied to a particular type of funding. A couple ways this might happen:

  • As @Dexter mentions, there are private trusts and charitable organizations that fund research. This can occur either by funding a fellowship directly, or allowing funds from a grant to be used to hire a postdoc.
  • There are also commercial companies that have research grant programs in a number of fields. It's entirely possible to use the funding from one of these to pay for a postdoc.
  • A private university could directly pay for a postdoc - for example, as part of a professor's startup package.
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  • Great! This makes sense, but I was told that you can only be a post doc if you get funded from a federal funding or like a Fullbright... No private company can fund you for a post doc, but you can be a visiting scholar in terms of international researchers... I am starting to dought this advice I received!
    – Ree
    Nov 6 '15 at 7:22
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    @Ree If that advice is true, it's institution-specific.
    – Fomite
    Nov 6 '15 at 7:22
  • i am going to check this now!
    – Ree
    Nov 6 '15 at 8:09
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Short answer: Yes, you can apply for post doc position in university if you have private funding. (Example of such funding is wellcome trust funding for Humanities and social science)

Warnings: You should always check norms with your funding agencies and universities because some times it is possible to have conflict of interest between both.

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  • sounds convincing. I thought the only restriction to apply for a postdoc is that it has to be within 5 years of earning your phd. I was shocked to hear that private companies can not fund for a post doc. Again, I am seriously doubting this piece of info I was given.
    – Ree
    Nov 6 '15 at 7:24

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