I am currently pursuing my PhD in computer science at a mid-rank US institution (ranked 50 in US-news graduate computer science ranking). Assuming I have a decent publication record and good references. Would I have better chances of securing a postdoc position if I applied to openings in the US or would I have better chances if I applied to openings in other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia?

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    Why do not you try US, Canada, UK etc? If there is going to be any correlation, I would assume (since my background is not CS) that it is going to be small.
    – The Guy
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:14
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    The correlation is certainly going to be your region, because that affects the places where you met others. Networking is very important for these kinds of things. It's not a showstopper, but it will be easier for you to be 'known' by people you've met, and you're more likely to have met people in your country unless you have a lot of international collaboration. Jul 7, 2016 at 13:30
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    I guess you'll have a better chance to be accepted to a group that is doing research similar to yours. These groups are likely unevenly scattered around the world, most being in the US, Germany, UK, and France.
    – Alexey B.
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:30
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    In addition to what is said: there are just more jobs in the US then UK/Canada/Australia (the total population of the last three is not even half of that of the US). // Also, implicitly you seem to think you should send out a limited number of applications. Why? Jul 7, 2016 at 15:54
  • @WillieWong I am not going to send out a limited number of applications, I just want to know my chances of getting a postdoc position outside the US after graduating.
    – The Hiary
    Jul 7, 2016 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


In short: your chances of securing a position is higher with people that know you (or someone you have worked with).

Whether that is people that are physically around you, or people that are working on the other side of the globe (whom you met in a professional setting e.g. at a conference). This is in line with what @la femme consmique, mentions in the comments, networking is important.

That aside, I have noticed a general skepticism in the U.S. towards Europe. I mean if you are applying for postdoc positions in the US from a European university, you might have to deal with a certain skepticism that does not exist amongst European institutions. It's almost as if you need to convince them that the university actually exists and you haven't made it up on your own (yes, I am exaggerating a bit).

[I would like to make this very clear that this is a subjective statement from personal experience, not a fact.]


I agree with Alexey B. regarding higher chances of being accepted in institution which have one or more research groups in your area despite the country. Also, i would like to add that here in Europe it is highly suggested to spend your postdoc period in another country. This will show that you are truly independent when it comes of research. Although i am not sure whether this apply also in USA or in other countries you might want to consider this aspect too.

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