Is it OK to apply for an advertised postdoc position a few days (not more than one week) after the deadline? It is not an on-line application form, but sending an email with attachments. Will this application be dismissed? Or more like "Let's see this candidate too". How does such hiring work? Are there any downsides (untrustworthy candidate etc.)?

  • 2
    Why not? Is there any downside to trying?
    – Thomas
    Jun 1, 2017 at 7:20
  • Yes, can be there any dowsides? I'm going to edit the question a bit. Jun 1, 2017 at 7:38
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    I'd always suggest to call before applying, and this is really a case where you have something important to ask.
    – VonBeche
    Jun 1, 2017 at 8:25
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    Any application after the deadline for a position advertised with an official job posting can usually not be considered due to legal reasons. However, if a strong application comes too late, other arrangements can sometimes be possible. Maybe all other applications are weak and they do a new job posting, maybe a new position can be created, maybe ... Talk to them, but don't expect success.
    – user9482
    Jun 1, 2017 at 10:58
  • Why couldn't you apply on time?
    – einpoklum
    Jun 1, 2017 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


The obvious question in the mind of the potential employer will be: why were you not able to meet the deadline? I would suggest you have a good reason for this. If it's just that you were disorganised, this will not reflect well on you. While you could take the attitude of "I've got nothing to lose by trying - they can only say no", bear in mind that many fields of academia are quite small communities and you may well end up wanting to apply for another job in the same lab, or collaborate in the future. Therefore, making a good impression is important even outside of trying to get the job. You need to weigh this up against how much you want that particular postdoc.

On the other hand, if you have a good reason for missing the deadline, then you might as well get in touch and see what they say. Sometimes people don't receive enough good quality applications and are delighted to include an extra candidate.

I would agree with @VonBeche's recommendation to call beforehand to ask whether they could accept a late application, before sending the completed forms.


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