The Cali Garmo

does Math

How to find a postdoc

By Cali G , Published on Mon 24 August 2020, Last modified Fri 25 September 2020
Category: blog / work

There is always a question new math grads have:

How do I find a postdoc?

Considering I have tried (and failed) many times at getting a postdoc, I want to keep an updated list of how to find a postdoc! If you see anything below that is wrong or needs updating (or if you want to add any information, let me know 😄)

Lauren Williams has a good guide on how to create postdoc application materials (cover letter, research statement, etc.). You can find her guide here.

NOTE: In all cases it is probably worthwhile to contact the potential supervisor beforehand. This lets them know who you are (if they don't know you already) and that you are applying so that they should look for your application.

North America

US & Canada

Jobs for the US are typically found using mathjobs.

Additionally, many people first apply for NSF funding. The deadline for the NSF is normally the third wednesday in October annually. Note: You must be a US citizen, a US national or a permanent resident of the US to apply.


Europe has a couple of different websites that are dependent on the university/country.


France has fewer postdocs, but have something called an ATER instead. They are a one year teaching postdoc where you have one of two options:

  • Full-time: teach 2 courses per semester
  • Half-time: teach 1 course per semester

As these are teaching positions, knowledge of French language is required.

For more information on how to get an ATER position you can check out the government website. To research ATER positions, you can go to galaxie to find all current ATER positions.


  • Combinatorics is considered as computer science in France.
  • If you are not European you will likely be put on the waiting list. Don't worry as they normally go through the entire waiting list since many people cancel once they find a better opportunity somewhere else.

Yearly Postdoc Programs


There are a couple of options if you want to go to Germany.

  • Humboldt Research Fellowship
    • 6-24 months.
    • Not applicable to Germans nor Brazilians.
    • No teaching.
    • You get to chose which university and supervisor/host you want to work with. (It is highly encouraged tthat you talk with the supervisor/host before you submit the application.)
    • You can add a 2-4 month German language intensive. (Does not count towards 6-24 months)
  • DAAD
    • These are country specific, so you need to go to their search in order to look for options.
      • As an example, from the USA there are roughly 20 different options and from Canada roughly 18.

United Kingdom

Jobs in the United Kingdom are generally placed on Normally these link directly to the university's website for information on the postdoc.



For postdocs in India, they normally have a rolling application which means you can apply at any time. Find the person you want to work with and go to their institution website for more information on how to apply.


Japan has 4 different programs for doing a postdoc. More information for all 4 can be found on their government website here.

  • Summer Program
    • Must citizen or permanent resident of: France, Germany, Sweden, UK or Canada
    • Only 2 months
    • Must be currently a PhD student when the application is submitted and have graduated when the program starts.
    • Must chose your own host.
  • Strategic Program
    • Must be citizen or permanent resident of: US, Switzerland or India
    • Length varies by country of origin
    • Must chose your own host.
  • Short-term Program
    • Must be citizen or permanent resident of: US, Canada, Europe Union, UK, Switzerland, Norway or Russia.
    • 1-12 months
    • Must chose your own host.
  • Standard Program
    • Must be a citizen of a country with diplomatic relations with Japan (Taiwan and Palestine do count)
    • 12-24 Months
    • Must chose your own host.



In Australia, the best method to find a postdoc is to talk with researchers you want to work with. If they have funding, they will pay for a postdoc for you. If you want to know who has funding and what kind of research they are doing, you can look at the grants put out by the Australian Government here. Note that these grants are normally handed out near November time.