The postdoctoral phase

The term postdoc designates a phase of academic qualification postdating the doctorate, the institutional forms of which vary according to discipline.

The postdoc is most prevalent in the natural sciences and technical sciences. With the increase in financing of research posts by third-party funds – either through research projects or grants - this type of appointment is starting to spread to the human and social sciences.

Generally, a postdoctoral researcher is employed on a fixed-term contract for research projects at a university.

Some companies and private research centres also offer postdoctoral positions, particularly in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. In Switzerland, postdoctoral positions are financed mainly by the SNSF and European funds.

Distribution lists, the websites of academic institutions and faculties, and journals are good sources of information concerning vacancies.

Your own network as well as those of the thesis supervisor(s) and jury also play a very important role and can offer a greater guarantee of the quality of postdoctoral positions.