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2-years gap after PhD: will it affect getting a post doc?

  1. Oct 27, 2013 #1
    Hello,

    For some reason, I need to leave the U.S. and go back to my country for two years once I finish my PhD. I am doing experimental condensed matter.

    In my country (an unkown place) , there is absolutely no way to do research in this field. I can only work as a lecturer in a university.

    Now, suppose that everything else being equal (recommendations, publications, etc), will this 2 years gap affect my chances of getting a post doc (in the U.S or Canada) as compared to going directly after the PhD?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2013 #2

    UltrafastPED

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    Hopefully you can also do some theoretical research while you are away; you should discuss this with your adviser.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2013 #3
    Yes, I thought about this. But let's be honest, if my PhD will be experimental then it will not be easy to do theoretical research, although not impossible.

    In any case, you did not answer my original question, whether or not you think not having relevant (or any) research (i.e. a 2 years gap) will be a problem.
     
  5. Oct 28, 2013 #4
  6. Oct 28, 2013 #5

    Choppy

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    It may have an impact, but probably not a drastic one.

    I think the biggest concern would be the state of the art in your field. If you leave for two years is there a chance you'll be seen as obsolete skill-wise?

    And if you don't have a choice in going, there really isn't much point in worrying about what your chances "might have been." Just do the best you can to stay current.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2013 #6

    StatGuy2000

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    A question I have to the OP is whether you are absolutely required to leave the US upon finishing your PhD when your student visa expires (given your earlier post, I assume you are in the US on a student visa). Is there not a possibility for you to apply for permanent residency (a green card) or even a temporary worker visa while you are applying for positions in the US?

    I would also consider looking at postdoc positions outside the US but not within your home country (if you haven't already considered this possibility already).
     
  8. Oct 28, 2013 #7
    Astrum: Thanks, will read it.
    Choppy: That is a good point, of course I should at least keep up to date with my field!
    StatGuy: As you figured out, it is a visa issue, and mine is not F1, something else (and worse). Yes I am absolutely required to leave. Post Doc in other places is a good option although I would prefer the U.S.
     
  9. Oct 28, 2013 #8

    atyy

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    I know some Japanese postdocs who had a 2 year home residency requirement because of a J1, but after Japan issued a "No Objection" statement, the US waived the requirement. I realise this is not generally possible, since many countries will not issue a "No Objection" statement, but thought I'd just bring up the possibility.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2013 #9
    Thank you. Yes I am aware of that possibility, but it is extremely difficult (it really depends but at least in my case it is difficult).

    I would like to hear your opinion about my question above (the 2-years gap).
     
  11. Oct 28, 2013 #10

    atyy

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    I've never encountered this, and I'm a postdoc in experimental biology so I don't really know about your field. I believe that in my field staying scientifically current is possible (computational work, maybe industry). I'd initiate contact with people you are interested in working with now, making clear the scientific reason you are interested in working with them. I'd also talk to the people whom you are asking for letters of reference. I do know of postdocs that have been deferred for a year, but in those cases the deferral was unexpected. In your case, you should be upfront about the deferral. Hopefully, even if they can't offer you a position now to be taken up 2 years later, they will be receptive to you applying again at a later date. Again, I don't have even second or third hand experience, so these are just my thoughts.
     
  12. Oct 29, 2013 #11
    If it is a US visa problem, then I would suggest looking for a first postdoc in Europe. Afterwards it should be fairly easy to get a second postdoc in US.
     
  13. Oct 29, 2013 #12

    atyy

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    http://www.visaservices.duke.edu/INA212e.html [Broken] is not official INS, but Duke's interpretation. However it states "Time spent in another country does not count to fulfill it. Giving up one’s citizenship and gaining citizenship elsewhere does not waive it.". If this is true, then it would not be possible to do a postdoc in another country and return to the US on a J1, H1B etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Oct 29, 2013 #13

    StatGuy2000

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    Assuming that the OP is subject to the INS212(e) (the J Visitor Exchange Program), then what is stated in the above link would apply. That being said, the link also states that those under the program could apply for a waiver to the 2-year return to home country requirement. I'm not certain how difficult it is to obtain this waiver, however -- it is worth discussing this with the university's VISA services to find out about what this involves.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  15. Oct 29, 2013 #14

    atyy

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    Yes, we discussed the waiver a bit in posts #8 and #9.

    Also, if the OP would be able and happy to work in his country after a postdoc in Europe, then he would satisfy the home residency requirement at that time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  16. Oct 29, 2013 #15
    Thanks all for the discussions. Yes I am subject to the J1 2-years home residency requirement.

    I am aware of all the details related since I (and literally every other J1 student I know) have done extensive research regarding this point. Believe me, almost no one I know wants to return to her or his country.

    Having a post doc in Canada or Europe will still not solve the "problem" as I will still need to go back to my home country before entering the U.S. again.

    Although it is still early, but I have started to think that I need to change my plans and consider other countries other than the U.S. after getting my PhD.

    Thanks all again.
     
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