If you're interested in licensed practice, there are a number of options when searching for a postdoc, whether formal (APA-accredited or APPIC member) or informal. Postdoctoral training within the profession is less structured and organized than internship training, and APPIC membership and APA accreditation are not as critical, says Wayne Siegel, PhD, vice chair of APPIC and the chair of its postdoctoral workgroup. And there are many more qualified prospective postdocs than the 65 APA-accredited sites and the 156 belonging to APPIC. "It's not like internship where you can't get a job without an accredited position," he says. "Most people who hire psychologists care more about experience and where you went to school." Reputation — and the quality of your work — is more important than accreditation, he says.
Here's where to look:
For those interested in licensed practice, APA's accreditation page lists all APA-accredited postdoctoral programs, both traditional practice and specialty positions.
APA's divisions pages are also good places to look for specific areas, adds former APAGS chair Ali Mattu, PhD, and include both clinical and research positions.
APPIC is a good place to start the search for clinical postdoctoral positions — the ones listed here are APPIC member programs, so there's a level of quality control. Find the list of 156.
Association for Psychological Science
For those interested in licensed practice or basic research, the APS offers a postdoc exchange where any program can post postdoctoral positions free of charge. The result is that a larger offering of postdoc positions will be listed, including informal positions, which, as Siegel says, can be every bit as strong as formal ones. Find the listings.
APPIC "Postdoc Network"
For those interested in licensed practice, this email list is free to use, and includes both general discussions about postdoc applications and postings of open positions. Sign up by sending a blank email, and you'll receive further instructions.
Science Magazine's Science Careers
Science Magazine's Science Careers website has listings for postdoctoral research positions.
The Psychology Job Wiki also has a section for postdocs, many of which are research positions.
Postdoc positions are not always listed publicly, so it's worth it to do a little exploration on your own, says APA's Garth Fowler, PhD.
"Some labs may have extra funding but don't necessarily have a posted position," he says.
Reach out to labs you're interested in working in and talk to your mentor and dissertation committee about how best to do so. Attending conferences (for example, the Society for Neuroscience and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies) and networking are other great ways to discover postdocs that might not be listed publicly, says Fowler.
However you find a postdoc, make sure you do your own research before you accept it. For academic positions, Fowler suggests asking, what's the track record of the position? What kinds of jobs do former postdocs go on to? What's the status of the funding for the postdoctoral position? Is it about to run out? Is it in its first year or seventh?
And for clinical positions, make sure you know all the details of your duties, how supervision will work and how you'll be reimbursed.
Letters to the Editor
- Write Us