Postdoc Next Steps

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has compiled information and resources to assist postdoctoral scholars looking for next steps in their career trajectory. Below you will find resources for job seeking and templates to aid with academic job searches.

Postdoc Resources for Job Seeking

Buckeye Careers

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has partnered with Buckeye Careers in the Office of Student Life in order to offer career counseling and support services to postdoctoral scholars currently employed at Ohio State, who are looking for the next steps in their chosen career path (academia, industry, other).

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Resume, CV, and cover letter review
  • Interview tips and assistance
  • Networking strategies
  • Career exploration (academia, industry, and other job-types)
  • Job search strategies

To book an appointment: Please call (614) 688-3898. This process will ensure that you will see a career counselor assigned to postdoctoral scholars. When registering and when filling out the intake forms, be sure to identify yourself as a postdoctoral scholar (even if your official title is visiting scholar, research associate, research scientist, visiting assistant professor, etc.). This will ensure you are booked with one of the staff, who understands the specific needs of postdocs on the job market. Location:  Younkin Success Center (2nd Floor), 1640 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.


Handshake is a platform used by over 800 colleges and universities, including Ohio State, that provides trainees with access to thousands of fellowships, full-time technical career opportunities in academia and industry, and postdoc opportunities at universities across the country. Postdocs are eligible for a free Handshake account. Colleges across Ohio State’s campus user Handshake to manage participation at discipline-specific career services and recruitment events. The OPA encourages you to register for a free Handshake account so that you are eligible to participate in these activities and interact with potential employers in your field of scholarship.

To activate your free Handshake account:

  • Email Buckeye Careers
  • Put “Postdoc requesting a Handshake Account” in the subject line of your email.
  • Provide your full name, department, college, lastname.#, and your employee ID (the 9-digit number on your BuckID or Med Center badge) in the body of the message.
  • Please note: this process can take 3-5 days to finalize, so do this early.

Career Services Groups on Campus

Ohio State uses a comprehensive, de-centralized career services model for trainees on campus. Below is the information for the colleges that support their own career services office. Buckeye Careers is also available to help all postdocs, regardless of their specific discipline or career interests. The specific support services each unit provides will vary, but in general, the following topics of support are covered: opportunities for 1:1 career coaching, jobs boards with discipline-specific internship, academic and industry opportunities, interview coaching, technical editing for resumes/CVs and cover letters, and career services workshops and events.

Career Services Events

Many units across the university provide discipline-specific recruitment events, during which time external employers are invited to the campus to interact with undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees. If you are looking for a specific type of event and you do not see it in the list below, please reach out to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs so that we can assist you. A small selection of recurring opportunities is listed below:

Resources to Explore Career Paths

  • Imagine PhD is a career exploration and planning tool for those in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Zippia: a Career Exploration Tool. Zippia provides an overview of various career paths available to researchers – qualifications, typical salary, desired skill sets, and job openings.
  • Science: 2020 Career Handbook. This guide from Science seeks to offer practical information for the job search and professional development.

Job Boards for Seeking Employment

Please use the following job aggregators to search for job opportunities:

Resources and Templates to Aid with Academic Job Searches

  • Overall thoughts about the job market – an opinion piece from Kara McKinley from her experience seeking positions in the 2019-2020 cycle.
  • The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB): Careers. ASCB has a multitude of career development resources available to postdocs, as well as access to free PDF versions of three career books: Career Advice for Life Scientists; Career Advice for Life Scientists II; and Life Sciences Research & Teaching: Strategies for the Successful Job Hunt, along with a collection of career strategy articles from the society’s newsletter.
  • iBiology has a four-part video series on “Job Hunting in Industry: Searching, Applying, Interviewing, and Negotiating for a Scientist Position in Biotech and Pharma,” presented by Bill Lindstaedt, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Career Advancement, International and Postdoctoral Services at the University of California, San Francisco.
  • Research Culture: A survey-based analysis of the academic job market
  • Clarifying Training Expectations for Future Faculty in the Life Sciences (and what hiring committees look for in applicants).
  • Leading Edge, an organization whose focus is on supporting postdocs, who are women and non-binary, in their pursuits of career advancement. This is a great community to seek feedback and advice from your peers across disciplines and institutions, who are also currently seeking faculty positions or who have gone through this process in the past.

Templates and Guides for Common Academic Application Elements

Still Have Questions?

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
214D University Hall 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210