Postdoc/researcher without grant/salary

15-Mar-17, 10:52
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for iuribaranov
posted about 7 months ago
Dear collegues,

I have one weird (I think) question.

I have finished my PhD in the end of December/2015 and done a 6 months PostDoc at the same Uni. right after. When my PostDoc grant was over, I had to find a job as a teacher, but my passion, as I can imagine is the passion of many of us, is doing research. But, due some political/economical issues Brazil is facing now, the illigitimate government, that has taken power through a soft coup, is cutting almost all fundings to research. I have had two postdoc projects declined by one of our funding agencies, not because the project was bad, but because they say they don't have the money to it.
My CV is not the best thing in the world, so it will be very difficult for me to compete with others to take a grant in abroad Unis (even here in Brazil, where there is so little grant now). During my PhD, postdoc and now in my teaching experience, I have saved some money, that would be sufficient to survive by almost one year in a country like German, for example.
My wish is to go to some good research group, ask for some one year opportunity as a postdoc/researcher WITHOUT the need of grant or salary. I know it seems a bit odd, but I'm willing to do this sacrifice in order to improve my research abilities, network and CV.

Some questions come to mind:
- Will the head/leader of the abroad group find this offer weird, unusual? "Hey, what this guy is planning to do?"
- Is it legal?
- Will I have some visa problems, due the fact I won't have a fixed salary?

These are some question to start. I some of you could help me, I would be very thankful.
20-Mar-17, 13:57
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 7 months ago
I don't think it's a good idea to work for free. If I were you I would apply for any paid position, so post doc, technician, research assistant and see what happens. Also yes I imagine it could be an issue with a visa if you are not in paid work. It would be strange to see someone with a PhD working for free as well.
20-Mar-17, 14:09
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 7 months ago
Working for free in a lab will have insurance issues. Maybe look for a part time role and offer to teach for free would be better but I don't think you'll find a 'job' opening without a salary. Good luck.
20-Mar-17, 23:57
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 7 months ago
If the year of unpaid work will give you valuable experience and you can support yourself then it is a total no brainer. - take the job.
It has to be better than sitting at home doing nothing and will prevent gaps in your CV.
I have used this a few times in my career and it has always led to paid opportunities elsewhere.
Good luck with your situation.
22-Mar-17, 12:14
by matt123
Avatar for matt123
posted about 7 months ago
I was in a very similar position and until recently I started a new research fellowship. My advice would be to take work lower than that of your current grade / salary such as a technician (who needless to say I have full respect for). In this way you can work and earn money whilst you are applying for positions elsewhere. I wish you every success!!!


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