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Share your postdoc experience

Postdocs working in a lab with masks

What are the Postdoc Experience Profiles?

The Postdoc Experience Profiles are an opportunity for postdocs to share their experiences and thoughts about different aspects of their time at the University of Waterloo. New profiles join the profile collection in which postdocs address various topics relevant to other Waterloo postdocs, providing guidance for their peers based on their own successes, struggles, and what they’ve learned.  

We want to hear about your experiences as a postdoc, including achievements you’ve had, challenges you’ve experienced, opportunities you’ve taken advantage of, or just what life looks like for you as a postdoc at UWaterloo. We will record these stories so that other postdocs can learn from them and become better equipped to thrive during their postdoc experience at UWaterloo.  

Some examples of postdoc experiences you could share are… 

  • How you became a postdoc at Waterloo, and any tips you for others who might be trying to find a position here.  

  • Caring or providing for family while working as a postdoc, and what resources or supports you have accessed to help with that.  

  • Strategies or tools that you have used to maintain a healthy work-life balance as a postdoc. 

  • Unique experiences, opportunities, or challenges encountered during your research as a postdoc, and how you approached or addressed them.  

By participating, you will have an opportunity to answer a few questions about your time at Waterloo. We will use your responses to create a written profile discussing your experiences related to one or more of the following topics: 

  • Becoming a postdoc 

  • Connecting with a community of scholars 

  • Family matters 

  • Finding postdoc funding 

  • International postdoc experience 

  • Maintaining work/life balance

  • New postdoc experience 

  • Research at Waterloo 

  • Support at Waterloo 

  • Teaching at Waterloo 

  • Other – feel free to suggest a topic that you want to talk about! 

Why share your postdoc experience?

Sharing your postdoc experience is an opportunity to help and connect with other postdocs. No matter what your experiences have been in your role, there will be peers of yours at Waterloo that can benefit from what you’ve learned. By sharing your experience, you will be able to: 

  • Provide valuable advice and insight to other postdocs experiencing the same milestones, opportunities or challenges you have.  

  • Inspire other postdocs to pursue opportunities or take advantage of resources and/or services that can support them in their role.  

  • Promote your experiences, work, or research more widely.  

  • Receive your choice of a $20 gift card to the W Store or a $20 WatCard deposit if you are one of the first 20 postdocs to participate, as a small thank you for your time and enthusiasm!  

How does it work?

Sharing your postdoc experience is quick and simple! You will have multiple options for sharing your experience in whatever way is most comfortable for you, and participation should take no more than 20-30 minutes in total. Follow the steps below to share your story! 

  1. Complete the Postdoc Experience Profile participation web form to indicate your interest in participating. This should only take a couple of minutes

    1. You will be asked what topic(s) you might be interested in discussing, so think ahead about what experience(s) you’d like to talk about!   

    2. Be prepared to upload a high-quality photo of yourself. Visit the 5 tips for taking great selfies web page for more information.  

    3. You will be asked how you would like to share your experience. You can either fill out a written questionnaire or participate in a short virtual discussion over Zoom.  

  2. You will be contacted by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) within ten business days. We will provide you with written questions based on the topic(s) you’ve selected, along with further instructions. 

    1. If you’ve chosen to participate through writing, you will be asked to reply via email with short-written answers to the questions provided. This does not need to be polished writing, as GSPA staff will support editing your responses for publication.  

    2. If you have chosen to participate in the virtual discussion, we will set up a virtual meeting based on your availability, where a GSPA staff member will ask you questions about your experiences and use the recorded transcript to create your postdoc profile.  

  3. After meeting with you or receiving your written responses, we will draft a profile about your experiences, either paraphrasing the details you have provided or quoting your answers directly, as appropriate.   

  1. You will be contacted once your profile is ready for publication. You will have a chance to review the completed draft before it is published on our website, to ensure the information is accurate.

How will your profile be used?

Your profile will be showcased on the GSPA website, as part of a resource page for postdocs highlighting the diverse experiences, successes, and struggles of our amazing postdoc community. The main purpose of these profiles will be to provide practical advice or inspiration to your peers.  

Other examples of how your profile might be shared include:  

  • The Postdoc e-news  

  • University of Waterloo social media channels. 

  • Faculty or department websites 

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Postdoc experience profiles, or how to participate, please contact