This article will be of use to Indian PhD scholars who want to do postdoctoral studies and research abroad. Pursuing postdoctoral studies and research in countries like the USA, UK and other European countries has its own advantages. First of all, the research facilities available in those countries are better than what is available in India. One may even take up research as a career there and get rewarded well (financially). The pay there is better than what it is in India for the same type of job. In this article, you will be reading about how to find a proper University/institute abroad, where relevant research program is available and how to prepare an attractive research proposal.
Scientists and teachers working for Indian research institutes and Universities are also sent by their employers abroad, to take up research work there. This helps them gain international exposure, research skills and knowledge. When the employee returns to the employer in India, he/she will be bringing a wealth of knowledge back with him/her!
When it comes to postdoctoral studies and research, getting admission is relatively easier than in case of undergraduate and postgraduate programs! In cases of UG and PG programs, a student usually has to deal with language proficiency test and a barrage of other formalities. But in case of postdoctoral studies, a simple research proposal will be enough! A scholar won’t have to deal with language proficiency test at all!
Let us check out the steps involved in getting a postdoctoral research program abroad-
Pursue postdoctoral research or studies from abroad
Step 1: Finding the right Institute
This is the first step. One may take help of faculty members of the institute from which one pursued the postdoctoral course. Usually such institutes have a list of universities abroad, where postdoctoral research programs are available. One may obtain contact details of the representatives of the institute and get in touch with them.
Another good method to find such Universities/institutes is by making use of the internet! There are many employment sites, which focus solely on postdoctoral research jobs and programs. There are even postdoctoral research scholars’ exchange program available on the internet!
Whichever method you use, make sure that you select an institute where the research program available is related to the field of your study. Your search should be based on the discipline and availability of research program in that discipline.
Step 2: Make research proposal
This is an important stage. The research proposal has to be attractive and complete. The length of the proposal should be between 500-1000 words and must cover all the required details. It should have a formal tone to it.
Here is the structure that your research proposal must follow-
- Title: must indicate the area of interest and the details about the area of research
- Questions, objectives and hypotheses: Make a note of main research questions. This has to be based on previous research programs and existing policies. Set objectives and targets for the research program.
- Methodology: Explain about the methods, which will be used to answer the research questions. Don’t explain in detail.
- Results: Explain briefly about the finding/results that you expect to get at the end of research.
- Conclusions: Point out how the findings will affect existing theories and policies.
- Sequence of research: Point out a research timescale. It must be realistic. It must point out research progress and stages at various times.
- Final comments: You may point out probable outcomes and findings.
Much care must be given to the drafting of research proposal. The proposal plays a huge role in determining whether you will get selected for the research program or not! The selection of research topic must be done with care. It is after the selection of topic that the proposal drafting has to be done. The topic selected must be something that the scholar is genuinely interested about. If the foreign University/institute is interested, they may initiate discussions with you. The final topic of research may differ from that in the proposal. It all depends on the discussion between the two parties.