Tiju Thomas

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India


ph. no: +91 8056456442
email id: tt332@cornell.edu or tijuthomas@iitm.ac.in

Our Research Group

Applied Nanostructures Engineering and Nanochemistry (ANEN) Research Group

ID6020 Panel Discussion notes (28 Sep., 2017)

Suggestions for postdocs

In principle, postdoctoral research should be a very "customized" form of research. Let me explain what I mean: a recent doctorate has plenty to offer, and is hoping to choose the optimum career path for her/himself. Postdoctoral positions are transitional positions wherein a recent doctorate is gaining valuable experience of the kind that will help her/him in the long term. This often means that it is not a simple extension of the doctoral degree. The postdoc stint must be one which should enable the candidate to pick up useful "soft" skills, along with valuable technical and professional skills. The candidate must feel well-prepared for launching a career in industry or academia, after such a stint. A postdoc job is most fruitful if the roles and projects of the postdoc are defined based on her/his individual interests and goals. If you are looking for a postdoc job, these are some things you may want to bear in mind, while talking to your potential postdoc supervisor.

Please go through the research section of this website. If you think that you will benefit from having a postdoc stint with me, please write to me at least 1.5-2 years before your graduation. This will help us think about a challenging problem together, which might be of direct benefit and interest to you. Also it will help us have enough time for writing a proposal together, which will certainly add to your CV and boost your employability. The advantage of having a long and sustained dialogue while coming with a postdoc job description is that it is likely to be customized for you. This "personalization" of the job is meant not only to give you plentiful satisfaction, but also to ensure that you get the kind of experience that you always desired. I expect postdocs and graduate students to be people of exceptional work ethic and time-sense. I also expect them to be very mature, responsible, socially-responsible, and creative. Our discussions will be challenging to you and to me, since our academic goals include (i) learning as much possible, (ii) pushing ourselves closer to perfection, and (iii) challenging our limits. We will pursue these goals as a team! With the right mindset and preparation, I am hopeful that we will succeed in our academic goals.


  1. http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles?type=article_type&value=Postdoc+journal&year=2011
    Nature Jobs has a nice collection of musings (called POSTDOC JOURNAL) from postdocs from across the world. You are likely to benefit by reading what others have to say. At the very least, you will get a feel for the contemporary job-market, which may help you get a "reality check".
  2. Go to books.google.com and search for "postdoc jobs". There are many "self-help" books, at least one of which may help you think carefully about your scientific career.