relocation package for foreign postdocs

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relocation package for foreign postdocs

Postby researchwoman » Mar 03 2011 4:56 pm

Hi
I wished to share from my experience moving to two different countries for postdoc and encountering a similar problem each time.
The postdoc offers I had were both from government institutes/academic and did not offer any relocation package.
I come from a country which has no social service system. However, both the countries I visited for postdoc have some kind of social security systems.
So for a foriegn postdoc,one has to wait to have this number to in order to get paid which may take a long time.
This may be a 'normal' situation for relocation within the country for someone who belongs to that country. But for a foreigner, and especially a scientist ( we don't get very high salaries) it can be quite a feat to manage one's living in the absence of the salary.
It is exacerbated if one compares the currency differences between countries. For instance, the US Dollar is 45 times the Indian rupee, or about 6 times a Norwegian kronor.
If one moves from a country with lower currency than USA, then the value of that money when converted into dollars can be quite low.
In my experience in Europe, I obtained my security number within 10 days and the institute gave me a cheque for the fist month( since I requested it).
In the USA, I have now waited for 3 weeks and still no sign of social security number and no paycheck. It has been difficult to open a bank account and have my money from my previous country transferred in the absence of social security number). Using a foreign credit card leads to more tax on the transaction, further dwindling one's funds.
It is quite difficult to move in to a new place, new society and culture without timely payment. Also one is expected to settle down and work soon.
I found it a bit difficult to be focussed at work when I am unsure about payment and living and an uncertainty about the whole thing.
My university here did not inform me beforehand that salary will only be given after the social security number is issued and after further processing,which may take upto two months.
I feel seriously disappointed with the system. I had asked the university and my supervisor before I joined if there is any relocation package. But there was none. I assume there is no government guideline to provide it for academics, although I have heard that some companies provide for such assistance.
One has to consider that a foreign postdoc also has to pay for VISA and flight charges which can be quite high.
I decided not to join in another place in the future without relocation charges, but it looks like this is the norm in academia.
It would be so much more convenient, if relocation charges were provided, even if they would be taken back from the salary in increments at later stages.
It would help in the fist few weeks of a new postdoc employee. Research is an area where there are many foreign workers.
Am I alone in my experience? Does anybody know about relocation packages in universities and how I could ensure for that in the future?
researchwoman
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Re: relocation package for foreign postdocs

Postby relaxin » Mar 03 2011 7:54 pm

In general, there is no relocation package for postdocs, foreign or native, at least in academia. I have hired postdocs from India and China in the past, and understand this situation. It is the responsibility of the mentor to help the postdoc to settle down and start working fast. In my case, I was able to get the Department to loan several hundred dollars for the postdoc to pay for rent and immediate needs (grocery and cooking wares, etc). The postdoc has to pay back to the Department once his/her paychecks are coming along. This works out quite well.
Retired academic researcher. Mention of a specific product does not imply my endorsement of the product. No conflict of interest or guarantee to work on the advice given. Do as I say, not as I do. Not liable to the loss of your valuable samples.
relaxin
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Re: relocation package for foreign postdocs

Postby researchwoman » Mar 03 2011 8:29 pm

I would have considered joining your lab!;0
researchwoman
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Posts: 237
Joined: Apr 23 2008 12:16 pm


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