No biologist in Boston?

  • jova

    Posts: 139

    Aug 15, 2010 7:16 PM GMT
    Hi guy, I'm actually looking for a postdoc in US. Most actually, I'm looking to do it in Boston cause my boss know poeple there.

    I would like to know

    What's the best place to do a post doc?

    What's the salary I can wait from my US boss?

    Is Boston a nice place to live, go out, meet a nice guy?

    Thanks

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    Aug 15, 2010 8:45 PM GMT
    jova saidHi guy, I'm actually looking for a postdoc in US. Most actually, I'm looking to do it in Boston cause my boss know poeple there.

    I would like to know

    What's the best place to do a post doc?

    What's the salary I can wait from my US boss?

    Is Boston a nice place to live, go out, meet a nice guy?

    Thanks



    Yeah Boston is a great place to live. Salary is typically between $40-60k depending on field (I was a postdoc myself in physics) and institution, and health insurance is typically paid for on top of that. If you come on a J1 visa, and you DO NOT intend to stay longer than 2 years in total, you typically do not have to pay federal income tax either in the US or in your country of origin which makes it a better deal [you need to check what the tax treaty between the US and Belgium says about this---I know this to be true of the UK, Italy and France at least]. If you do intend to stay longer, you need to be very clear on the exact stipulation of the tax treaty as to whether you have to repay the tax or not.

    Obtaining a visa is not too bad---your institution will file appropriate paperwork and if it's accepted you will have to visit the US consulate in Brussels to obtain the visa following a short interview. You'll have to pay about $130 for the visa and approx $100 to be registered on the immigration SEVIS database [depending on your visa category].

    You'll do fine in any major US city, particularly on the coasts, although there's a certain culture shock to overcome.

    As to meeting other guys, it depends on your attitude. There are certainly cross-cultural issues in dating, but if you find the right guy those can be pretty fun.

    The most annoying features of working in the US are: the immigration service, the fact that US higher ed institutions give very little advice to foreign postdocs on issues like taxation making it easy to make expensive mistakes, and that there are some ridiculous bureaucratic issues such as needing a Social Security Number to get a driving license, bank account (and sometimes an apartment); but being unable to get until two weeks after entering the country.

    When dealing with these issues, it's important to remember that American bureaucrats are just as vexing as their European counterparts.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 15, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    keep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.
  • jova

    Posts: 139

    Aug 16, 2010 8:27 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    jova saidHi guy, I'm actually looking for a postdoc in US. Most actually, I'm looking to do it in Boston cause my boss know poeple there.

    I would like to know

    What's the best place to do a post doc?

    What's the salary I can wait from my US boss?

    Is Boston a nice place to live, go out, meet a nice guy?

    Thanks



    Yeah Boston is a great place to live. Salary is typically between $40-60k depending on field (I was a postdoc myself in physics) and institution, and health insurance is typically paid for on top of that. If you come on a J1 visa, and you DO NOT intend to stay longer than 2 years in total, you typically do not have to pay federal income tax either in the US or in your country of origin which makes it a better deal [you need to check what the tax treaty between the US and Belgium says about this---I know this to be true of the UK, Italy and France at least]. If you do intend to stay longer, you need to be very clear on the exact stipulation of the tax treaty as to whether you have to repay the tax or not.

    Obtaining a visa is not too bad---your institution will file appropriate paperwork and if it's accepted you will have to visit the US consulate in Brussels to obtain the visa following a short interview. You'll have to pay about $130 for the visa and approx $100 to be registered on the immigration SEVIS database [depending on your visa category].

    You'll do fine in any major US city, particularly on the coasts, although there's a certain culture shock to overcome.

    As to meeting other guys, it depends on your attitude. There are certainly cross-cultural issues in dating, but if you find the right guy those can be pretty fun.

    The most annoying features of working in the US are: the immigration service, the fact that US higher ed institutions give very little advice to foreign postdocs on issues like taxation making it easy to make expensive mistakes, and that there are some ridiculous bureaucratic issues such as needing a Social Security Number to get a driving license, bank account (and sometimes an apartment); but being unable to get until two weeks after entering the country.

    When dealing with these issues, it's important to remember that American bureaucrats are just as vexing as their European counterparts.


    Hi Tiger Tim,

    Thanks for all these informations very usefull especially about taxes.

    Nevermind, I forget to ask what's the cost of life in Boston like rent a flat, food, fitness,...

    And the most important is there a bar where you can find belgian beer?
  • jova

    Posts: 139

    Aug 16, 2010 8:36 AM GMT
    viveutvivas said
    calibro saidkeep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.


    Yes, that could be a major problem, depending on field. I know that at Brown University there are probably about 300 postdoc applications for every opening in Theoretical Physics. But other fields may be not so bad.

    Also, it is more difficult for foreign Ph.D.s to find postdocs in the U.S. If you want a postdoc at an elite institution in the U.S., it is almost required that you should have completed your Ph.D. at an elite institution in the U.S. with an elite professor, unless you have already published some pretty important papers.



    Hi viveutvivas,

    Hopefully for me I'n not in Theoritical Physics or related fields. All I know about stars, they're a lovely light in the sky.
    I've got a phD in biomedical sciences, and I worked on prostate cancer at a molecular and cellular biology level. So I think, it must have more opportunity in my sector like the Dana Farber institute, or Birgham and women's hospital.

    For going out in Club and Bar, I already test it in January. They closed very soon at time when poeple go out in Europe.
  • jova

    Posts: 139

    Aug 17, 2010 9:15 AM GMT
    calibro saidkeep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.


    God save america tralalala
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    Aug 17, 2010 11:30 AM GMT
    jova said
    calibro saidkeep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.


    God save america tralalala


    He didn't say "america" he said "Boston".

    Looks like wherever you end up you'd best restrict yourself to other expats.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Aug 17, 2010 11:39 AM GMT
    viveutvivas said
    calibro saidkeep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.
    If you want a postdoc at an elite institution in the U.S., it is almost required that you should have completed your Ph.D. at an elite institution in the U.S. with an elite professor, unless you have already published some pretty important papers.



    I'd say publication track record (and professor - post-doc vision compatibility) is more important than the institution you came from. Basically, you're there to produce good work quickly. That's sort of the post-doc's role. If you convince them you can do that you're good.
    Securing your own funding or being able to is also important. Ability to write grants (or get fellowships) is sort of a key skill for a professor and, obviously, a free post-doc is even more attractive.


    viveutvivas saidYes, Boston is a good place to live and meet guys. If you are into clubbing and such, the nightlife is not great compared to other cities - clubs close at 2 am, which would be laughable in Europe.


    Think of it more as a really big town and not so much a city and you'll probably have the right idea.
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    Aug 17, 2010 11:54 AM GMT
    hey there. I actually did my grad in boston in biology (cambridge technically) and I live here in the south end now (the fairly pricey gay neighborhood). If you look around rent isn't too bad but be prepared to live with someone. If you want to live by yourself in the south end or back bay be prepared to pay between $1,200-$2,000/mnth. If you can find a roommate you can obviously bring that down to around $800-$1200 a person in a pretty decent neighborhood. I was living near MIT for about $700 a person/month with one roommate.

    For sure it's a more expensive city but the big costs are eating out. If you can cook for yourself and live relatively close to a grocery store you should be okay.

    What's your field? I know a bunch of labs at both mit and hvd I can recommend (as well as a few I can warn you against).
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    Aug 17, 2010 12:31 PM GMT
    I went to college and law school in Boston. It's a beautiful city full of interesting things to do. It's almost European in scale and walkability. You won't need a car because it has a public transportation system that will take you anywhere you need to go. There are over 100,000 students in town so you will have a huge peer group.
    The drawbacks are 1) the climate - winter is 9 months long; and 2) the social climate - outside of academia it's very hard to meet new people.
  • tituspullo197...

    Posts: 203

    Aug 17, 2010 12:46 PM GMT
    yeah, boston is a great town, albeit an expensive one. but you get a lot for that extra money you're paying. it's walkable and safer than most u.s. cities; it does have a very old world ambience to it. i'm not sure why it has a reputation for being full of aloof people, as i've never had that issue when i've been there. perhaps because it's a city with a disproportionately high level of education, less educated people stand out like sore thumbs when they visit; i couldn't say for sure.
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    Aug 17, 2010 12:56 PM GMT
    jova saidFor going out in Club and Bar, I already test it in January. They closed very soon at time when poeple go out in Europe.


    When do people SLEEP in Europe?
  • jova

    Posts: 139

    Aug 17, 2010 3:43 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    viveutvivas said
    calibro saidkeep in mind, it's very competitive to get into those programs and if you're trying to do one in Boston at some of the world's most elite universities then you better be on of the world's most elite candidates.
    If you want a postdoc at an elite institution in the U.S., it is almost required that you should have completed your Ph.D. at an elite institution in the U.S. with an elite professor, unless you have already published some pretty important papers.



    I'd say publication track record (and professor - post-doc vision compatibility) is more important than the institution you came from. Basically, you're there to produce good work quickly. That's sort of the post-doc's role. If you convince them you can do that you're good.
    Securing your own funding or being able to is also important. Ability to write grants (or get fellowships) is sort of a key skill for a professor and, obviously, a free post-doc is even more attractive.


    viveutvivas saidYes, Boston is a good place to live and meet guys. If you are into clubbing and such, the nightlife is not great compared to other cities - clubs close at 2 am, which would be laughable in Europe.


    Think of it more as a really big town and not so much a city and you'll probably have the right idea.


    Thanks for all your answers guys

    Neosyllogy, what do you mean by free post-doc?