Ph.D. & Postdoctoral Programs FAQ
Questions About Pre- & Postdoc Training at JAX?
We've Got ANSWERS.
Q: Is JAX an industry employer?
A: No. JAX is a non-profit research institution. While many researchers know JAX's role as a provider of mice to the research community, we have a large basic research division that operates quite like a university department. Our research professors direct independent labs made up of students, postdocs, research assistants, and staff scientists. They apply for grants from the NIH and/or foundations. They publish papers in top peer-reviewed journals, like Cell, Science, and Nature. Our research professors are not expected to produce anything other than quality research.
Q: Will my Ph.D. or postdoc consist solely of making mice for the research community?
A: No. Ph.D. students and postdoctoral associates at JAX work in one of the basic research labs performing independent, hypothesis-driven research. Resource-sharing (such as for a new mouse model) operates under the guidelines of NIH and the journals in which the work is published.
Q: Can I publish? Can I present my research at conferences?
A: Yes, and you are strongly encouraged to do so. Dissemination of your research is at the discretion of you and your PI. Our basic research groups produce a large number of peer-reviewed publications each year. These publications have major impacts on their fields. If your research has led to intellectual property that you and your PI plan to commercialize, JAX’s technology transfer experts can advise you on how to proceed.
Q: Can I apply for fellowships and grants?
A: Yes. JAX researchers have excellent success in procuring funding from the NIH and various disease research foundations. JAX Ph.D. students and postdocs have the support of JAX’s grants office for their fellowship applications and administration of awards. We keep a number of successful applications on hand as examples. JAX’s grants office and the Pre- & Postdoctoral Program Office maintain searchable lists of funding opportunities available to students and postdocs, including international candidates. Postdocs should plan on applying for at least one extramural fellowship during their time at JAX, as this is an important part of their training.
Q: Does JAX offer fellowships?
A: Yes. The JAX Scholar award is JAX’s competitive fellowship for early-stage postdoctoral candidates.
Q: But what if I'm looking for an industry postdoc? Does JAX have anything for me?
A: Yes. Being a postdoc at JAX gives you a couple of advantages if you're thinking of moving into industry or biotech. First, you have plenty of opportunities to learn how JAX Mice, Clinical and Research Services (JMCRS) works and what are the diverse types of career paths for Ph.D.s in a customer-oriented research environment. You'll get to meet a lot of these scientists through career development programs, such as Career Forum. Second, if you decide to pursue a career away from basic research, it's relatively easy to make the jump within JAX. The ease of networking with JMCRS people throughout your time as a postdoc is a big bonus.
Q: How do I apply for a postdoc position?
A: There are basically four ways to find a postdoc position at JAX. You can pursue any or all routes.
1) If you’re not ready to apply for a postdoc position quite yet, go to www.jax.org/join and fill in your information so we can keep you updated about opportunities. You can also do this with one of our JAX Genomic Education specialists at a scientific conference or career fair.
2) Check our list of open positions. If you find one that interests you, there will be a link to apply.
3) If you find a faculty member with whom you're super excited about working, send them an email to ask whether they might have a position in the next few months or years. We advise students to start inquiring about postdoc positions 6-12 months in advance of when they would like to start.
Q: Does JAX award Ph.D.s?
A: No. JAX is not accredited to confer any higher educational degrees, so we partner with three graduate programs to award the Ph.D. Students who enroll in one of these programs satisfy the curricular requirements of the university but perform their thesis research at JAX under the mentorship of a JAX professor. You can find information about these programs and the application process on our Ph.D. Programs page.
Q: Does JAX accept international Ph.D. students and postdocs?
A: Yes. We value our international community of scientists. Over fifteen nationalities are currently represented across our campuses. For Ph.D. students, immigration support is provided by the university partner’s international office. JAX can provide additional letters of support, for instance for visiting students or for applications for travel visas abroad. For postdoctoral associates, JAX’s Human Resources experts will help with visa application sponsorship.
Q: Do I have to come with my own funding?
A: No. If you’re a Ph.D. student, your stipend, tuition, insurance, and fees will be provided by the Ph.D. Program for the first two years and your mentor thereafter. If you’re a postdoctoral associate, funding is something you should discuss with your prospective mentor at JAX. Professors will likely provide funding for you, with the expectation that you apply for independent fellowships or help them with larger grant applications during your time as a postdoc. The Ph.D. & Postdoctoral Programs Office and JAX’s grants office can both help identify appropriate funding mechanisms - also for international trainees. JAX Genomic Education offers a competitive fellowship to outstanding postdocs, the JAX Scholar award.