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Joining the Lab

Graduate students (PhD, MSc)

The Geitmann Lab is currently looking for PhD students.

Candidates with biology background must have excellent knowledge of plant cell biology and plant molecular biology (ideally including work with Arabidopsis mutants). Experience with fluorescent protein markers and microscopy is an asset.

Candidates with engineering or math background must be willing to acquire the a certain level of biology background knowledge through autodidactic reading.


Please note that all applications officially go through the Department of Plant Science. McGill application procedures for graduate studies can be found here. Application deadlines for the Plant Science program can be found here.

In parallel to the official application, please send Dr. Geitmann the following documents:

  • Detailed letter of motivation (please see bottom of this page for details and consult this document). This letter is absolutely essential for your dossier to be considered.

  • Detailed CV including a list of all lab technical skills

  • Contact information (institutional email address and web site) for two references

  • University transcripts (informal)

Scroll down to find suggestions on how to prepare for an interview.

You may wish to look at the following resources for graduate student funding: McGill GPSNSERC, FRQNT, Vanier.

Postdoctoral Fellows

The Geitmann Lab welcomes expression of interest from biologists, engineers, applied mathematicians. The Lab is currently specifically looking for postdoctoral fellows with engineering or math background.

Please contact Dr. Geitmann to inquire about the possibilities.

If you are applying spontaneously, please send the following documents:

  • Detailed letter of motivation (please see below for details). This letter is crucial to be considered

  • Detailed CV with half-page summaries of previous research activities

  • In the CV, please specify for each listed paper what your contribution was

  • Contact information (institutional email address and web site) for at least two academic references including your PhD advisor

  • PDF of at least one of your papers in which you were the first author and wrote most of the manuscript

You may wish to look into the following opportunities for postdoc funding: NSERC, Banting, FRQNT (Canadians and permanent residents, Foreign candidates), HFSP, FulbrightMarie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships, EMBO Long-term Fellowships (for European citizens). Carefully check this database for a list of opportunities.

For great tips about applying for postdoc positions, check out this Twitter thread by Duygu Özpolat.


Internships are possible at many levels: CÉGEP, undergraduate, graduate and postdoc level. Please contact Dr. Geitmann to inquire about the possibilities.

Please send a detailed email with your motivation, information about desired duration of stay and mention your funding situation.

Please note that for visitors from outside Canada for any internships longer than 3 weeks, immigration procedures have to be completed.

Motivation Letter

The motivation letter is the single most important item in your dossier. The lab receives tens of applications by potential graduate students and postdoctoral fellows per month. If you are truly interested in working in the Geitmann Lab, you need make your letter stand out from the crowd. Don't use a generic text, don't elaborate on your entire life's story. Tailor your letter to the research program in the Geitmann Lab. Make sure the following questions are addressed:

  • Why are you interested in the research program conducted in the Geitmann Lab in particular? Show that you understand what the program is about.  

  • What are your academic qualifications that prepare you for conducting a research project aligned with the Geitmann Lab research program?

  • What kind of project would you like to work on? Simply citing keywords from this web site is not sufficient. Elaborate your ideas to demonstrate that you understand the overall context and objectives of the research program.

  • Which relevant technical skills do you already possess that prepare you for the desired project; which skills would you like/need to learn?

  • Do you have your own funding? If not, which scholarships do you intend to apply for?

More detailed advice can be found here.


Once an interview is arranged, you may wish to prepare by considering the following:

  • Be ready to summarize at least one previous research project by outlining the objective, experimental strategy, major findings and significance.

  • Demonstrate that you have read at least a couple of the Lab's papers. Ask questions about anything in these papers that you want to better understand. If you are not sure which papers to choose, consult the ones linked here, depending on the topics you are interested in: plant reproduction, plant development, biomechanics, cell morphogenesis

  • Propose a rough concept of a possible research project you would like to work on. This project must be aligned with the general research program in the Geitmann Lab. Explain which experimental techniques you would like to learn through this project.

  • Demonstrate that you looked into funding opportunities (see links above).

  • Be prepared to talk about your long-term professional goals.

  • Prepare questions. Good questions show that you have truly given this potential career step some thought.

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