Joining the Lab

PhD positions
Graduate students (PhD, MSc)

The Geitmann Lab is currently looking for PhD students. Please note that all applications officially go through the Department of Plant Science.

McGill application procedures for graduate studies can be found here.

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

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

  • Detailed CV including a list of all lab technical skills

  • Letters of recommendation speaking specifically to your bench skills, writing skills, and creative thinking (candidates for PhD positions)

  • 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 (Canadian students, Foreign students) Foreign students PhD), Vanier.

Postdoctoral Fellows

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

  • 2 Letters of recommendation

You may wish to look into the following opportunities for postdoc funding: NSERC, Banting, FRQNT (Canadians and landed immigrants, Foreign candidates), HFSP, Fulbright.

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. Simply citing keywords from this web site is not sufficient. 

  • What are your qualifications (scientific and/or technical expertise) that prepare you for doing research aligned with that in the Geitmann Lab?

  • What kind of project would you like to work on?

  • Which relevant technical skills do you already possess, which would you like/need to learn?

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


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

  • Be ready to summarize at least one previous research project you worked on or contributed to 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 that show you have truly given this potential career step some thought.

Anja Geitmann - Canada Research Chair in Biomechanics of Plant Development

Department of Plant Science, McGill University

The images shown in the header strip are micrographs produced by Colas Topszynski, Youssef Chebli & Amir Jafari Bidhendi. All imagess are copyright protected and their use requires permission by Anja Geitmann