- How to Email a Potential Supervisor
- Applying to a PhD
It’s well known that contacting a potential PhD supervisor before applying to their position can greatly increase your chances of success. Unfortunately, it also works the opposite way.
The good news is that leaving a great impression is much simpler than you would think; it simply comes down to how you structure your first email.
To learn how to email a potential supervisor the correct way, follow our guidelines below.
Guidelines for Your First Email
1. do your research.
Before contacting a supervisor, you need to have researched them. Hopefully, you would have already have done this before deciding that they would be suitable for your project. However, if you haven’t, read up and learn about their research.
This is important to confirm that your project is relevant to the supervisor and that they have suitable expertise to support you.
As well as information about their research and recent publications, you can find their email address on their University’s academic profile page. Their email address should also be available in the PhD listing you originally saw the position.
2. Use a Clear Subject Line
Use a short subject line which clearly shows your intention. Supervisors receive countless emails a day from students, other professors, external collaborators and research bodies. Therefore, an unclear subject line will probably go unnoticed in their busy inbox.
Good examples of subject lines include:
- Enquiry for NERC-funded PhD in Climate Change
- Prospective Applicant – EPSRC – Material Science PhD
If the University provides a reference number in the PhD listing you found the position, ensure you include it at the end of your subject line.
3. Address Them
Always start your email with “Dear” followed by the supervisor’s surname.
Make sure you use the supervisor’s correct title. Starting an email to a professor with “Dear Dr” rather than “Dear Professor” won’t only annoy them but will imply you have poor attention to detail. Therefore, using the wrong title will immediately set a poor impression and sometimes may even be enough for the supervisor to stop reading your email.
4. Introduce Yourself and State Your Intentions
First, introduce yourself by providing the following information:
- Your academic qualifications
- Your level of experience
Second, indicate that you are interested in undertaking a doctoral research project. If you’re emailing regarding a specific project, then provide its title.
If the University isn’t offering projects with pre-defined titles, then instead indicate which specific areas of the research field you are interested in. When expressing your research interests, also discuss why you are interested in having them as your supervisor. In your explanation, include relevant examples of their recent work and relate it back to your research topic. This will show the supervisor that you have thought about the direction of your research and have undertaken detailed research around the topic. It will also show that you’re familiar with their work. This won’t only help build rapport but will also show the supervisor that you believe he will be a good match for you.
After discussing your interests, confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements and move on to discuss your funding situation. If you intend to apply for funding or a scholarship on acceptance into your programme, mention this and list the names of the funding bodies and scholarships you will be applying to.
Conclude your email by reinforcing your enthusiasm for the position and summarising why you think you’d make a great research student.
In addition to this, you could also suggest a meeting as a way for the two of you to discuss the contents of your email. This isn’t required but does sometimes make it easier for the supervisor if they have a lot to discuss.
6. Thank Them
Thank the supervisor for their time and end your email with “Kind regards” followed by your first and last name in full.
Attach Supporting Information
Your goal should be to make the exchange as simple as possible for the supervisor. Therefore, attach any supporting information such as your CV if you expect they may ask for it or find it useful. This will save them having to email you back asking for further information should they need it.
Keep It Brief
As mentioned above, supervisors won’t have time to keep going back and forth, therefore, avoid vague statements or being too broad about your interests.
Whilst it’s OK to email several potential supervisors offering similar positions, ensure you tailor each one so it’s relevant to the specific supervisor you’re emailing. If your email is too generic, they’ll likely think you repurposed it from one of your earlier emails to another supervisor and so choose to ignore it.
Lastly, before you hit send, read over your email and confirm it’s free from any grammatical mistakes. As a postgraduate student applying to a PhD position, your email needs to be error-free.
Be Patient With Follow-Ups
Supervisors are extremely busy people. They have classes to teach, research students to supervise and several independent projects to lead. Therefore, don’t be too disheartened if you don’t hear back from them right away.
If you don’t receive a reply after a week, send them a polite follow up. If they still don’t get in contact after another week, they’ve likely either stopped accepting applicants are too overwhelmed to process their inbox. In these cases, it’s best to start looking for alternative supervisors.
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- Contacting Potential PhD Supervisors
Written by Chris Banyard
Contacting a potential PhD supervisor can seem daunting but you really should if you're thinking of applying for a doctoral programme . Dropping them an email to discuss your research area is your chance to find out whether they’d be interested in supervising you.
Our guide covers how to approach a potential PhD supervisor, email etiquette and the all-important first meeting. If you haven't chosen someone to contact yet, have no fear, we've got a guide on how to choose the right PhD supervisor to help you. We've also covered what to expect from your supervisor .
On this page
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First email to a PhD supervisor
Before you contact a potential PhD supervisor, be prepared to do your research on their research. Become familiar with their work and academic specialisms (if you aren’t already).
Supervisors will have their own academic profile page, either on their university/departmental website or elsewhere. These pages are good resources to find out about their work and research interests in their own words. They’ll usually mention whether they’re currently accepting supervisees – and what academic areas they’re keen to supervise PhD students in.
When writing a PhD supervisor request letter, you’ll need to show that you understand their previous publications and their current research activity. Don’t assume that you can send a generic email to a potential supervisor without displaying genuine knowledge and passion of their field.
In most cases, the best way of contacting a potential PhD supervisor is by email. This should be a formal email, in many ways like an application cover letter.
1. Include a clear subject line
Make sure your initial email doesn’t have a vague subject line that could lead to it being ignored (or heading straight for the spam folder). Some examples could be:
- ‘Prospective PhD student interested in Hegelian dialectics’
- ‘Enquiry for BBSRC-funded PhD in Viral Immunology’
2. Introduce yourself
The introduction should introduce yourself and your background, including your current level of study and any experience. You should also establish your interest in studying a research topic under the supervision of the academic. It may be useful to briefly explain why you are interested, or how you discovered the supervisor, which can be a good way of building rapport with them. Plus, you can introduce your funding status or your intention to secure funding.
3. Explain your intent
The main body of the email should explain your intent in further detail. This section could act like a mini CV, and even complement it if attached . It should highlight your eligibility and enthusiasm for PhD study, and your interest in the supervisor’s research discipline.
Here, you can also explain your funding, residential, and study mode status in more detail. If you’re applying for a specific advertised PhD project, include the name of the project.
4. Summarise your interest
The conclusion should summarise your interest in the PhD and your suitability for it. You may also include future ideas and a polite invitation to reply. Make sure you’ve provided evidence of your commitment to (and experience in) this particular research area. Give examples of your familiarity with the supervisor’s own work.
When contacting a potential PhD supervisor, it's vital that the email is kept as brief, targeted and specific as possible. Try to avoid passive or hesitant statements. Supervisors are very busy, and if they find any reason why this email is not relevant it can be ignored.
5. Sign off professionally
Conclude the email to a PhD supervisor by thanking them for their time and consideration, with a professional sign off.
Choosing the right supervisor
Finding and choosing the best supervisor for your project can sometimes be tricky. We’ve put together a handy guide on what you’ll need to take into account.
Some extra advice
Be aware of email etiquette . As a formal email, effort should be made to be polite and respectful . Be assertive but avoid rudeness or disrespect.
Use the supervisor’s correct title , starting with “Dear” and signing off with “Yours sincerely” or “Kind regards”.
Make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors, and there is clear and consistent formatting.
Have patience! Supervisors can have hectic schedules and may not be able to reply to every email in good time. If there is no reply after one or two weeks, it may be worth sending a polite reminder email. Try to avoid badgering your favoured supervisor with numerous follow up emails, as this could give a negative impression.
Should I email more than one potential PhD supervisor?
It is OK to have multiple research interests and contact multiple potential supervisors.
But it is important that each contact should be carefully considered. Each email should be tailored to the PhD supervisor in question. Copy-pasting an email and sending it to multiple potential supervisors isn’t a good idea.
There should also be a degree of transparency – most supervisors will understand that you may be contacting others, so long as they are not misled to believe otherwise.
Should I send a CV to a PhD supervisor?
It is usually a good idea to attach a CV along with this email.
This can complement the email and will demonstrate your appropriate qualifications and experience for a PhD. It is helpful to reference the key parts of your CV within the email.
This is often more important for Science, Engineering and Medicine projects than it is for Arts and Humanities.
It’s a good idea to attach a PDF version of your CV to avoid any potential formatting issues.
Should I send a research proposal to a PhD supervisor?
It is usually better to identify your potential supervisor and have already contacted them before writing and submitting a research proposal .
Crafting a good research proposal can be time-consuming and may require a deeper understanding of the potential supervisor’s research before starting writing.
For some PhDs, such as pre-set projects, it will not be necessary to write a research proposal at all, as you’ll be applying for a PhD that has already been organised and agreed upon by a funding body.
First meeting with a potential PhD supervisor
Often, emails to the potential supervisor will lead to a request for a meeting . This could be in person or via a video messaging platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype. This is a good sign – the supervisor is interested in you as a candidate and may want to find out more about you or explain more in person.
You now have an opportunity to discuss your interests, ask questions, and meet your potential supervisor to see if they are compatible with you.
Although this is not the same as a formal PhD interview , it may still be worth approaching in a similar way, including preparing for interview questions . Although this should be more relaxed than an interview, you should be prepared and professional.
Before the meeting, make sure you are familiar with the supervisor’s research and publications. Not only does this show interest in the supervisor and the research field, it will be useful to understand some of the topics you’ll be discussing.
It may also be worth reacquainting yourself with your emails to the potential supervisor. There may be specific questions or points brought up that could be discussed further.
Finally, make a good first impression. Be interested, interesting and dress professionally.
Questions to ask a potential PhD supervisor
While preparing to meet a potential PhD supervisor for the first time, it’s a good idea to have an idea of several questions you’d like to ask them.
You’ll want to sound enthusiastic and engaged. Showing that you’re interested in finding out more about their research and what supervision under them would look like is one way of doing this. Here are some suggestions:
- How many other PhD students do they supervise? This can be a good way to find out if you’re going to be part of a larger team of supervisees or a relatively small partnership. There may also be a chance to discover potential crossover between your research and that of your fellow students.
- What opportunities are there for career development during the PhD? Ask your potential supervisor about opportunities to attend PhD conferences, publish papers and teaching responsibilities.
- How often do supervisory meetings happen? The answer to this question can be indicative of whether your supervisor will take a hands-on (or hands-off) approach and help you find out how your relationship with them will play out. You might also want to ask them about their policy for reading drafts of your research.
- What expectations do they have of their research students? This could entail the number of publications you make during your PhD as well as participation in conferences and workshops.
This is the first stage of developing a potential student-supervisor relationship . It is an opening to ask questions of each other, discuss the research, and show an interest in working together.
This should be a two-way meeting . Remember to evaluate your potential supervisor, checking if they are a right fit for you. Try to learn about their supervisory style, commitment to teaching, and their ability to offer you development opportunities. It may also be a chance to meet the research team and view the laboratory facilities (if appropriate).
After the meeting, it is worth evaluating everything you have learned about each potential supervisor and begin to compare them. Ensure you keep notes and keep in contact if necessary.
The DBA and the PhD are both doctoral degrees that are equal in academic status – so how do you choose between the two? Our guide explains the differences.
Not sure what to expect in the transition from Masters to PhD study? In this guide, we take a look at how the two qualifications compare, including applications, course structure, assessment and more.
Understand what a successful PhD research proposal needs to include and how to go about writing one for your project application.
The PhD application process can be confusing. This page sets out a step-by-step guide to help you apply for a PhD.
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The Professor Is In
Guidance for all things PhD: Graduate School, Job Market and Careers
How to Write an Email to a Potential Ph.D. Advisor/Professor
By Karen Kelsky | July 25, 2011
Please note that I no longer respond to comments/questions to this post!
Grad school application guidance package and other help listed below the post..
One of the most common points of confusion among undergraduates and new graduate students is how to write an email to contact a professor to serve as a potential Ph.D. or graduate school advisor. This can be a minefield. Yet the email inquiry to a potential advisor is one of the most important steps in your entire graduate school process, in that it is your chance to make a first impression on the person who will dictate many elements of your life for the next five to ten years.
I have been on the receiving end of many emails from hapless students who clearly had no guidance, and whose communication with me ended up appearing flippant and rude.
Here is that sort of email:
“Dear Professor Kelsky, I am a student at XXX College and I’m thinking about graduate school on xxx and I’m getting in touch to ask if you can give me any advice or direction about that. Sincerely, student X”
This is an instant-delete email.
Here is what an email to a professor should look like:
“Dear Professor XXX,
I am a student at XXX College with a major in xxx. I am a [junior] and will be graduating next May. I have a [4.0 GPA] and experience in our college’s [summer program in xxx/internship program in xxx/Honors College/etc.].
I am planning to attend graduate school in xxx, with a focus on xxx. In one of my classes, “xxx,” which was taught by Professor XXX, I had the chance to read your article, “xxxx.” I really enjoyed it, and it gave me many ideas for my future research. I have been exploring graduate programs where I can work on this topic. My specific project will likely focus on xxxx, and I am particularly interested in exploring the question of xxxxx.
I hope you don’t mind my getting in touch, but I’d like to inquire whether you are currently accepting graduate students. If you are, would you willing to talk to me a bit more, by email or on the phone, or in person if I can arrange a campus visit, about my graduate school plans? I have explored your department’s graduate school website in detail, and it seems like an excellent fit for me because of its emphasis on xx and xx, but I still have a few specific questions about xx and xxx that I’d like to talk to you about.
I know you’re very busy so I appreciate any time you can give me. Thanks very much,
Why is this email good? Because it shows that you are serious and well qualified. It shows that you have done thorough research and utilized all the freely available information on the website. It shows that you have specific plans which have yielded specific questions. It shows that you are familiar with the professor’s work. It shows that you respect the professor’s time.
All of these attributes will make your email and your name stand out, and exponentially increase your chances of getting a timely, thorough, and friendly response, and potentially building the kind of relationship that leads to a strong mentoring relationship.
If the professor doesn’t respond in a week or so, send a follow up email gently reminding them of your initial email, and asking again for their response. If they ignore you again, best to probably give up. But professors are busy and distracted, and it may take a little extra effort to get through.
HOW TO CONTACT A PROSPECTIVE PHD ADVISOR
Encapsulates all of the advice that we provide in our graduate school advising services, including:
1. General instructions and overview of the function and “best practices” of an initial query email to someone you hope to work with
2. A template for what an email like that should look like
3. A sample email to a business school prospective advisor
4. A sample email to a comparative literature prospective advisor
5. A sample email to a computer science prospective advisor.
AND FOR HANDS-ON INDIVIDUAL HELP WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION, WE OFFER THESE SERVICES:
- EMAIL CONSULTATIONS
- SKYPE CONSULTATIONS
- EDITING YOUR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
- INTERVIEW PREPARATION
SEE MORE HERE AND EMAIL AT [email protected] TO LEARN MORE AND GET ON THE SCHEDULE, OR CLICK BELOW:
- How Do You Write an Email or Letter to a Professor?
- How Not To Invite The Professor To Your Campus
- Working the Conference: A Letter from a Client
- Don’t Go To Graduate School (An Inadvertent Guest Post)
- Advisors, #dobetter
July 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm
Thanks for posting these bits of advice. There are so many little things about grad school that we don’t know but we are expected to know! Even though I always try to be respectful and professional in my emails to professors, having a template like this is helpful.
July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm
You’re very welcome, Liana! I agree, it’s these little unacknowledged and untaught things that can make or break a graduate school career…. I am genuinely mystified as to why graduate colleges don’t keep a full time advisor on the staff to help undergrad and grad students with these small but critical processes. But since they don’t, I’m going to try and be that here at The Professor Is In!
January 21, 2014 at 2:28 am
I wanted to ask about: what if i sent a professor an email, which has no subject line? how will he see me, and how can i fix this problem?
2nd: i didn’t write my email as much detailed as shown above, and i sent my CV as a detailed introduction about me. so how will he see me and how can i fix this?
October 26, 2020 at 7:30 am
Hello there! I know this reply is late, but I just want to put it out here so that other students who had the same problem as you can know what to do. I have a question, how long ago did you send the email? If it is just a short while ago, like five minutes, you can send the professor another email saying that you clicked the send button by mistake, and this time round make sure you include a subject. If it is more than five or ten minutes, then it is best to wait for his reply. By waiting I mean one week. If he does not reply in one week, send him another email. This time you can be more detailed. And also do not forget to include the subject.
November 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm
I have sent phD project proposal to the potential advisor 12 days back, but I have not received any reply from her till today. What Shall I ask her, whether she has gone through the proposal or not or else she is not interested in that topic. Kindly advice
October 26, 2020 at 7:32 am
12 days are quite long, I will say send her a reminder email. Just one line will do, asking if she had the chance to read your previous email. If she does not reply in one week, then just move on.
August 2, 2011 at 11:26 am
This is really helpful. Actually, I had sent my first email to the potential supervisor which I had written myself without consulting to anyone or any websites and I am happy that I covered all the things that Karen has explained here. After I sent my first email he responded very well and we exchanged three emails as well. Finally he asked me to send my Masters dissertation, CV, and the proposal as well which I did after 20 days and I also got an email from him saying he received it and will get in touch with me soon. But now it has been nearly a month since I haven’t heard anything from him so I thought to write a follow up email to him and once I started writing I myself was not satisfied with the email that I wrote because I thought it was bit arrogant to directly ask what is happening with my application. So I would really be grateful if anyone could help me with that and I also don’t know how long should I wait before sending him follow up email. Any help highly appreciated. Thanks
December 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm
hi Niraj, What is happened after? I did and sent couple of professor and i did not get back yet. please advise me furhter. Thanks mohammed
November 30, 2021 at 7:10 am
Can you share with me your format of email?
August 5, 2011 at 9:00 am
What about writing an e-mail to request the addition of someone new to your committee? I have had one professor leave the University and another…well…let’s just say he is no longer a welcome member of my committee and I need to fill two spaces.
August 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm
I will do that, jenn. Look for it next week, on Monday.
September 20, 2013 at 8:44 am
Thank you! I could also use this advice, as I need to approach professors for my exams and it just feels … awkward.
October 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm
Dear Mrs. Karen, I am a Chinese stduent at Beihang University, and I want to get the first contact with my potential PhD. supervisor via E-mail, thank you very much for this constructive suggestion. Thank you very much! Best Wishes! Xu Chen
November 14, 2011 at 10:44 am
Good job demonstrating to students how to suck up to their “superiors” (and I use the word very, very lightly) by providing an example of how to properly be a subservient schmuck and schmooze a highly over-inflated, narcissistic ego. But then again, as many will end up wage slaves to people like you, it is a good skill to have. Then again, to others it reads like a massive endorsement for self-reliance.
What I find simply amazing is the endless self-congratulation that many professors give themselves for jumping through hoops in what amounts to an essentially, a pointless bureaucratic game. Hopefully your research contributes to the whole of humanity. Otherwise it is simply a waste of time in the larger scheme of things. There are people starving and dying out there, and we are worried how to properly impress the likes of you? You need to seriously examine the implications of this. In other words — get over yourself.
June 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm
You are not being fair at all. I thought you would suggest something more helpful after all the ranting. If you can’t help others don’t criticize those who are
March 14, 2013 at 10:12 am
I found this comment to be stimulating and engaging! Well done! Next time, you could also try to look at things from the other side of the argument. Many of us feel that in order to achieve success it’s important to perform in a way that academics recognise and sadly hoop jumping is a necessary facet of life whether you are a street performer looking for a permit from your local authority or an artist applying for grants from a Charitable Trust. The point of this post and the point it makes quite clearly is that many students such as myself are not trained or advised on the correct protocol concerning contacting people who are probably already quite busy and who have to read literally hundreds of emails a day. If you think you could do a better job or don’t like academia no one is forcing you to do it and there is certainly even less of an obligation to do a PhD. You site doing good for humanity as the goal we should live by. I think you also need to assess the assumptions that this makes and the moral and ethical values you espouse but don’t seem to understand.
May 12, 2013 at 10:06 am
July 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm
McDonald’s employee detected
October 13, 2013 at 2:46 am
Anunomus just about sums it up. All of this advice perpetuates academic arrogance because many of the students reading this will eventually become professors themselves and will in turn want to be treated the same way by future students.
October 11, 2015 at 8:09 am
December 31, 2020 at 12:50 am
What’s wrong with telling a professor you like their research? Isn’t that the whole point you want to study under them? Because you respect their intellect, the unique way they approach a subject and because your interests align?
September 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm
I was hoping to find a comment like this. The author of this article “instantly deletes” an email asking for help on a matter? And for what reason, other than a disdainful hubris? Disgraceful, in my opinion.
December 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm
Dear Mrs. Karen i am really thank full to you providing such a nice post. this is very very helpful to student like me. i really appreciate your work. best wishes! and happy new year vishal mehra
January 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Dear Mrs. Karen
Thank you very much for your clear and concise post regarding this small but nevertheless quite important and hard to find advice.
I’m from Portugal. I’m starting my PhD in Clinical Research and i will focus my attention in resistant schizophrenia. Would it make sense to have a supervisor from a foreign country and which i don’t know personally? Don’t you think that he would accept?
Thank you very much for your help, Nuno
January 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm
Your advisor has to be in the Ph.D. program you enroll in. If you are interested in enrolling in a foreign program (and are still exploring options), then yes, you can get in touch with a potential advisor there, and if accepted, you can then attend that program. They won’t discriminate based on the fact that you are from another country, if your application is strong.
October 14, 2014 at 11:52 am
I know I’m replying to an old thread, but it occurred to me that nuno might mean getting an external advisor from a different institution than the one nuno is doing his/her PhD in. Is this done in the States at all? In a lot of European universities it seems to be possible to have an advisor from another programme or even another university.
February 20, 2015 at 12:24 am
In the US usually you are at the institution where you adviser is. However you usually have outside committee members that supervise your thesis and the can be from outside universities.
February 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm
I have a question about how to title the subject line of the email. What is a respectful and concise subject heading for an email to a potential advisor?
February 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm
Inquiry from a Prospective Graduate Student
October 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm
Thank you, this was the exact question I was trying to find an answer to. I wrote a professor earlier in the week just to introduce myself, and now I have an appointment set up with the department grad advisor and I want to meet with the professor while I am up there. I wrote a second email and asked if they had time to meet with me while I was in town. Is this rude?
February 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm
Karen, Great job ignoring anunomus, in fact I’d hugely disappointed if you do him the honor of trading words with him. This is a very helpful template. Thanks.
April 5, 2012 at 1:47 am
Dear Mrs. Karen It’s give me pleasure to visit your webpage, relay your post is very helpful, useful, and rich. I’m from Palestine, I awarded DAAD scholarship in 2008 to get M. Sc. in computer information systems, now I am looking to begin my PhD. in Germany, I must find a supervisor then we arrange to write the PhD. proposal. Finally, I found my supervisor , he send me acceptance letter after finishing PhD. proposal but my application was rejected for scholarship for some special reasons, now I am working to find another supervisor , what is your advice to me , it will better to inform the new supervisor about my previous one .. Or not? and could you provide me with a template for comprehensive motivation letters and statement of propose .
Thank you very much for your help, Rasha
April 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Thank you so much! I have been sitting here stumped as to how best to contact potential supervisors, as you only get one chance at a first impression. This was so helpful, and I just wanted to let you know my appreciation for sharing your advice.
Thank you, Amna
April 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm
you’re very welcome, Amna!
May 1, 2012 at 6:38 am
Professor Karen, thanks for this post. It is actually very helpful.
May 4, 2012 at 4:11 am
This is an excellent forum you have created. Thank you very much. Please i Just want to ask whether it is wise to call a Professor who has an open PhD position in his Lab and you are strongly interest, but you sent him and email and recieved no response. And is it generally a good idea to call a Professor on phone when you find interest in his research and hope that he takes you in into his Lab.
May 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm
This is what look for last long month ago. I have to say thank you very much for thing you have done, in my country we not familiar with this. Your advise help me to appropriate starting and encourage to step forward on my ph.d pathway. Thank you kullat,
May 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm
Thank you for the very insightful postings and advice.
Do you have any suggestions for a mature applicant for PhD program, who is older than most of targeted potential supervisors? I am currently working as an assistant professor as PQ faulty in a foreign institution and trying to pursue a doctoral degree starting from forthcoming fall semester.
May 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm
My advice is don’t do it. I don’t say that to all potential PhD applicants, but I do say it to older ones. It’s generally a disastrous choice both financially and psychically.
July 2, 2013 at 9:47 am
I just wanted to say that I was quite pleased by this advice until I read this response. I entered higher education as a “non-traditional” student and it has turned my life around. I’m now a masters student looking at PhD programs. It pains me to see an someone in your position advising someone against further education because of their age.
July 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm
Unfortunately with the abysmal job market and the likelihood of massive debt, age becomes a major risk factor in any phd decision. I have seen the tragic outcomes among my clientele. Some do still prevail, but many more do not.
July 1, 2014 at 10:02 am
What do you consider as a “mature” applicant? Past age 25, or past age 30?
September 20, 2016 at 3:35 am
I suppose it depends what field you are in and if you are paid to be at the institution or not. In my field PhD students are typically given full funding packages and stipends, eliminating the need to take out loans. Of course, these stipends aren’t exactly generous and the job market is still dismal, but at least you don’t necessarily have to go into debt to receive a PhD. That being said, are you suggesting that there is another factor, perhaps some sort of “ageism” that also works against older students?
June 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm
Dear Karen, thanks for you rsuggestion! Do you think that including the CV as attachment might be a good move?
June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am
yes, you could. I have the slightest hesitation though. At your stage your cv won’t be very impressive, and may well be completely improperly formatted, so it could do a lot more harm than good. I suppose my instinct would be to not send it, until asked.
June 14, 2012 at 3:45 am
Dear Professor Karen Kelsky, I do appreciate creating such a great website for us as students. Actually your advice, comments and tips are very very helpful to me and I’m sure to others too. I check this website everyday indeed! Thanks Sepideh
June 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm
Thank you professor. this came at a good time.
June 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm
please continue to ignore the likes of anunomus .
June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am
June 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Thanks for this outline! I am currently looking into potential advisors for Fall of 2013 and would like to contact them. When would be the ideal time to do so?
July 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Hi Thank you for your great advices. It was all about phd application, but what about masters? What graduate school are looking for in master applicants to accept them? Thanks
July 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm
i am 3rd year medical student and want to go abroad for research elective.i have no past research experience but now i am interested in doing research in immunology.how should i write letter to any doctor.kindly paste a format here so that i can send it to docs. thanks
July 17, 2012 at 8:08 am
Thank you for your advice. Your example is the best I read so far! 🙂
April 25, 2013 at 9:14 am
July 25, 2012 at 12:26 am
Dear Professor Karen, Thank you very much for guiding prospective Ph.D students towards the realization of their dreams. These essential things add up in a big way to help secure an admit. It becomes a bit confusing as to how to convey all your thoughts to the professors and yet be concise in your approach. After all you just get once chance to hit the bull’s eye.
Thank you for your timely help.
July 25, 2012 at 9:41 am
Hello Professor Karen,
Thank for sharing this king of information.. Could tell what is subject line for seeking Phd Supervisor. And could you send the separate email for asking about that..
July 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm
Dear Professor Karen, Thanks so much for your help , it is highly helpful as I am in the process of communicating a potential Advisor . Hope I find an Advisor like you . By the way , Who Would Care Communucating With an anonm…… ?!
August 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm
It’s great to see you posting something like this, it has really helped me out. I was wondering though, I’m in a situation where there are two professors at the same University that I am interested in speaking with. Should I contact them both or just pick one and stick with it? They are in the same department, but are focused on different aspects of the same field (one is shellfish restoration and the other is shellfish aquaculture).
August 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm
It’s ok to contact both, but just disclose to each that you’re also contacting the other.
August 13, 2012 at 10:48 am
Thank you very much for you great input. Can you please post a followup email sample. I am working on one for about a week. But I think I came across rude.
Warm regards, Ashran
August 14, 2012 at 9:39 am
Thank you for your great post, that’s very helpful.
I have used your post as an email template and send it to several professors. About half of them respond positively. I think your template is a very good format for PhD application.
Could you also give me more suggestion on how to continue the communication with professors? shall I first talk about my own experience? Or I should do research about the professors’ current projects and talk about that. Thanks very much
August 25, 2012 at 10:55 am
Dear Prof. Karen,
I would like to thank you for your post, it is very helpful. I am in the process of communicating with two potential Advisors and this will be my last effort to attend a PhD.
August 29, 2012 at 5:14 am
Thank you very much for this post. I am about writing my very first letter to a potential supervisor. I hope with these few tips you shared, that I get a good response.
September 2, 2012 at 3:28 am
thank you very much for your effort, i just want to ask if i can use this form to contact a professor in my faculty and i took some clases with him before
September 3, 2012 at 1:50 am
September 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Is it ever ok to send more than one inquiry to professors in the same department? Especially if it’s a large department?
September 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm
Yes, it’s ok, as long as you disclose in the email that you are doing so.
September 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Dear Karen, I’ve finished my master about 5 years ago. since then, I am working in research institutes. I want to apply for a one-year research fellowship abroad which needs to prepare research proposal. I do not know how to choose my subject. If I ask about it from a potential supervisor, would it be harmful?? It is very kind of you replying. Bests, Mary
September 5, 2012 at 10:23 am
Yes that would be harmful. the expectation is that you have a full-fledged research program of your own.
September 11, 2012 at 3:36 am
Thank you for your reply but do you agree with me that it is really a difficult decision what to choose for your PhD topic which is innovative and also appealing to yourself and others??
September 11, 2012 at 6:09 am
No, not necessarily. I think most phd students have a deep impulse or drive to do a topic and it just flows out of them. that was the case for me, certainly, and most others I know. If you don’t have that, I think doing the Ph.D. might be difficult.
September 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Thank you! I’m terribly nervous about communicating with professors–I was always the kid that sat by the door and snuck away at the end of class because I was too nervous to talk to adults–and the sample letter was hugely helpful in formatting the inquiry I just sent. Thank you, thank you for helping us would-be grad students not look dumb!
September 19, 2012 at 5:26 am
Dear Professor Karen, Thank you for posting such important information. I actually got your information after i sent my first email to my potential supervisor. I understand i made many mistakes. Now it has been days since i sent it. So will wait the response. God help me! My question for you, is it appropriate to contact another professor from the same university & the same department in case i get no response from the first professor?
Thank you very much,
Mesfin G. (Ethiopia)
September 19, 2012 at 10:34 am
Yes, you can do that. Just disclose that you have.
September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am
I wrote to one of the potential advisor and he has replied back the same day with a request for cv.
Can you please advise me for the tips for CV? I am in the University town. Do you think it is a good idea if I request him for a meeting?
September 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Read the post, Dr. Karen’s Rules fo the Academci CV.
I would not meet him yet.
September 25, 2012 at 9:59 am
Thanks for this awesome post. I followed your advices and wrote an e-mail to potential faculty for Ph.D program that I want to join. And it worked very well. I received an e-mail back from him the following morning! I did not ask whether he had time to talk to me though, and I only asked whether he is accepting students this year. His e-mail was very brief (2 sentences), saying # of students he is accepting, and he encourages me to apply. Should I send another brief ‘thank-you’ e-mail? If so, should I try to talk to him more about his group/program? or would it be better to just keep it as ‘thank-you’ e-mail? I would very much appreciate your time and help!
October 7, 2015 at 5:26 am
what did you reply to the professor? I got same response.
Professor encouraged me to apply in the admissions. and he wrote nothing else.
December 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm
can you show your email to apply for phd i’d like to apply for phd program and want to contact w?th faculty member about the application and asking for schollarship.
September 26, 2012 at 1:55 am
Dear Karen Have you any suggestion for applying together with our spouse!! My husband and I are planning to attend in a same school. how should we contact with the potential supervisor?? Do we have to mention this in our first email? Do we have to send emails separately?? How can we improve our chance to get admitted in same place???
September 26, 2012 at 5:45 am
Thank you for your info. I found your advice reassuring. I have one question though. I have had some good responses and offers in Europe. Now I am planning to apply to some high-ranked US universities for a research position in electronics. My master’s institution in Sweden is not that famous which I perceived as a disadvantage. How much weight does professors in the US give to GRE and grade when selecting students for a PhD? My GRE (Q:800, V~510) and B+ GPA.
Thank you again. Daniel
September 27, 2012 at 6:16 am
i faced the same problem. i’ve sent email to one prof at uni. X, but after 3 weeks, he didint reply me. so i’ve sent another email tp another prof at uni. Y… after few hours he reply saying, im ready to supervise you, welcome to uni Y.
Then, a week after that, the Prof from Uni X replied me saying. plese send your 2 pages proposal for my consideration.
What should i replied him? Seeking for your kind opinion…..
September 29, 2012 at 11:53 am
Dear Dr. Karen Hello, Thank you very much for your helping. I’ve finished my master (marine biology) about 1 years ago and i would like to continue my study in PhD, but i don’t know, how i can to apply how i can obtain Scholarship and etc. Is it possible that i send email to head department and ask him/her about that? Would you please give me any advice or direction about that. Thanks in advance Regards Parisa A.Salimi
September 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Thank you very much. I am a senior, finishing up my B.S., and in the process of applying to Ph.D. programs. Writing to professors can be extremely intimidating. I found that your example was a wonderful tool for organizing the information and thoughts that have lead me to apply the my individual programs.
October 8, 2012 at 12:33 am
To what detail would I need to present my hypothesis?
October 12, 2012 at 11:20 am
Dear Karen there were great tips i have never known. i just want to know if it works if i mention that i completed a first year of PhD in my home country and i dont want to pursue it any more or not? What if i guess my publication is not enough strong to compete with other candidates in the university i want to apply for? Does it mean i will not be able to attract a supervisor? It is a big problem in my mind and i dont know how to deal with.???
October 15, 2012 at 7:31 am
Dear professor Karen, Thank you for this advice. could you please advice me about few matters. i have completed my M.Sc in Biomedical Genetics last year and now i am planning to do my PhD in genetics in Canada, for that i would like to contact a supervisor and in my letter what all the information should i have to include and another problem is, i am planning to publish an article in the last of this month i have already send to the journal, so whether i should try to contact the adviser after the article is published or i should contact the adviser now itself as there are only limited seats for PhD . please help me Thank you
October 16, 2012 at 9:00 am
DEAR COMMENTERS TO THIS “HOW TO WRITE AN EMAIL TO A POTENTIAL PH.D. ADVISOR” BLOG POST: I AM UNABLE TO RESPOND INDIVIDUALLY TO ALL OF THE REQUESTS FOR ADVICE IN THIS COMMENT THREAD. I KNOW THAT PEOPLE DESPERATELY NEED GUIDANCE ABOUT THIS CRITICAL TRANSITION INTO PHD PROGRAMS, BUT THE LARGE VOLUME OF REQUESTS FOR ADVICE THAT I RECEIVE HERE ON THE BLOG AND IN MY EMAIL INBOX PREVENTS ME FROM RESPONDING TO INDIVIDUAL QUERIES. I APOLOGIZE AND WISH YOU THE BEST. IF OTHERS WISH TO PROVIDE RESPONSES I WELCOME THEM. SINCERELY, KAREN KELSKY
October 20, 2012 at 12:09 am
thank you so much.
October 22, 2012 at 4:40 am
hello Thank you so much for this site, but what should be the subject of our emails?
October 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm
“My specific project will likely focus on xxxx, and I am particularly interested in exploring the question of xxxxx.”
While the second part of this sentence is fine, I’d be rather cautious about the first half. I am in the process of writing a letter to a potential supervisor myself and have gone to talk to different professors in my current university to ask for advice. I do have a topic in mind, but almost everyone told me NOT to mention a specific topic in the e-mail but rather general idea. One of the professors even told me that more often than not the person who says they have something specific in mind will be stubborn about changing their topic (because let’s be honest, PhD topics change) and consequently not asked for an interview.
Then again, I’m speaking from an European’s point of view. Maybe the grad school application approach is different in the States.
October 24, 2012 at 9:12 am
My advice reflects US expectations.
January 11, 2016 at 4:25 pm
I think you are right in that the approach is different in different countries. I am in Australia and I have met up with a university professor. He told me that most people would not be able to choose their own PHD topic and that it is important to be flexible while still making sure you will enjoy the topic you end up doing. This is because the professors apply for grants on specific topics and then need students to do that topic in their PHD. The only way you could do your own topic is if you do a self-funded PHD, i.e. apply for grants yourself. For this reason I will be including broad areas of interest in my emails rather than specific topics.
January 15, 2017 at 3:49 am
Hi Laura, I saw your reply and I though of send you this message as I am in Australia too and planning to work on my PhD. If usually we have to work on professors projects, I couldn’t find much published topics /projects online. The only thing I found was interests of supervisors and in few universities some research projects but not relevant to my field. I hope you can give me some guidance.
August 5, 2022 at 1:39 pm
Thank you, so helpful that it confirms the similar advice I got from a reliable source.
October 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm
that was a good manuscript sample for the astudents who intend to applying and they first language is’nt english.thank u
November 6, 2012 at 8:20 am
Thank you for your advice! Could you also suggest what I should include/how I should organize an email to a professor I met at a conference but don’t know well? Thanks again in advance!
November 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Thank you so much for your blog!
I am currently applying to graduate school programs and was wondering if you had any advice on interviews. Some programs do on-campus interviews, and others do phone/Skype interviews. I was wondering what I should expect.
November 27, 2012 at 9:51 am
Hi Karen, Thanks for the advice. I am an undergraduate student and will be applying for graduate school in the Fall of 2013, but I need to ask graduate schools if they will accept my pre-requisites for Speech Pathology because it varies at different schools… What would your advice be to go about emailing them?
November 28, 2012 at 1:22 am
Dear Prof. Karen Kelsky,
Thank you very much on posting such a wonderful e-mail template. It helped me a lot. I was wondering if you could kindly help me about writing ‘ Statement of purpose’ (SOP). I tried on my own and took the help of many seniors but all was in vain. I will be aplying for a masters degree in US for fall 2013 and I am very desperate to write a good enough SOP.
I would be obliged if you could reply as soon as possible. Thanks very much
December 28, 2012 at 4:26 am
thank you very much for your valuable hints
January 15, 2013 at 3:53 am
Thanks for providing such a nice insight and useful suggestions for admissions. I am 44 and wish to do an engineering MASc in Canada. Will my age(44) go against me ?? I am working in government of India R&D sector and can get a leave (without pay) for two years only (otherwise I would have opted for a PhD). I Will require funding. I hold a patent in Canada (should I mention that in my email ? This patent however is for a practical device and not related to professor’s field so much…)
January 16, 2013 at 12:58 am
Dear Professor Karen, Thanks for your suggestion . However, I am having a problem. I could not find any publication or research work available on the internet of the supervisor I want to work with. So what sort of comment(regarding his work) may I make which can help me grabbing his attention? I am a prospective MSc student.
Best regards Sanjoy
February 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm
Dear Karen, Your description was very helpful on how to write the e-mail, but what continues to stump me is what to put into the subject line. During my time as an undergraduate, I have had many professors tell my classes to chose our subject lines wisely because they delete mail not directly related to their classes or from faculty memebers. What would be short, to the point, and attention getting as a subject so the professor doesn’t just immediately delete the e-mail without reading it?
Best Regards, Danielle
August 15, 2013 at 3:46 am
I concur. I just finished composing my email to a potential Professor in an Ivy league school, and I am now confronted with the question of what subject would be appropriate for my mail. Please Karen, your help is really needed. Thanks
October 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm
This is probably of no use to you now, but she answered it in the above comments already. “Inquiry from a Prospective Graduate Student”
February 20, 2013 at 11:55 am
Very thanks Karen about this informations, it was so helpful to me. Regards >>
February 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm
Thank you so much for such a nice and informative article.I was about to send an email to professor with many mistakes. I have just visited your site and found your page likes on facebook are 3999 and i would be the lucky one to make it 4000. So congratulations from my side on reaching 4000 likes in FB.
Thank you again. Regards, Engr Nouman Khattak Junior Design Engineer BAK Consulting Engineers.
February 26, 2013 at 11:33 am
thank you, Nouman! good luck.
February 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Dear Professor Karen, Thanks for your valuable post . You have provide a good idea to write in a correct and polite way. This post is very helpful and guiding me to write an email for a professor.
Best regards Lia P.
March 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Dear Karen, I must confess that I have been terrified just thinking about contacting the professor in a program that I am interesting in. After reading your posting and your template, I feel so much better. I plan to pursue a master degree in biomedical engineering with a focus in medical instrumentation at the university of Saskatchewan. I have been on the program website but not quite sure how to address the section in your template: my specific project will focus on xxx and I will be interested in addressing the question of xxx Furthermore, how does one credit you for the information? Sincerely, Linus Luki
March 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Dear Professor Karen, Thank you for posting this guide! It’s taken the fear out of initially contacting a potential advisor. I was wondering if you have any suggestions or additions to this for students looking to apply to M.Sc. coursework programs? Tailoring the program to my interests is heavily dependent on my potential advisor, however I also feel that any competent faculty member would be able to assist me with this. I’m now questioning the value I’m placing on selecting the right advisor to contact. Thank you kindly in advance for any advice. Ana M.
March 8, 2013 at 7:10 am
Thanks for this very useful post Karen. I do have a question – it has been 9 years since I graduated from University (BSc. Hons) and have been working in a separate field since graduation (except 1 year spent teaching the Sciences to high school students). I am now looking to return to complete an MSc in Environmental Management. Should I mention/explain my break from the field in my email? What would be your suggestion on the best way to approach this?
March 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm
I just wanted to say I agree wholeheartedly about following up if you don’t get a response (and you’re serious about the professor and/or line of work). I wrote to a professor enquiring about full time openings in her lab but she didn’t reply. I followed up after 2 weeks, and she replied almost 2 seconds later apologizing for not getting in touch sooner because she was out sick and the email then got forgotten. In this case, there was a happy ending. The prof flew me out for an interview, and I’m still at the same lab working full time. I was never more glad of my persistent stick-to-it-ness.
p.s., I should probably add I didn’t send a form email and that my email was tailored specifically for that lab and the research the PI does.
May 29, 2013 at 6:00 am
Dear Professor Karen, Thank you so much for this valuable post. It was so informative. I am aspiring to do Phd in fall 2014. I would like to the right time for contacting professors regarding Phd and what are the things I should mention other than the info provided in your article
June 5, 2013 at 2:34 am
Dear Prof. Karen, Thank you so much for this very useful and valuable post. I would like to ask question about , how to reply a mail after a supervisor giving negative feedback for an application.
June 11, 2013 at 8:50 am
Hi Karen. Your advice was very useful in helping me figure out and frame my email to a potential supervisor. There is one concern however, and I have been frantically searching online for a tip on the same. I am a student doing my Masters (Thesis-based) and after three years I have decided to switch to a different university for a Course-based degree in the same program. I have completed 6 courses and a part of my research but it took me a while to figure out that research (long term research) does not suit me very well. My confusion is if I should mention that in my email and if I do then how to put it across in a polished manner, so that it does not have any adverse effects on my application. I would appreciate if you could kindly advise me on this. Thank you.
June 27, 2013 at 2:22 am
Thank you for your advice. I’m graduated 3 years ago (MSc.). I have 2 papers published and attended some workshop and 2 national congresses. I had been working as a teacher assistant. Meanwhile I had to work that is not related to my education for 2 years. Now I’m worried and I don’t know how to explain about the gap since the graduation up to now. Could you please advise me about that? thank you very much.
June 30, 2013 at 8:04 am
Hi Ms Karen,
Thanks very much for such an incredible post. It will really guide us through the application process and applying for funding opportunities. I can not imagine what would have happened if we did not have such a nice person like you around us! Really appreciate your work. Thanks Shabnam
July 12, 2013 at 10:47 am
This is a great resource for learning how to properly contact advisers, thank you for making this!
I think it would also benefit for us to know about social/Facebook etiquette when involving potential graduate advisers. Should we befriend them on Facebook? I could see reasons for and against do that. Seeing the posts, pics, and etc., could be helpful in getting to know the adviser better. On the other hand, if the adviser seems something on your page he/she doesn’t like, you run the risk of losing them. What do you? Maybe right another blog on social/ Facebook etiquette with advisers? Thanks!
July 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Dear Pro Karen,
Thank you for your advice. It’s help me a lot. I have already emailed my prospective supervisor, however i found out we have different personalities, and i’m afraid that i can’t work well with him. I’m decided to find another supervisor but I not know how to tell him. Besides, he work on human isolates ( microbe and molecular field) while im interested to deal with animal isolates as i’m animal science student.
I hope you can give any suggestion on this matter. Thank you..
August 2, 2013 at 6:21 am
Thank you for this guide, I was lost what to write for a potential thesis adviser.
August 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Thanks for this informative post! Mentioning the potential research focus in the email is still a sticking point for me (“My specific project will likely focus on xxxx, and I am particularly interested in exploring the question of xxxxx”). In my case, there are many research questions I am interested in exploring within a broader topic. I don’t want to be generic, noncommittal, or scattered, but I also don’t want to be dishonest by picking a research question and declaring it my particular interest. How can I reflect this openness while still showing I am focused?
August 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm
Dear prof. Karen,
Thank you for this great blog and willingness to share your professional knowledge. Could you please, very briefly, address two issues: 1. If a topic can be supervised by several members of faculty and is rather specific (it`s in social sciences), would it be appropriate to address one (presumably “highest ranking”) professor at the department, but at the end to kindly ask that if she/he is not interested or not able to be advisor to recommend to me someone in the department who could be more appropriate/willing/able/suitable to contact? I don’t think anyone has raised this, but coming from Eastern Europe, I don’t know if this would be considered “weak”, or “improper”, or “insulting”?
2. This is not so important, but I read few people asked similar question and it remained unanswered, but is also in way related to the previous one. I am intending to apply with my partner/fiancee who is in the same discipline, we met on first year, and since have studied, worked and lived together (I am 26, she is 39), and are very successful in it and highly compatible and productive when together – studying the same issue, but from quite different perspectives and different aspects of it (we might need to have different supervisors). Would you consider it to be a drawback that we are applying together for PhD in the US? And do you think that in similar cases it is better to send one e-mail to a Prof., or two separate, or two separate to two Prof.s?
Once more, thank you very much, I assume it`s a hassle. Best regards, Milos
PS – Your text on passives was very useful not just for British, but I would say for most of Europe. PPS – Please answer my post (at least No. 1), it was my birthday yesterday and I am so depressed! 🙂
August 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm
Yes you can do as you say re question 1. Well actually, don’t do it in the initial email. Wait until you’ve had a negative reply and then ask. To ask up front would be a little awkward. Re question 2: it’s fine for you two to both apply but you must both apply independently and contact the profs independently.You can let drop informally that you are a couple, but formally in the apps, it’s got to be entirely individual.
August 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm
Thank you very much! When we are accepted (implementing positive (American) attitude), we will write you an e-mail on issues we had as Eastern European candidates and how we successfully resolved them! 🙂 Thank you, once again, very much, your whole blog gave us a lot of positive energy and motivation to apply for PhD! 🙂 Best regards, Milos
August 20, 2013 at 3:59 am
Dear Professor Karen,
Thank you for giving such a nice template. I must say this would definitely help me in writing it to the professor for my phd program. This is awesome. I was always confused how to approach to the professor, i did get the reply for the emails i have sent to different school but this will make it more precise and would be easy for a professor to explain. Really appreciate it.
Best regards, Komal Sharma
September 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm
I think you just saved me from being just-another-email-to-delete in my potential supervisor’s inbox. I was going to send a poorly written email but decided to get some tips on what exactly to include in my first letter and I stumbled upon your excellently written article. I really appreciate you taking time out to write these articles.
I am going to apply for a masters degree and I am currently writing a letter to some of the professors in whose research I am interested in.
Thank you, Abdullah Siddiqui
September 20, 2013 at 8:06 am
Prof. Karen, Thanks for this insightful post. I’ve already contacted some Professors for possible Ph.D. supervision and the content of my e-mail was close to (but not as detailed) as the template here because I was trying to avoid sending a lengthy mail. However, I’ve not gotten any reply for days now. Please, I need your advice; should I resend my mails following this template or … ? Here’s a sample of the mail I sent on Tue, 17th, Sept., 2013:
Hello Prof. XXX,
I am XXX, a graduate of XXX and a current research student at the XXX University. I am writing you this email to inform you of my interest in your field of research (XXX). My current Masters research is in XXX and I have also been researching into more problems in this area. I have been able to come up with a research proposal for proposed Ph.D. and want to solicit your support in seeing my dream come true by accepting to supervise my work. Sequel to my preliminary findings, I make bold to reiterate that I have come to respect your insight and experience in this field and I am open to suggestions and/or corrections to my drafted proposal.
I have attached to this mail, a copy of my CV, a brief proposal and an abstract of the same proposal so you can quickly go through it.
I am currently applying for XXX Scholarship and I need an approval letter from my supervisor to complete my application. In case you will not be able to supervise me, I will appreciate it if you can suggest some other people whom you know can supervise my work. I look forward to reading from you soonest to allow me complete the application on time.
Thank you, Sir. Sincere regards
September 21, 2013 at 7:23 am
Hello Prof Karen, Thank you for generous tips and advice. I got tired to get such kind of information to relief my stresses. On the other hand, I would expect that I will need a far more deeper guidance about my PhD application road map. I have selected USCD (Materials Science + Chemical Eng.), Carnegie Mellon U. (Materials Science), U of South Florida (Chemical Engineering). My challenge that I will be facing both the TOEFL on Oct 25th and GRE on Dec 19th. Additionally, I have my courses in the master that I study here in Brazil, UFRGS. While the sites of the aforementioned schools state that it is not advised to contact faculties as they can not give any prior admission unless to submit all the application materials; test scores, transcripts, etc, it is welcome to contact them if you want to talk about the research they do or you want to do. The problem is that I am missing mind duel to all this timed tasks that I have to carry out simultaneously. During that I feel that an optional transaction like initiating a contact with a professor who shares my research interests – specially they won’t respond mostly – is not so advisable. Do you agree with me? Second point I study here in Brazil in Portuguese. As an Egyptian, I used to study engineering in a mixture of English and Arabic. Thus, it was difficult to understand and communicate with the teacher and classmates during discussion. After all, it is a MSc and understanding to solve questions in exams is important than understanding the language itself. So that I used to study in English and then make such conversion from English to Portuguese in exam times. As a result, I usually get B grades. I got only one A. Do you think that will lower my chance of getting admission? Third about recommendation letters, I do not have the complete ability to determine which faculty professors I should ask to recommend me. For example, my supervisor is really a nice woman and supportive. However, some times she looks like angry from me and neither I nor my colleagues know a specific reason for that. I just try to relax, supervise, and educate myself. Like that, shall i ask her to recommend me or not. Other professor who was my 65 year old supervisor in Egypt. He was considering me as a son to him and he has written many recommendations to me. But due to out-of-control problems in my work as a TA in the same dept, I feel like he has changed towards me. I am sure that he still appreciate my hard work and traits and he is the most knowledgeable person about me. Shall I ask him to recommend me?
October 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm
I am happy to find this template. I definitely believe it is a great help. I have one concern though. I saw you stated that age is a big risk. I am applying to PhD in finance programs for fall 2014. I will 40 years soon. I hold a triple major and an MBA.
Do you have any advice for me?
Thanks in advance.
October 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Thank you for the excellent resource. I just used it to email a prospective graduate advisor. I feel I ALWAYS ask this question, but panels are often targeted on larger problems like GRE, NSF, and personal statement advice.
I was wondering if you could answer two questions.
1) What should a good signature for an undergraduate student look like at the end of an email?
2) How important is a personal website in the application process?
November 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Wow!!!!! What an amazing and informative resource. Thank you so much Karen for taking precious time to advice complete strangers on something extremely worthwhile…it takes someone with a good heart to do just that. I (and many others as I’ve seen from the comments) have really benefited from this post on contacting potential supervisors. May God bless you so much beyond your wildest dreams!
November 7, 2013 at 3:10 am
Have you any suggestion for applying together with our spouse!! My husband and I are planning to attend in a same university. please let me know how I can write such an email.
November 14, 2013 at 12:00 am
I really appreciate this post. I was trying to write an e-mail to my potential advisor and had hard time figuring out what to write about.
I referenced your format when I was writing my e-mail. It was a great help.
November 14, 2013 at 1:57 am
I sure could have used this about two weeks ago. Thank you for providing this template and sharing your information, it is greatly appreciated. If I may ask a question Prof. Karen, is it any good to send a second email with this template to a prof? I sent a less dense email to two potential advisors about two weeks ago and I was hoping I could redeem myself as it appears my first emails were not impressive. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?
December 5, 2013 at 12:18 am
i recently completed my graduation in biotechnology. i want to per-sue my PhD, but it is difficult for me how to write a impressive email to a supervisor who really take interest in my mail.
December 12, 2013 at 8:18 am
Prof.Karen,Thank you very much for your helpful posts.
I have a question about communication with a as a future research group member. what should we do when we feel that the coordinator is not very straightforward( in case it is impossible to meet him/her in their office).
Should we talk about it with our professors? given that most cases they are supporter of each other.
December 17, 2013 at 5:20 am
Dear Prof. Kelsky,
Many thanks for such an informative post. Some of your answers in the thread are very helpful as well.
Do you think it is a good idea to send a draft research proposal to a potential supervisor when approaching him/her?
December 18, 2013 at 12:14 am
Great posting. I sent a professional email to a my prospective adviser and she gave ma a short
“I do expect to accept one, maybe two, students for next year. I will look forward to seeing your application! Let me know if you have further questions in the mean time.”
I am not sure if I should keep the conversation or leave it at that. I kept it professional, stated my goals and interest and my interest in her research. I don’t want to send unnecessary questions and make myself look bad
January 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm
Can you please advice on whether or not it is a good idea to make a first email contact with a potential advisor, after having submitted the PhD application to the university?
January 18, 2014 at 1:12 am
Dear Professor Dr. Karen,
I am an international student. Your article, “how to Write an Email to a Potential Ph.D. Advisor/Professor”, had helped shining the way to communicate with professors who live overseas.
After sending my email to three places, I received a good reply from a prospective professor who told me that I was a good fit to his/her laboratory.
Because this is only one month after submitting my applications, I do not know whether the email from the professor will guarantee my chance of acceptance. At least his/her reply helps me narrow down the researches that I should pursue.
Recently, I came across a problem. I found a university in which there are more than one professor that I would like to work with.
In fact, this problem is often, but I cannot make a decision for this department. Could you please give me advice on whether I should send the letter to more than one professor in the same department or what positive or negative consequences that I might have encounter.
Thank you for taking your time.
February 3, 2014 at 11:45 am
February 20, 2014 at 4:34 am
thank you Mrs. Karen for such a good post, i read it and its quite helping .i wanted to ask you that would it be good idea to go for a Ph.D after completing M.Sc. while you have a business mind more than an academic? I have completed BS in Electrical Engineering in 2013. Secondly i need to support my family after MSc so would i be able to support them while pursuing a PhD.
March 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm
Dear, Dr. Karen: Thank you very much for this helpful post. Ahmed Eltayeb Sudan
March 17, 2014 at 11:54 am
Hello Dear, Thank you very much for your valuable post. If you don’t mind, I want to share with you my letter which I prepared for my Master’s Course in Surgical Oncology in a Canadian university for your experienced guidance.
Thank you Najmul Islam Sabbir
April 3, 2014 at 2:23 am
Hi Karen, Thank you for this post. I just discovered it yesterday,before sending the first version 🙂 I wonder- I am about to finish my master in Germany when I finished my bachelor in Israeli and worked in between. Should I write all of this info in the first paragraph? I feel it might be too much? (CV style) I will be happy to hear your opinion before sending. Thanks a lot in advance. Jasmin
April 4, 2014 at 5:49 am
Thank you Prof. Karen. This letter provides necessary way to connect PhD guide. thank you once again.
April 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm
I can’t help but echo what someone else had already mentioned in the earlier posts. I feel like you have to suck up to the professor to get any real attention. I’m a straight forward guy, and I don’t understand why we can’t just keep it short and sweet, like two or three sentences, with a CV/resume.
I don’t think I can bring myself to go into detail about how great the professor is, or how I’ve read all his/her papers, or how excited I am to start my research career. It’s politics, and I hate that game.
May 8, 2014 at 12:40 am
Oh my goodness, thank you soooo much!! I am so glad i stumbled upon this right before i was about to send out my email! I’m contacting a masters supervisor, and i can assure you, my email was going to be along the lines of the “instant delete” one!! Thank you so so much! I think you just got me into a masters!!
May 29, 2014 at 3:41 am
thank you for your brief guideline for the most of us. i will try this way and if will success i will tell you.
June 11, 2014 at 2:11 am
Dear professor Karen, This is really the most important and fantastic system of writing for admission application i ever had. Surprisingly, I was facing a big challenge how to write a constructive email for consideration of my graduate program this year. I have now alleviated this mountainous problem. Thank you so much Keren!
June 22, 2014 at 6:17 am
Dear professor Karen, Hello. I am a graduate student in physical chemistry (Master of Science). I am going to continue my study in Computational Chemistry fields for PhD degree in abroad. I preferred an Email (see bellow) to Ph.D. positions. Would you please read this letter and say you point of view about, is this letter suitable for sending to professors?
Dear professor ….,
Hello. I am a graduate student in physical chemistry (Master of Science). I have worked in Computational and Theoretical chemistry for more 3 years. I have many publications in good journals (see attached files). I have very good experiences in theoretical and computational chemistry (Ab initio, DFT, Post-HF, QM/MM) and also working with computer systems, UNIX operating systems and programming.
After graduation for gaining more experience and knowledge, I went to Isfahan University of Technology, department of chemistry, as a Research Assistant and continued my research under Professor H. Farrokhpour.
I am going to continue my study in Computational Chemistry fields for PhD degree. I visited your homepage and I think your research areas are fit to my interest, very well and I am interested in working with you as my supervisor.
Regarding my characteristics, I am a reliable, organized, and so enthusiastic student. I can learn everything fast. I am sure that I will carry over the same enthusiasm and skill in doing my PhD as I know that my background will prove to be an effective match for your demands. Therefore, I would like to have the opportunity to develop my abilities, for which I am confident that I have the skills, knowledge and competence. In addition, my English language is good and I can read, speak, write and listen. For more information, please see my CV in attached file.
Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours Sincerely, Mostafa Abedi
Department of Chemistry, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran
June 30, 2014 at 7:37 am
I have sent a very similar e-mail to my prospective supervisor. It been a week but I have not received a reply yet.I want to ask if he received my email how should I write an email?
September 11, 2014 at 6:32 am
Thank you so much for posting this information. I have used this information to contact my desired mentor, and I received a response within 24 hours. The professor has now asked for a writing sample. After performing multiple edits, the sample is ready to be sent. Is there a specific response I should give when I send this sample? Thank you again.
December 17, 2014 at 12:36 am
I believe the nice thing about this post is that it reminds you to tell something about yourself; your GPA, your experience, your good qualities. I think those are always worth mentioning. The other really nice thing is that it tells you to get to know the supervisor’s research (after all, why would you want a supervisor whose research was not interesting?) But I disagree with being too concerned about pleasing the professor. I think honesty is way better, and I think people should remember that it’s not just the professor evaluating the potential student, but also the student evaluating the professor; if the professor is always busy, he probably won’t have time for you either. Sucking up will eventually *always* fail. Also, by attempting to please the professor too much I think people are supporting a system where professors pick their students based not on their qualifications and interests but how much they like the person. Just my two cents.
December 17, 2014 at 8:12 am
There is no ‘sucking up’ in this email.
January 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm
Thank you so much for this great post! I am wondering if it is ok to mention my undergrad and grad project? Because it is related directly to the professor’s research area.
January 5, 2015 at 8:53 am
January 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm
Hi Karen, thank you for sharing, it really help.
After i read this article, there is one thing i need to ask you. On the statement above: “My specific project will likely focus on xxxx, and I am particularly interested in exploring the question of xxxxx.” I wonder how specific i should fill on the xxxx and xxxxx. Do you mean that i Should fill it with my research title? I was intend to fill it with my research title but then i was confused because i have some alternative for my research project.
Thank you and i appreciate any answer.
March 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm
Thank you very much for the blog. it was useful to get to know about Prof’s mindset. I am getting some replys with the help of it.
May 22, 2015 at 8:36 pm
This is an awesome post, I am using it to contact some researchers of my own.
August 10, 2015 at 2:53 am
Thanks for your post. I have been thinking of the most polite way of going about this and I think I just found one
October 20, 2015 at 11:34 am
Thank you for writing this post. In my day job, I frequently write professional correspondence to senior management, clients, and team members. That being said, I’m a little nervous about my PhD application. I appreciate the few tips I pulled from these examples.
March 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm
Dear Karen Would you please send me a template for PhD application? I am a PhD student in my country but I want to apply for a part-time PhD research as PhD research opportunity in a foreign country. Thank you Best regards, Mahboob
March 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm
No, I don’t send templates for any type of writing, and especially not for Ph.d. applications.
May 30, 2016 at 6:21 pm
Thank you for your advice, it really helped me. I sent e-mail to a professor and he answered me asking to send CV, Cover letter, and Personal statement. Would you please help me about what should I write in the cover letter and what is the difference between it and personal statement.
Thanks a lot.
May 31, 2016 at 3:19 pm
We offer this help on a case by case basis. Please email me at [email protected] .
March 25, 2017 at 5:12 am
Your kind help is helpful to many new graduates.
Sincerely, Khurram ali shah
August 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm
Dear Dr. Karen,
Thank you for your informative article. I have a rather trivial question about … style (?)
At the end of the text of the email, is there a reason for using a comma after “Thank you very much” instead of a period (dot) or an exclamation mark? Thank you very much!
August 30, 2016 at 5:42 am
Dear Karen I must say you have done a good job in helping people like me regarding this area. Thank you so much for sharing. I would like to know if you offer any paid services in relation to research in general. Secondly, I am currently working on my research proposal and will be consulting potential supervisors very soon, however I do have a big worry. I am 32 years and I intend to start my Ph.D next year. I have 2 Bachelor of Science Degrees and a Masters of Science Degree. I have never worked, all I ever did was go to universities.If the supervisor asks for my CV, which has only a list of courses I have undertaken, would it be OK if I told them I never worked? Do you think having never worked is a disadvantage for me to be considered for a Ph.D? Thank you
September 5, 2016 at 3:36 am
You are amazing for doing this. I found this absolutely helpful.
October 4, 2016 at 7:00 am
Just used your advices for a PHD request in Finland. Fingers crossed!
January 27, 2017 at 7:42 am
Great advice, I just used then in my Master’s application. Thank you!
February 19, 2017 at 9:13 am
Thanks, it gave me a boost.
May 19, 2017 at 6:07 pm
99% of the professors will ignore the email since it is too long, and they cannot afford to read 200 such long emails which come to their inbox every day.
March 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm
Good, but most importantly, “How do we reply for a response?”
[…] with the potential advisor is perhaps the most important element of all; refer to this post for advice on how to initiate the conversation. Ideally you want the advisor to commit to you ahead […]
[…] some good “how not to sound like an idiot when writing to a potential advisor” templates here and here. There are plenty more where these came from, so don’t sweat it if this is an area that […]
[…] satu bloger menulis dalam blognya ( http://theprofessorisin.com/2011/07/25/how-to-write-an-email-to-a-potential-ph-d-advisor/ )tentang pentingnya sebuah email bagi para pencari beasiswa dan menjelaskan mengapa email tersebut […]
[…] Source: theprofessorisin.com […]
[…] TPII is a great resource for students (of all education levels). Dr. Kelsky covers everything from contacting potential supervisors to mental illness in academia to getting tenure. She also offers paid services if you’re […]
[…] Source […]
[…] have two websites about that subject, you can link here and here. But in short I can say […]
[…] made a list with all the academics conducting researches that might interest me. These were alternative supervisors that I could contact by email. Not only the ones doing similar stuff to what I was doing, but people whose style of supervision I […]
[…] emails daily and many, many requests from prospective students every year. You need to stand out. Here is a very thorough post about nailing the inquiry email. If you are able, try to arrange an informal […]
[…] How to Write an Email to a Potential Ph.D. Advisor/Professor. […]
[…] > http://theprofessorisin.com/2011/07/25/how-to-write-an-email-to-a-potential-ph-d-advisor/ […]
[…] OPTIONAL, IF NEEDED: The Professor is In (blog): How to Fire a Professor (from your committee), How to Write an E-Mail (to a potential research advisor) […]
[…] https://theprofessorisin.com/2011/07/25/how-to-write-an-email-to-a-potential-ph-d-advisor/ […]
[…] supervisor is not your laurels. They can find that in your CV. It is the part where you establish common ground. You must be able to connect the dots between the professor’s research interests and your […]
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PhD Cover Letters
Updated October 23, 2022
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A PhD cover letter is an important part of your PhD application. Your cover letter (which may also be referred to as a motivational letter) focuses upon what makes you a great candidate and why you should be invited for interview.
This article will cover what a PhD cover letter is, when it would be used and how you can write a notable cover letter for your PhD application.
What Is a PhD Cover Letter?
Your cover letter is your first opportunity to explain to the committee why you should be selected to study for your postgraduate doctorate. It not only demonstrates your personality, but it can also explain in your own words why the hiring panel should choose you as a PhD student.
Like most cover letters , your PhD application letter should complement, but not repeat, your CV. It should explain and expand on the details referenced within your CV or application form .
You should tailor the content to your chosen PhD topic – this will enable you to focus your specific expertise and academic achievements on your learning capabilities.
It should be noted that when it comes to submitting your application to study for a PhD, you may be required to submit a personal statement as well as a cover letter. Each university will have its own criteria, but note that a cover letter is different from a personal statement.
Your personal statement will focus upon your interests and your ambitions, whilst your PhD cover letter will be looking at your tangible achievements , such as your academic and professional experience.
If you are required to draft both statements, then try to keep this in mind during the writing process.
What Key Points Should I Include Within My PhD Application Letter?
There are no rules for what to include within your PhD cover letter but, broadly speaking, your submission should include references to the following:
Who you are – what your personality is and what sets you apart from other potential PhD candidates. Your cover letter should be a sales tool that should make any committee want to choose you to join their team.
Your skills and achievements (along with any evidence to substantiate your claims).
Your research into the specific academic institution (why you want to attend that specific school and what makes it a good fit for you).
Your understanding of your research project and what you believe its impact may be upon your sector (this will demonstrate not just your knowledge of the research but will showcase your passion and motivation for the project).
How your specific skills are relevant to the application. Have you undertaken any work experience relevant to that field? Have you been inspired by what previous alumni have achieved?
As with all applications, writing a great cover letter is a skill. It requires you to tread the balance between explaining in detail who you are and why you should be chosen, while remaining concise. It needs to showcase your personality while remaining professional.
It’s a difficult writing skill and one which shouldn’t be rushed. You should take your time to craft your application letter – the more time that is spent on it, the greater your chance of success.
A practical tip is to use the ‘top-down’ approach . This is a writing skill often used by marketers and PR professionals whereby you incorporate the strongest arguments/details at the top and work your way down.
You need to ensure that if a committee member stops reading your cover letter at any point, then they have already noted the most pressing details.
How Do I Write My PhD Cover Letter?
An easy way to focus your thoughts when writing your application letter is to consider it as a way of telling your story, at least in relation to the PhD you are applying for. By this, we mean that your letter should have a clear beginning, middle and end.
Using this format as a guide, here are some examples of how to start writing your PhD cover letter.
Starting Your Cover Letter
As with any form of professional correspondence, do your due diligence and be confident that you know who to send your application to.
As previously mentioned, each school will have its own application criteria – for some, it may need to be addressed to a specific professor, whilst others may direct you to a department or someone responsible for all recruitment.
Make sure you find out their name – along with correct spellings and titles. This is your first chance to make a good impression, so you must pay attention to the details.
A good place to start is to introduce yourself first. Ask yourself, who are you and why should the committee continue to read your application letter?
This is your opportunity to explain what PhD you are applying for and why you want to study further. You may want to start your storytelling in this section.
I became interested in this subject when I met [name], who is one of your alumni. They inspired me to want to continue my learning and further my knowledge, which has been developed through my professional experience at [company name].
As you can see from this example, the letter is starting to explain why the candidate wants to apply for the application, what inspires them to continue their learning and gives a look into their achievements. The result is that it makes the reader want to continue reading the letter.
Showcasing Your Skills and Achievements
The middle section is where you talk about what you have achieved and how you want to further your development and make an impact on your field of study.
This section should refer to your CV and provide greater insights into what you already know and why you would be a great candidate for the PhD programme.
You could use this section to briefly introduce what topic you believe would make a great research project.
As you can see from my enclosed CV, I have an extensive professional history within my sector. From my experience at [company name], I was able to focus upon my key specialisms, which led me to develop an interest in [project]. I believe that, due to the ever-changing nature of the profession, there is scope to continue the research into [subject] and I’m keen to combine my practical and theoretical knowledge in my research. I believe this is of value to not just myself and my peers but also my wider profession because of [detail].
Again, this is demonstrating a level of professionalism while starting to showcase exactly why you should be chosen to join the PhD programme. It shows that you’re not just thinking of yourself, you’re also considering the wider implications that your research may have upon your field of study.
Ending Your Cover Letter
As you draw towards the end of your cover letter, you may wish to reiterate why you want to study at this specific institution. Showing you have researched the university’s research reputation can go a long way to impressing hiring panels.
It may be globally renowned, or perhaps it’s a good fit for your specific area of interest. Maybe there’s a specific professor you would like to work alongside or maybe you’ve seen the career advancement of previous alumni. If you have a personal reason why you are a good fit for the school, then state it here.
Additionally, we would also recommend explaining what you plan to do with your research upon its completion. Hiring panels will be keen to find out how you plan to use your expertise and what your long term ambitions are.
I am particularly interested in joining the PhD programme at [school] because of your reputation as global research leaders. Throughout my career, I have strived to work alongside the best because I believe in the importance of peer learning. I am keen to work alongside your distinguished professors to carry out my research in [subject]. I believe that I am the right fit for your institution because of [x,y,z] and through my correspondence with [named contact of the previous alumni], I am aware of the help and support that you provide to your PhD applicants. Following on from the completion of my doctorate, I plan to use my knowledge to do [x,y,z].
As you sign off your cover letter, make sure you include a call to action. Encourage the panel to get in touch with you to arrange a formal interview or direct them to your CV so that they can be reminded of your experience.
You need to end the letter with no doubt that you are a good fit for the PhD programme and that you are an ideal candidate that they need to snap up.
I hope that this letter has given you some insight into my dedication to my learning and that you will consider my application. I would like to draw your attention back to my CV which is enclosed with this letter, which demonstrates my professional and academic history. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
If you have addressed the letter to a named contact, use ‘Yours sincerely’. If you have been directed to address your letter to a general department, then formalities suggest that you should use the sign off ‘Yours faithfully’.
Tips to Improve Your PhD Application Letter
Keep it concise . Where possible, it shouldn’t exceed two pages of A4. They can find out more detail about who you are during the interview stage; this is merely to whet their appetite and excite them to want to find out more about you.
Don’t reiterate what has already been written on your CV . Instead, they want to know how the experience on your CV has made you a more rounded individual. How has it shaped your interest in your chosen study and what is compelling you to continue to further your learning?
Provide evidence . If you are highly regarded within your professional sector, then demonstrate this – are you involved in any sector groups or have you been recognised with any awards? The whole purpose of your potential research project is to provide evidentiary proof of your hypothesis so if you are going to make bold statements about your career history, then the first thing any PhD supervisor will want to know, is 'Where is the evidence?'.
Check for errors . Remember that your letter is a professional representation of who you are. Before submitting your PhD application, make sure that your cover letter is free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It’s a sister document to your CV so try to ensure consistency between the two documents – use similar formatting, a professional font (Ariel or Calibri are good choices) and ensure that your margins are coherent.
Example PhD Cover Letter
Below, is an example of a cover letter for your PhD application. We hope that it inspires you and helps you to understand more about what you should be including when it comes to writing your own letter.
Remember that this is an example only and your cover letter should be tailored to your circumstances.
Recipient Name Recipient Job Title Recipient Address Date Dear [name] Cover letter for application to join the PhD programme at [school]. I am writing to you to showcase my interest in continuing my academic study through the PhD programme in [subject] at [University]. I am keen to join the doctoral programme within your [department] because I believe that its rich history of academic research is a perfect match for my academic aptitude and my extensive career history. I’ve long been interested in [subject] and I recently met with [name], who is one of your alumni. They inspired me to take the leap and submit this application because I’ve long been interested in developing my knowledge honed through my professional experience at [company name]. I studied [subject] at [university] and throughout my academic history and work experience, I’ve developed a strong interest in the niche field of [topic]. My BA thesis was based upon [subject] and since completing my undergraduate studies, I’ve been able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice through my work at [company name]. As you can see from my enclosed CV, I’ve been able to hone my skills into key specialisms which have led me to develop an interest in [project]. I believe that there is scope to continue the research into [subject] due to the ever-changing nature of the profession and I’m keen to combine my practical and theoretical knowledge with my research. I believe this is of value to not just myself and my peers but also my wider profession, since it could help others to understand the importance of [subject]. I wish to continue my academic career by completing my doctorate, which has always been a long-term ambition of mine. I cannot imagine a better place to study than [university]. I have always been inspired by the achievements of this academic institution and I wish to work alongside your teaching staff to research my hypothesis which is [details]. In particular, I would like to work alongside Professor [name], who was highly regarded by our mutual acquaintance [alumni name]. With my theoretical knowledge and my professional expertise, I am confident that I can complete my chosen research project to a high standard. I am a dedicated hard worker and have long been regarded within my sector through my involvement with [professional bodies]. I have also been recognised along with my peers for our work through the achievements of many industry awards including [details]. Following on from the completion of my doctorate, I plan to use my knowledge to help educate fellow professionals, and thus improve awareness and understanding of our sector. I hope that this letter has given you some insight into my dedication to my learning and that you will consider my application. I would like to draw your attention back to my CV which is enclosed with this letter, which will demonstrate my professional and academic history. I look forward to hearing from you in due course. Yours sincerely, [Signature] [Name] Encl. Curriculum Vitae
This article has been designed to give you some insights into what to expect from your PhD application.
To read more about PhDs, we recommend that you read our postgraduate pages , which contain numerous articles about PhDs, MBAs and further study.
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How to write a Cover Letter for applying to a PhD programme
I am applying for a PhD programme in Europe. For that I need to write a cover letter. It will be more like a SOP (technical but shorter version, as it's one page) or it can be more general stuff, as in why I want to do a PhD, what I like about this particular field, what background I have. Any suggestions welcome.
There's plenty of examples on the Web of the basic format a cover letter should take. There's a good template here on page 23 from Harvard. (Make sure to do it in TeX if applying for a math or comp. sci. PhD.)
Otherwise, my own personal advice ...
What not to do
The most common mistake I have found in cover letters is that they are too generic. Either they could have been written by anyone (" I have a keen interest in science. I was always curious as a ... ") or could have been written for any programme (" I want to do a PhD as I believe I would be well-suited to a career in academia ... "). Keep such generic sentences to a minimum: the more of these a cover letter has, the more impersonal and unremarkable it is, and the more it leaves the suspicion that the same cover letter has been recycled for multiple applications and/or by multiple students.
Also, avoid hyperbole (" I am the best candidate for this position because ... "). You cannot know that you are the best candidate. This is an academic application, not an industrial one.
Make your cover letter personal, remarkable (i.e., stands out from other cover letters), specific to you and specific to the position at hand. Be enthusiastic. Be specific. Show that you've put thought into the position and why you are applying.
Relate your specific skill sets and previous experience to the programme you are applying for. Relate the content of specific aspects of your CV to the programme:
" During my masters, I enjoyed working on the topic of A, which relates to your programme [in this way]"
" I worked three summers at company B, where I gained experience in topic C ... "
" I visited your university in March last year and was impressed by ... "
" I read paper entitled 'D' published by your group at 'E' and was interested in ... "
" I recently published a paper 'F', which I believe compliments work by 'G' in your department on 'H' ... "
... and so forth.
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- Does single case chance actually exist?
- Rolling cube on an infinite chessboard
- New owner of large lawn, struggling to demoss & deweed
- For the Nozomi from Shinagawa to Osaka, say on a Saturday afternoon, would tickets/seats typically be available - or would you need to book?
- Should I ask why they are interested in me in an interview for a faculty position?
- "Is" or "are" for two uncountable words?
- What is temperature in the classical entropy definition?
PhD Cover Letter Example
Your PhD supervisor needs to understand that you have the academic qualifications and motivation to take on the toughest challenge in further education. Your academic CV will outline your educational achievements, but it is your PhD cover letter that will show them that you have the personality and drive to succeed.
How well do you know your area of research? Do you have a vision for the next couple of years? Why do you want to do this PhD in the first place? It may be worth sharing snippets of information about some of your projects, but it is more important to convey your motivations and the impact that your research will make.
If you know the professor who will be your PhD supervisor, you can tailor it to their interests. If you briefly mention one of their pet interests, that will surely fire their imagination. Describe what they will gain from supervising your PhD. Write the cover letter for them.
With our broad choice of cover letter examples and writing guides, we can take you through every aspect of writing a cover letter. Although a PhD cover letter has a more academic focus, it is as much of a sales pitch as any other cover letter. Here is what we cover in the PhD cover letter example and writing guide:
- Choosing a format that will showcase your academic motivations
- What to include in the introduction, middle part, and conclusion
- Making your academic application stand out from the rest
- Avoiding mistakes that may cast a shadow on your application.
Best format for a PhD cover letter
Academics understand the need for convention. They certainly won’t be expecting any wildly original cover letters in terms of their format and structure. Anyone that tries to do something ‘different’ with their PhD cover letter may seem like they are overcompensating for unknown deficiencies in their application. Keep it simple and stick with the standard format:
- The cover letter header
- The greeting / salutation
- The cover letter intro
- The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
- The ending paragraph (conclusion and call-to-action)
While the cover letter should contain a mix of personality and academic achievement, we would advise mixing the two together in your PhD cover letter story.
A paragraph about academics may seem dry without hinting at the obstacles that you faced to get it done. While a paragraph that describes your approach without any context will not linger long in the memory. Share the words that will spark conversations in your interview.
It is also worth considering the research priorities of the department and supervising professor in question. It is best to share details about the potential ‘fit’ at the beginning or very end of the cover letter. Let your professor know that you have carefully considered why exactly you wish to be undertaking your PhD with them.
The comprehensive cover letter guide shares more on cover letter etiquette. You may not have written such a letter before, so take the time to ponder the details.
Dear Dr. Jahns,
I am writing in reference to my application to carry out my doctorate research at Avon University, exploring the sociophonetic perception of second-generation immigrants. Since my undergraduate, I have been aware of the ground-breaking research in the field of linguistics that is carried out at Avon. I believe that the institution would be an excellent fit for my profile and this research project.
Since early on in my academic studies, I have leaned towards the psychology of linguistics. This is evidenced through the subject matter of my undergraduate dissertation, which explored early language development in bilingual children. My tutor expressed that they were impressed by my supporting research which was recognised by the university when I received the Grant Hughes Prize for Exceptional Research at my BSc graduation.
While my PhD research proposal centres on questions of bilingualism, the topic first became of particular interest to me through my research into monolingualism. I studied the accents of immigrants who in adolescence spoke only the language of their country of residence. It was during the completion of my Master of Research (MRes) that I noticed the relationship between the monolingual members of these communities and the wider questions and consequences raised from their sociophonetic perception. Much of the existing research that I referenced during my MRes came from Avon University.
I believe that my background in the psychology surrounding polyglotism in sociophonetics could further enrichen the department and field. I hope to be able to discuss my research proposal further with you soon.
Cover letter header
The header of a PhD cover letter should contain all of your essential contact information. Include your full name, email address, and mobile number. You may assume that your academic institution has access to your contact details, but it is best to include here and in the CV. It will be the PhD supervisor who invites you to an interview.
You don’t need to include your full address (for data protection reasons), but you should include the ‘inside address’ of the college/university concerned. This is only required on formal occasions and is traditional etiquette for a professional letter. While it may be sent by electronic means, it is best to include it.
The visuals of the template that you choose should be monotone and understated. There can be some sort of pattern for the cover letter header — a blank page is also a little uninspiring and maybe makes it looks like you rushed the application.
Cover letter greeting and introduction
It should not be a difficult task to understand to whom the cover letter should be addressed. If you are writing to someone in your faculty you should know them. If you are applying to another university, finding out the name of the Professor in charge of your area of expertise should not be a tricky research task for someone embarking on a PhD.
‘Dear Professor/Doctor Surname’ is the only acceptable greeting, no matter how well you know them. Other academics may read it but address the letter to your future supervisor.
The introduction should then hit with your academic one-two punch.
Why do you want to study this PhD and how can you demonstrate that you have what it takes to come up with a ground-breaking piece of research?
Motivation needs to come first in your cover letter. A PhD is a tremendous undertaking— if you are not laser-focused on your why, doubts may arise. Consider sharing a part of your journey which has led to this point and highlights the PhD as a logical next step. You have likely been working towards this moment for many years. Share your struggles.
Check out the intro from our PhD cover letter example:
Cover letter middle part (body)
The middle part of a PhD cover letter should be packed relatively densely with the details of how your past research will qualify you to take the next academic step. Don’t just list down your achievements — offer a little more information about how you got there.
Completing one assignment doesn’t guarantee that you will complete the next one, but tenacity and intelligent decision making can be replicated.
If you have any academic recognition from awards bodies, this is the place to share. Taking on board external perspectives on your work is central to any PhD. Show that you seek out contrary opinions and look to inform your thought processes. Critical thinking starts and ends with what is in your head.
Bullet points may help to highlight some of your key achievements. They offer the reader’s eye a break on the page. Although they are not a typical part of academic prose, they play a crucial role on a PhD cover letter. Start the bullet point with a powerful action verbs that outlines your accomplishment and include numbers and context where possible.
Any PhD student will also be curious as to how their work will fit into the strategy of the overall department. While most of your questions should be reserved for the interview process, a carefully targeted question in the cover letter can show that you have considered the most nuanced angles of the opportunity. Tell your future supervisor what you are interested to discuss during an interview. Let them imagine meeting you.
The final piece of the middle part should focus on your academic soft skills. Your work will likely involve collaboration with others, so don’t fail to mention successful group projects or how you have made a difference to your student peers in the past. Students who learn together, grow together. No PhD student will enjoy success in isolation.
The middle part of this PhD cover letter example offers one version:
While my PhD research proposal centres on questions of bilingualism, the topic first became of particular interest to me through my research into monolingualism. I studied the accents of immigrants who in adolescence spoke only the language of their country of residence. It was during the completion of my Master of Research (MRes) that I noticed the relationship between the monolingual members of these communities and the wider questions and consequences raised from their sociophonetic perception. Much of the existing research that I referenced during my MRes came from Avon University.
How to close a PhD cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)
A powerful close for a PhD cover letter might focus on the impact of the PhD work. Show that you have some real-world experience in your field and tell the supervisor why your work will move the needle. While you cannot know the exact outcomes of your work at this early stage, it is perfectly acceptable to hypothesise. If you do not express any sense of purpose for your work in these final words, the interviewer may question your motivations.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, say how keen you are to discuss further at an interview. Adopt a hopeful tone and don’t be presumptuous. Depending on the prestige of the faculty they may receive hundreds of applications, so don’t assume that you will secure an interview. Gently say how much you would value the chance to find out more. Hopefully, the PhD supervisor will feel the same way.
Look at a PhD cover letter sample conclusion:
Basic mistakes in a PhD cover letter (and how to avoid them)
Checking your work for mistakes and plagiarism might come as second nature when submitting an academic paper, but you should realise that your PhD cover letter will be analysed no less rigorously. If anything, its brief nature means that every word and phrase will be analysed. Check that your words impart the intended meaning.
These mistakes might seem basic, but in your haste to send off the application it is easy for just one of them to sneak in. One mistake is all it takes to take the gloss off a stellar cover letter. Take care with the following:
- Spelling and grammar: While you might be in the habit of putting any piece of written work through Grammarly to check for mistakes, it is well worth asking a fellow academic to give it a read through to ensure that it hits the right notes.
- Keep the look professional. The look of the cover letter will be judged alongside your words. A suitably professional cover letter template from a reputable provider will ensure that the text is read as it is on the page with consistent formatting.
- Don’t make it all about the academics: You will be rightfully proud of your academic achievements but remember that your cover letter is more about your motivations and personality. Don’t hide who you are behind a long list of research papers. Offer your supervisor a feel for whom they will be working with.
- Tell your PhD supervisor why your work will make a difference to them.
- Share your journey up to this point — the PhD work is merely the next step.
- Showcase examples of determination and resilience –— completing a PhD is tough.
- Be curious about finding out more. Mention that you are looking forward to meeting.
Looking for some more inspiration to fuel your cover letter writing? Check out our related cover letter samples here:
- Internship cover letter sample
- Graduate cover letter sample
- Teacher cover letter sample
Free professionally designed templates
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Cover Letter For PhD Application | Samples and Templates
Would you like to see a sample cover letter of application for PhD position? Here are some professionally designed patterns and also a sample cover letter for PhD application.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to keep your student discounts up to age 30 or answering questions that no one in the history of mankind has ever answered. All this is possible with a well-designed PhD application.
There are very few vacancies, and there are dozens of equally qualified candidates. This guide to writing a PhD admission letter or motivational letter will go over some of the important steps to consider when writing a letter.
The first thing you should do is check the requirements of the institution you are applying to, first make sure a cover letter is required, and then see which sections they would like you to cover.
They differ from one institute to another and from one course to another. A sample academic cover letter of application for a PhD position is your best chance of being accepted.
This article is a complete guide on how to write application letters for PhD positions. It also contains a sample PhD application letter and templates to help you write the best.
What is a PhD Admission Letter?
The letter of application is your first chance to tell the committee why you should be selected for graduate studies. Not only does this show your personality, but it can also explain why a recruiting board should choose you as a PhD student in his own words.
Your PhD application letter, like most others, should complement, not duplicate, your resume. It should explain and expand on the information on your resume or application form. You must adapt the content to your chosen PhD thesis. A theme that allows you to focus your specific experience and academic achievement on your learning abilities.
It should be noted that when applying for a PhD, you may be required to submit a personal statement as well as a cover letter. Each university will have its own set of requirements, but keep in mind that a cover letter is not the same as a personal statement.
Your statement will highlight your interests and goals while your PhD the cover letter will highlight your material accomplishments such as academic and professional experience.
If you need to prepare both statements, try to keep this in mind when writing. Having a sample PhD application letter is also another way to make sure you’re writing something compelling.
What are the key points I should include in my PhD admission letter?
There are no rules about what we must include in your PhD cover letter, but in general, your application must include references to the following:
Who you are – your personality and what sets you apart from other potential PhDs. Your cover letter should be a sales tool that will encourage any committee to select you for their team. The successful cover letter should contain the following
- Your abilities and accomplishments (along with any evidence to support your claims).
- In addition, your study of a particular institution for your doctoral program(why you want to attend this particular institution and what makes it suitable for you).
- Your understanding of your research project and your expectations regarding its impact on your industry (this will show not only your knowledge of the research but also your passion and motivation for the project).
- How do your specific skills apply to the post? Have you gained any relevant experience in this area? Have you been inspired by the achievements of previous bachelor’s degree and master’s degree?
Writing a great motivation letter is a skill, just like any other part of the application process. This requires you to explain in a balanced way who you are and why you should be selected, in detail while remaining concise.
While remaining professional, it should reflect your personality. This is a difficult writing skill that should not be rushed.
Don’t rush into writing your application letter; the more time you spend on it, the higher your chances of you becoming a successful PhD student. Use the top-down approach as a practical tip.
You can use a sample PhD cover letter to make sure you don’t make mistakes and are on the right track. Continue reading to learn more about Cover Letter Sample and Templates for PhD application. This will help you write a cover letter for PhD application.
What is the purpose of a PhD Statement?
If you are a PhD candidate, an academic letter of the application allows you to explain to the reader, who is likely the professor or director in charge of reviewing PhD applicants, what you can offer to the program and why they should select you for a place.
You can use your cover letter to fill in any gaps on your resume (CV), tailor your application to a specific program, and showcase your communication skills and passion.
This is your chance to impress a PhD program director with your identity and the assets you will bring to their institution.
How to write a PhD Statement?
Follow these steps to write a PhD statement:
1. Learn the details of the program and organization
Review the information you have about the program you are applying for before writing your application letter. Use a different application letter for each organization because they may be looking for unique qualities in candidates.
Analyze your qualities, as well as those of the ideal candidate, and tailor your application letter to the areas where they overlap.
2. Create a formal letter of application.
A STEM-focused application letter should be one page, while a liberal arts-focused application letter can be two pages. Always check with the organization and adhere to any formatting rules they may have for the application material.
Use a professional font and font size, pay attention to clear formatting, and avoid adding extra elements such as pictures or frames.
3. Provide your most recent contact information.
It is especially important to provide up-to-date and correct contact information when contacting several organizations at once. If the organization needs more information or wants to schedule an interview, you should make sure they can contact you.
The presence of up-to-date and accurate information indicates professionalism and reliability.
4. Create an introduction
Write an introduction after you’ve completed the body of your cover letter. The introduction should clearly state what you are applying for. You can also use this space to briefly mention future ambitions or goals.
5. In the first paragraph of the main body, highlight your strengths and experience.
Write the first paragraph of your cover letter highlighting your education, strengths, and experience. This paragraph should describe who you are academically and what you hope to achieve while participating in the program. Tell us about your specific interests in this area, what sparked your interest, and any research you’ve done on those specific interests.
6. In the second main paragraph, describe your distinctive features.
Focus on your passion, drive, and unique qualities that set you apart from other candidates in the second paragraph of your cover letter. You want to show not only how the program can help you, but also how you can improve the program if accepted. Consider overlaps between your qualifications and what the program is looking for in an ideal candidate.
7. Complete your application letter.
End the application letter by thanking the reader for their time and expressing appreciation for the opportunity. The conclusion should complement the rest of your application letter, demonstrating your enthusiasm for your field and commitment to the organization.
Your conclusion should also encourage the reader to contact you for more information, discussion, or to schedule an interview.
8. Include a formal closure and signature.
Your closing and signature are the final elements of your academic cover letter. In most cases, you may not need to physically sign the document; a printed name will suffice.
Avoid using intimate closing phrases and use more professional ones instead. Here are some examples of professional closing statements. The sample PhD application letter written below will serve as a great guide to make sure you get it right.
Tips for writing an effective PhD thesis Statement
You can use the following guidelines to write your PhD statement:
Start at the very beginning of the process. Preparing an application for graduate school requires careful planning. Set aside enough time to write, edit, and proofread your cover letter.
Take a break between writing and editing. When you’ve finished writing your application letter, save it and wait a few days before editing to make sure you notice ways to improve or correct your work.
Make the most of your resources. If you are still in college, you can use the writing or career centers to craft an effective cover letter. Talk to your favorite professors or lecturers, ask them questions and listen to their advice.
Carefully review your PhD thesis. statement. You want to present yourself professionally in your application letter because this is one of your first points of contact with a potential school. Use proofreading software, read your cover letter aloud, and ask friends and colleagues to read it for you to create a flawless application letter.
Make your points clear. You must provide evidence for every claim you make about yourself. Tell us as much as possible about your achievements and hobbies.
Focus on your true self. Demonstrate why you are the best candidate for your chosen school by emphasizing how your uniqueness will benefit the program. Concentrate on articulating your important accomplishments.
Samples and Templates Of Academic Cover Letters for PhD Statement
Academic Cover Letter Sample for PhD Position
Address of the recipient
Cover letter for the PhD program at [institution name].
I am writing to express my research interests in continuing my academic studies at [university] through a PhD program in [topic].
I am very eager to join your [Faculty Postgraduate] program because I consider that its prosperous history of academic research is an ideal match for my academic abilities and extensive career experience. I have been interested in [the topic] for a long time and recently met with [name], one of your alumni. And they inspired me to take a chance and submit this letter because I have long wanted to expand on the knowledge I gained through my experience at [your company name].
I studied [mention subject] at [mention university], and throughout my academic history and work experience, I grew a strong interest in this niche area [your topic]. My thesis was on [subject], and I was able to put my academic knowledge into practice while working at [your company name where you work/worked] since graduating from my undergraduate studies.
As you can see from my attached academic CV, I was able to sharpen my skills in key specializations, which led to my interest in [the project]. Because of the ever-changing nature of my profession, I believe there are opportunities for further study [of the subject] and I am eager to combine my theoretical and practical knowledge with my research PhD project.
I believe that this is valuable not only for me and my colleagues but for my profession as a whole because it can help others understand the meaning [of the subject].
I hope to continue my academic career with a PhD, which has long been my goal. I can’t think of a better university to study than [the university you are wishing to complete your PhD from]. I’ve always been motivated by the accomplishments of this institution and would like to collaborate with your teaching staff to explore my hypothesis, namely [details]. I would especially like to work with Professor [mention name], who was admiringly regarded by our mutual understanding [name of alumnus].
Thus, I am sure that with my theoretical knowledge and professional experience I will be able to complete the research project I have chosen at a high level. I am a dedicated, hardworking individual who has long been respected in my industry through my involvement in [professional organizations]. I have also been recognized for my work, along with my peers, through many industry awards, including [details].
After completing my PhD, I intend to use my knowledge to educate fellow professionals, thereby increasing awareness and understanding of our industry.
I hope this letter has given you some idea of my commitment to my education and that you will consider my application.
I would like to once again draw your attention to my CV, which is attached to this letter and describes in detail my professional and academic background.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Your cover letter for PhD application should contain a brief introduction to the program you want to apply for in the text of the application. This should be included in any cover letter. You need to write down the letter to the PhD supervisor.
First, state a clear career goal for your future project, as well as the reasons why you chose this particular PhD program. Mention in detail your previous professional and academic history. Also mention if you are applying for professional scientific research or anything else.
Q. How do I write a cover letter for a PhD admission?
A. Your cover letter for PhD application should contain a brief introduction to the program you want to apply for in the text of the application. This should be included in any cover letter. You need to write down the letter to the PhD supervisor.
Q. How do I write a good PhD application?
A. First, state a clear career goal for your future project, as well as the reasons why you chose this particular PhD program. Mention in detail your previous professional and academic history. Also mention if you are applying for professional scientific research or anything else.
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How To Write A Cover Letter For A Phd Application
November 25, 2022
October 15, 2022
Your cover letter is one of the most important parts of your PhD application because it is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and to explain why you are interested in the program. Here are some tips on how to write a cover letter for a PhD application: 1. Start by introducing yourself and explain why you are interested in the program. 2. Use specific examples to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. 3. Explain how your research interests align with the program and how you would contribute to the intellectual community. 4. Conclude by thanking the admissions committee for their time and consideration.
Here is a sample of a thesis application cover letter from Indeed’s editorial team. Your cover letter shows how you stand out as a candidate for a PhD in the field. You should include a statement that highlights your qualities rather than repeating them on your resume. A brief, persuasive essay outlining the details of your PhD application may be sufficient. Before writing your cover letter, make sure to include your most persuasive and relevant arguments. Your interest, passion, and relevance to the program must all be stated in your letter. In most cases, the cover letter is used as a tool to market yourself as a candidate.
We’ve outlined how to write an effective cover letter for a PhD application below. You should consider whether a potential supervisor or PhD committee will be impressed by your cover letter. Furthermore, you should consider the following tips and best practices when explaining this information. If you’re applying for a supervisor, you might already know their name and something about them. You can express your gratitude by using the recipient’s last name and their appropriate title. Please include your reasons for writing the letter in the first and two lines of your cover letter.
Your cover letter should include a description of your company and why you are looking for work. You should begin your interview by mentioning your name, the position you’re applying for, and how you came to be in it. As an example, my name is Henry Applicant and I’m applying for a position as an Account Manager on LinkedIn.
How Long Should A Cover Letter Be For Phd Application?
A cover letter for a PhD application should be around three paragraphs long. The first paragraph should introduce yourself and explain why you are applying for the PhD program. The second paragraph should discuss your research interests and how they align with the program. Finally, the third paragraph should highlight your strengths and explain why you would be a good fit for the program.
How long do you write a covering letter? To write your cover letter, you should limit it to 350-400 words or less. The cover letter’s maximum length is 400 words, not the minimum of 200. Choose short and sometimes long sentences for variety. Don’t use a font that may cause the reader to squint, such as Arial in size 11 or 12. You should choose the points you want highlighted and let them know they should be written in the clearest possible manner . Find a resume writing guide that can help you get the job you want.
Who Should A Phd Cover Letter Be Addressed To?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. The best person to address a PhD cover letter to would be the individual who is in charge of admissions for the PhD program to which you are applying. This could be the program director, the dean of the graduate school, or another administrator.
I’m interested in applying for a Ph.D. in Infection and Immunity at UCL. I enjoy the idea of redirecting T cells to target specific cancer types. I will seek funding through a UCL studentship or a Research Council funded research project, or I will self-fund the project. I have an ambition to pursue a Ph. D in Human Genetics and Mechanisms of Disease. My professor sent me this email without a reply, but she doesn’t seem to know why. Can it be an email from an outside email client? I have provided him with all of the information he needs to make an informed decision about whether or not I am interested in him.
Your Name – [position Title] At [university Name]
I’d like to welcome you to my website. I am writing to ask for the opening position of [position title] at [university]. Please accept my letter. My name is [name of university], and I am a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I want to pursue a career in academia. I have a [degrees/certifications] in [field of study], and I am eager to use my skills in [field of study] in a new and challenging environment. I believe my previous experience working in [position description] is relevant to my role as [position description] at [university]. I am a quick learner and am capable of quickly absorbing new information. Furthermore, I work hard, work dependable hours, and have a strong work ethic. Thank you for considering my application for [position title] at [university name]. Thank you very much. Your name is [your] as you enter.
Cover Letter For Phd Application Physics
A cover letter is a formal letter that is sent to an organization in an attempt to secure a position. The letter should be concise and professional, and it should state why you are interested in the position and why you would be a good fit for the organization. A cover letter for a PhD application in physics might mention your research interests and how they align with the organization’s mission, as well as your experience in the field. It is important to tailor your cover letter to the specific organization you are applying to, and to highlight your most relevant qualifications.
The cover letter, which you can submit as part of your PhD application, is one of the documents you should submit. It should include information about your academic background as well as information about why you are applying. On this page, you will learn how to write a cover letter, as well as what to include in one. A well-written academic cover letter should demonstrate the applicant’s personality while remaining professional. If you want to be considered for a PhD, you must demonstrate how you are superior to other applicants. It is critical to avoid over-providing information, technical jargon, or abbreviations in a motivation letter . Instead of focusing on what is right or wrong, think of it as a matter of clarity and conciseness.
Academic cover letters should be 500 words in length and be A4 pages in length. If you want to be accepted, you should provide an excellent argument for why. Maintain a consistent and clear font, and tone it down to make it feel enthusiastic and assertive without sounding arrogant. As a cover letter, please write to a professor: Dear Professor Smith. As a PhD supervisor, you will most likely be the one to handle the application. In order to summarize your application as a whole, as well as request a follow-up interview, you must respectfully request it.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Writing A Cover Letter For A Phd Program In Psychology
A good cover letter should include the following information. The main goal of pursuing a PhD in Psychology is to provide a comprehensive overview of psychology. As a result, you’ll see a highlight below. Your degree in Psychology indicates that you meet the qualifications for this position. Why would you want to work for the program? There will be a tailored version of the application for the specific program you are applying for. Here are some pointers to writing a good cover letter: You must outline your objectives for pursuing a PhD in Psychology. The purpose of this page is to provide clear and concise explanations of why you want to pursue this degree. How your Psychology degree would enable you to be an excellent candidate for the program you want to pursue. In your research and teaching efforts, you must concentrate on the subject. Make certain that the cover letter you send is tailored to the program you are applying to. In other words, you should include information about the program and the type of research that is carried out there.
Cover Letter For Phd Application In Germany
A cover letter for a PhD application in Germany should highlight the applicant’s research interests and experience, as well as their motivation for applying to the program. The letter should be addressed to the head of the department or the program coordinator, and should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph.
Every cover letter should be written from the very first step and should reflect the unique characteristics of each company. The first section of the Cover Letter is critical in making a decision about which document to read. Begin your letter by asking the company’s questions and using the information you have learned. If you use the first sentence, it will catch the attention of the reader. Make sure to use as many of the keywords as possible in the job ad . A good way to convey the company’s message is to write in a way that mimics the tone of the company. You should only mention the skills that apply to the position and the company.
How Do I Write A Cover Letter For Germany?
Make certain that the tone of the company’s writing matches the content of your content. If a company uses a formal method of communication, your letter should be similar in tone and, if not, your manner of communication. Make sure you write only about the relevant experiences in your Cover letter.
Is A Cover Letter Necessary In Germany?
In Germany, the cover letter is a very important part of the job application process , but not the most important. If your cover letter fails to impress, the prospective employer will no longer look at your application. Your cover letter must be sent in the same manner as theirs.
Great Phd Cover Letter Phd Cover Letters
There is no one definitive answer to this question. However, in general, a great cover letter for a PhD program should highlight your academic achievements and research experience, as well as your passion for the field of study you wish to pursue. It should also be well-written and free of errors.
When you use LiveCareer’s cover letter builder , you can write your own cover letter. You can create a professional cover letter with just a few clicks by selecting a template, answering a few simple questions, and clicking on the creator’s button. If you want to make a letter, you should think about a few important steps. Mohammed Whittaker is a research scientist who studies the impact of a world without privacy on human society. The Journal of British Philosophy will publish his findings after he has surveyed 3,800 people. In her PhD, the PhD student hopes to advise non-governmental and governmental entities on compromises and concession agreements. In this article, I’ll show you how to write a professional-looking PhD cover letter.
Follow these cover letter tips and make your own, step by step. The automated application process is likely to be followed. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply in record time. Using the LiveCareer cover letter maker , you can make recommendations for the best content for your cover letter based on pre-made examples and expert advice. Emphasize the point of your thesis and how it adds value to the field of study by highlighting what is original about it. Include any other publications that may supplement your thesis, whether planned or in the works. Make certain that you include any professional goals or plans that may be important to you in your PhD application.
You want it to be realistic as well as eye-opening. If you have finished rounding out your professional objectives, use your cover letter to highlight some work you have previously done. A strong cover letter alone will not suffice; you must have an impressive CV in addition to one. You must follow these steps if you want to write a strong PhD application cover letter. Choose an elegant font that you can read with your CV. Even margins and white space should be used to make sure the reader can clearly see the information.
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Lyon University PhD Student Cover Letter Sample
Securing a PhD position can get smoother with our ultimate Lyon University PhD Student cover letter sample. This cover letter helped a real applicant get accepted at Lyon University. You can download this example at no cost or modify it in any way using our online cover letter builder.
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Lyon University PhD Student Cover Letter Sample (Full Text Version)
After a year of working as master 2 student directly in a scientific research setting, I am seeking to leverage my experience within the field of professional scientific research.
Ideally, PhD position will allow me the opportunity to utilize my experience gained as M2 internee at the professional level. If you are looking for a passionate, dedicated and hard working profile along with strong communication skills and an experience in working on pathogens, please consider my resume attached with the application.
I have done Master M2 “Therapeutic Innovations in Cancer” from Universite Claude Bernard Lyon1 in 2017. During the course of my master M2, I had an opportunity to work on HCV-induced hepatocellular carcinoma at Cancer Research Centre Lyon (CRCL). This internship inculcated many pragmatic accomplishments in me. As a result, I am fairly competent in following skills.
· Cell Culturing
· Western Blotting
· Working protocols in P2 and P3 laboratories
· Plasmid construction
· Flow Cytometry
· CRISPR/Cas9 Technique
· Scientific writing
Before seeking admission in Master M2, I had done my graduate degree, Doctor of Pharmacy, in 2013 from one of the leading national universities in Pakistan. Since then, every coming year has proven to be professionally more rewarding than its precedent. Working as a community pharmacist for a couple of years followed by a year of Chemistry and English teaching to high school disciples added a lot to my professional excellence. During all these professional phases, I have a history of proven results and profound findings. Given opportunity, I’m confident in my abilities to earn similar groundbreaking results while being part of your team.
For your convenience, I have attached my resume for your review. I would welcome the opportunity to participate in a personal interview to answer any of your questions and better present my qualifications. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail or phone call to arrange a meeting if needed.
I look forward to speaking with you soon and becoming a part of your team.
A PhD is the highest level of academic degree a student can be awarded. Earning a PhD usually takes between three and four years of full-time work and dedication, leading to writing a final thesis that should contribute to a specific subject in an original and significant way. As a PhD student, you will typically conduct an independent research project, collect your results, write a thesis that reflects your conclusions, submit your work as a dissertation, and defend it in an oral exam. Institutions may generally demand PhD applicants to have both a Master's degree and a Bachelor's degree.
The Lyon University is an academic community that comprises 11 member and 24 associated institutions in Lyon and Saint-Étienne. It serves as a hub for higher education and research in accordance with social changes. The three main universities focus on health & science studies, social sciences & arts, and law & humanities.
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How to write a cover letter for your Ph.D. application Follow these steps to write your academic cover letter: 1. Review the program and organization information Before crafting your academic cover letter, review the information you have about the program you're applying for.
A cover letter should be addressed to a named person i.e. "Dear Professor Smith". For a PhD application, this will usually be the PhD supervisor, but may be a specific person in charge of recruitment. If you are still unsure who to address the cover letter to, it should be directed to the Head of Department.
First Email To Potential Phd Supervisor Example Hello Professor Smith, I am writing to inquire about the possibility of joining your research group as a PhD student. I am particularly interested in your work on XYZ and believe that I could make significant contributions to your research.
Your cover letter should be addressed to the PhD supervisor, starting with a "Dear [academic title] [surname]", for example, "Dear Professor Williams". Tip: Make sure to get the title of the supervisor correct. Are they Dr. or Professor?
Thank the supervisor for their time and end your email with "Kind regards" followed by your first and last name in full. Email Etiquette Attach Supporting Information Your goal should be to make the exchange as simple as possible for the supervisor.
When writing a PhD supervisor request letter, you'll need to show that you understand their previous publications and their current research activity. ... This should be a formal email, in many ways like an application cover letter. 1. Include a clear subject line. Make sure your initial email doesn't have a vague subject line that could ...
A supervisor cover letter, or a supervisor application letter, is a document that expresses your interest in a supervisor job and company. It also informs the hiring managers why you're a good fit for the supervisor role. As an application document, you typically send this letter with your resume.
If you're applying for supervisor positions, here are the steps you can take to write a cover letter: 1. Include a header. Use a standard business letter format for your cover letter and include a header at the top of the document. Write your full name, your phone number, your email address and your city and state.
(123) 456-7891 [email protected] May 1, 2018 Dear Hiring Manager, I would like to introduce myself as a candidate for the Supervisor position at Retail Ocean. As a candidate with several years of experience as a Supervisor, I believe I am well-qualified to meet the needs of your company.
Here is what an email to a professor should look like: "Dear Professor XXX, I am a student at XXX College with a major in xxx. I am a [junior] and will be graduating next May. I have a [4.0 GPA] and experience in our college's [summer program in xxx/internship program in xxx/Honors College/etc.].
Examples to avoid are: "Hope you are safe or healthy, I want to apply for this position, I'm interested in doing PhD/postdoc in your lab". These are not formal. " Dear Prof. x. OR Dear committee...
A PhD cover letter is an important part of your PhD application. Your cover letter (which may also be referred to as a motivational letter) focuses upon what makes you a great candidate and why you should be invited for interview. This article will cover what a PhD cover letter is, when it would be used and how you can write a notable cover ...
Make your cover letter personal, remarkable (i.e., stands out from other cover letters), specific to you and specific to the position at hand. Be enthusiastic. Be specific. Show that you've put thought into the position and why you are applying. Relate your specific skill sets and previous experience to the programme you are applying for.
Harvard Web Publishing
The steps to writing a PhD application cover letter are as follows: 1. Do your research Before you start writing, make sure you're well-acquainted with all of the relevant information, including the university itself, the project, your potential supervisor, their research and anything else that may be relevant.
" Dr. Menon, I have finished my Master's in civil engineering and am looking for a PhD position in your university." I understand that they're not looking for a position with me, but this shows...
Your PhD supervisor needs to understand that you have the academic qualifications and motivation to take on the toughest challenge in further education. Your academic CV will outline your educational achievements, but it is your PhD cover letter that will show them that you have the personality and drive to succeed.
You need to write down the letter to the PhD supervisor. First, state a clear career goal for your future project, as well as the reasons why you chose this particular PhD program. Mention in detail your previous professional and academic history. Also mention if you are applying for professional scientific research or anything else. FAQ Q.
To write your cover letter, you should limit it to 350-400 words or less. The cover letter's maximum length is 400 words, not the minimum of 200. Choose short and sometimes long sentences for variety. Don't use a font that may cause the reader to squint, such as Arial in size 11 or 12.
Lyon University PhD Student Cover Letter Sample (Full Text Version) Herrera Learner +9999999999. [email protected] Avenue Francis de pressense, Venissieux, France, 99999. Candidacy for PhD position. Dear Concern,