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How to Contact Professors for Ph.D. and MSc Supervision via Email

How to Contact Professors for Ph.D. and MSc Supervision via Email

When it comes to asking a professor for scholarships, financing, or research supervision, email is crucial. The content of your email will be the first impression you provide to the professor, describing you as a serious and well-qualified applicant. So, what is the ideal method to send an email that will boost your chances of being chosen for a certain position in a professor’s lab or research group? Here are some rules for email format and content.

Your email should demonstrate that you are competent and suitable for the available post in a professor’s lab. It should be brief, straightforward, and concise, without repeating the entire contents of your CV. Make a good first impression by researching the professor’s research projects and highlighting them in your communication. Remember to use proper grammar and punctuation throughout your email. A sample email template for contacting the professor can be included after this article.

The procedure is as follows:

Subject line

Normally, academics are preoccupied with research and student supervision. They have the option to disregard your email. To avoid this issue, always include a strong, appealing, and information-rich subject line in your email. Even before opening your email, the professor will be able to estimate its contents based on the subject line. I usually recommend that you utilize a clear and catchy subject line. “Request for research supervision Fall 2020,” “Request for Ph.D. supervision,” “Request for MS supervision,” or “Prospective Ph.D. Student,” for example.

Formal Starting

Dear Dr., Dear Prof., your email should be formal and begin with Dear Dr., Dear Prof. Always use formal pleasantries and avoid titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.__.

First Paragraph

The first paragraph should be a brief introduction to your name and where you are from. It should also include a brief description of your qualifications and experience that the professor is seeking in the open post. You can state that I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your lab projects and research in the area of (insert professor’s area of research in which you are interested) as well as possible MS/Ph.D. opportunities in your lab or research group. Avoid using any abbreviations or slang phrases.

Second Paragraph

You can discuss your past research, employment experience, or other abilities that are relevant to the professor’s study area in the second paragraph. After visiting the lab’s official website, you may learn about the professor’s current and former research initiatives. When writing about your previous work experiences and research initiatives, avoid using jargon. You must mention your skills and accomplishments in an easy-to-understand format that will help you stand out from the competitors.

Third Paragraph

The third and last section is the concluding paragraph. Here you need to state your motivation and interests in the professor’s lab or research group. You can mention the specific research areas of professors which fascinated your interests to apply in this lab. Then, you can particularly show your interest in a specific domain. End this paragraph with a polite request to consider you for the open option. For instance, “If possible, I would love to start working on (project name) in your lab beginning this summer.”

End email with a formal acknowledgment

You can specify that your CV is attached to your email at the end. i.e. If you require any extra information that I have not given, I will gladly offer it to you.

I eagerly await your response!
Your name is
Here is an example of an email to a professor seeking a Masters’s supervision.

Example email to a professor

Subject: Request for Research and Master’s Degree Supervision

Dear Professor__,

My name is (write your name) and I graduated with (your degree title) from (your university name, don’t just use an acronym) with (your CGPA/total CGPA, don’t mention CGPA if it’s low). You have the option of writing about your major accomplishments, such as Gold Medal and Dean certificates, if you have any.

During my undergraduate/studies, Master’s I worked on several projects to actualize and execute theoretical knowledge of (write your expertise, for example, signal processing, automation, and smart systems) into real work.

You can also tie your prior and current professional experience, internships, online courses, and projects to the professor’s area of interest in this paragraph. If you have any research publication then you can mention in this paragraph.

I went to the website of (insert professor Lab or Research Group name, for example, Networking lab) and saw that you have research interests in (write research area of professor e.g. 5G, Internet of Things and automation). I am very eager to conduct research and obtain my MS under your guidance.

I have attached my CV to this email and hope to hear from you soon.

I’ll be grateful for your response.

Thank you very much,

Your Name

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