How to Email a Potential Supervisor

chidinmaokoli 2 Min Read

Do you want to contact a potential supervisor for your Masters or PhD but do not know how to go about it? Your first email to a potential supervisor should be concise, well-structured, and targeted. These three tips below will increase your chances of getting a response:

  1. The subject of your email should be clear and specific. Examples:

“Inquiry from prospective graduate student”
“Spring 2020: Expression of Interest to work in your lab”
“Request for MS Supervision Fall 2020”

2. Use of proper title in the opening greeting. Examples:

“Dear Prof. X”
“Dear Dr. X”
This is important because some professors get slightly offended if you do not properly address them.

3. Body of the email:

Introduce yourself using a short statement about your academic and research background. State the purpose of your email, you can also ask them if they are taking students (that’s if you’re not sure). Succinctly talk about their research (you must have read their articles prior to sending this email) and why you are interested in working with them. Include more details about your relevant skills, research experience, additional knowledge in their field and achievements. The secret is to build connection and show you are a perfect fit.

You can end the email with Sincerely or Regards, followed by your full name. Also attach your CV.
Important tip: Send a gentle follow-up email if you don’t get a response after a week.

I hope this helps, see you in my next post.


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