How do you ask a professor to be an email advisor?
Your email should:
- have an informative subject line.
- be concise.
- be formal: Dear Dr. Smith; Sincerely, Your Name.
- not use Mrs. or Ms.
- NOT have slang, abbreviations, or emoticons.
- if applying for an opening: address any qualifications the professor is looking for.
- if asking for a research opportunity:
When should you contact a potential PhD advisor?
Send emails to potential advisors in August – October before applications are due in November – January.
How do you approach a professor for research?
Go to your department’s website and find the page listing all professors (hopefully with links to their websites). Skim each professor’s bio and see if their research areas interest you. For every professor that sounds interesting, read through some of their current papers. Focus on more recent works.
How do I ask my professor to be my PhD supervisor?
Make clear what you are asking. Don’t beat about the bush with “I’m interested in your research” or “I’d like to become involved”. State clearly that you’re interested in doing a PhD, and that you are interested in having them as a supervisor. If you’re not sure that they are the right supervisor, it’s okay to say so.