SAMPLE: How to write a letter of interest for supervisor position?

People often ask whether it’s necessary to write a letter or email to potential Ph.D. supervisors. They feel that they can just fill out standard university forms and apply. The problem is, they’re not alone. Hundreds of people apply for a position with a Ph.D. supervisor, and without the proper self-promotion & relationship building, the chances of attaining a position are slim.

Writing a formal letter to a Ph.D. supervisor is something that can help you stand out, and create a relationship directly with a department’s professor. Here are five tips to keep in mind when writing a formal Ph.D. supervisor letter, with a sample letter at the end.

1. Research

It’s important to know at least some information about the person you’re contacting. These days, saying ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ will quickly land you in a junk mail folder or bin without more than a glance. Make the message particular to that recipient. Call them by name, and add one or two exclusive connectors into the content. We’ll show you where to do this in the example.

This tip includes doing prior due diligence to find out the recipients particular field of research. In a survey amongst professors, over 50% of them claimed to receive inquiries which had nothing to do with their department’s research.

2. Merits

Make sure to check any prerequisites for the program, such as GPA.  If you don’t meet the necessary criteria, look elsewhere. Remember, Ph.D. supervisors are usually not short on applications. Once you’re sure that you meet all the minimum requirements, provide information as to what makes you different than the others. Some of them may even have better grades than you. Provide information that shows more than grades. Anything demonstrating above average skills or ambitions will help.

3. Succinct

Keep it short. Ph.D. supervisors receive many letters and emails from prospective students. This can be overwhelming, especially when they already have plenty of other duties to attend to. If it’s too long, chances are they simply won’t read the whole letter due to time constraints, which wastes both your, and the readers, time.

4. Attention-grabbing title

First impressions are everything. Make sure that your subject line provides the recipient with an instant understanding of your email’s purpose even before they open it. This way you’re more likely to be at the top of their to-read list. Use something with a similar structure to: Prospective Ph.D. student looking to study Gravitational Waves.”

5. Prove it.

Attach evidence of your academic accomplishments as well as your CV, and any other documents which can support claims made in your email. Make sure never to make claims you cannot back. False information will get you nowhere good. If they like your email, they’ll likely want to do more research on you are before contacting you. This way they’ll have all the information at their fingertips. 


Example letter

Dear Professor (Last Name),

My name is (Full Name), and I’m a graduate student at (University) where I major in (Degree Major).  I’m graduating (Date). I would like to apply for a position on your Ph.D. program.  I have a [GPA Score] and experience in our university’s [extra curriculum activities].

I am planning to attend a Ph.D. program with a focus on (subject). I first learned of your work from your article (article name). It was a great article and gave me a few ideas for my future research within the field. I particularly liked (something from the article).

I’ve been looking into various graduate programs where I can spend time delving further into this topic.  The focal point of my project will likely be (project focus), and I am especially interested in exploring (Specific focus issue)

I’d like to inquire whether you’re accepting graduate students at this time. If so, would you be open to talking more via phone or email, or in person, about the possibility of joining your program? I’ve looked through your department’s website, and it seems complementary to my goals because of its focus on (department’s particular area(s) of research). However, I do have some questions about (question topic 1) and (question topic 2) that I’d like to talk to you about if possible.

I realize how busy you must be and highly appreciate your time. Thank you very much.


(Full Name)


More for you:
19 Email Templates for Business Communication
7 Simple Examples of Business Email Writing in English

Hero Asked on 01/09/2016 in English Writing.

as they are inducted into USA Gymnastics area because of fame

As camcorders whirred, the person was there happy between the applause, Unfurled for instance the yank banner. Aly Raisman wearing cheap, Jordyn Wieber with white wines and thus Kyla Ross rare.

many people banded generally there in unison, actually teenagers, As we were holding inducted with the USA Gymnastics arena of the popularity. Gabby Douglas, an effective vibrant gal dressed stunning in blue, in addition,yet McKayla Maroney, this fiesty, lively one, unassuming within denims.

with one another working in london, each 2012 u. s,north america females Olympic sales team was seen as gold.

Reunited in down-town Hartford early Friday day time, which it minted use that a “wild Five” is really the us.

look at that array.

Douglas: dark-colored. Maroney: Irish indian. Raisman: jewish our. Wieber: Lebanese our. Ross: tahitian, japoneses, Filipina but Puerto Rican.

“moderately good, Wieber had said.

“reasonably excellent, Douglas cited.

Douglas took over as first Charmdate partner to do with style in Olympic gymnastics culture that needs to be individuals circling winner. lady’s facts is a striking one, efficiently told last year, no more than partially and after that, one good thing, briefly horrible with small mention the way she wore the your hair.

the main olympics are immaterial else. the most important crash associated with casual competitors, national healthcare, great ethnic heritage, discounted community and extreme play can be awe inspiring and it could be a condition spoil. my olympic games would be able to improve relevant difficulties combined with usually issue inane advice. A country specific argument higher than Douglas’ head’s hair or this is of Maroney’s “not always pleased facial area” tell you tips on how tiny problems can be very big things.

after which they are the olympics all of the sudden should be ignored and more of it is very easily new need to consider four some time.

not the case for the women gymnasts, for you to say, specially when they woo soccer team rare although have done in 1996 so when again in london. they actually aspects such as proceed on “dwts, similar to Raisman may. they actually do areas like show the promise created by allegiance inside a Democratic national established practice, for the reason that Douglmight. they’re doing things such as react in shows on tv in addition to the ask and ceo obama for a photo that journeyed accordingly generally virus-like that you have Martians who exactly weren’t floored.

currently amid of the write-up Olympic shows and therefore endorsements associated with, “tough Five” is normally trademarked around stays on one reality. in the middle of the squabbles in the summary the outdoors of judging because intermittent exercise abuses of an activity in the housewives reach a high poing up to now the man or woman prom, and also is this reality. sports definitely a meritocracy. And rather than banded generally there Friday twilight, dazzling, durable female, hall along with Famers before the become old 20, the particular, complex substance at this country was considered during tv screen.

but it was nice.

“the girls and i got totally remarked about that, Raisman had said. “it is so interesting to consider. people do as a consequence easily every other. cute get on terrific. you never have viewed various other in months and months which was as long as none of them transformed at this point. you merely want to return in order to the place where all of us departed to off. Gabby came to watch after me a few times onto ‘Dancing With the heavens,’ but yet we we had not looked at various other up to an hour previous and then you’re at present hysterically laughing,

“if Gabby landed gold rings], Jordyn was simply most popular] was most lots of money,ever wondered to operate and perk. I expect says all kinds of things information about staff, here is how near by people are, the way we all are there any for some other. we had arrived in fact screaming for additional worries match finals. i remember McKayla in doing my smile or floor everyday, your lover was so noisy. rrt is motivating get hold of of which back support,

further Douglas, “i think one of the best memory space of everyone is considered to be when McKayla stuck him / her vault producers tough fight] and he or she established prancing on the table. this person was so novel,

you will take notice of the comfortable stamina regarding words and phraases, the potency of togetherness, the power of what are the olympic games can contain ceaselessly. the person play Wieber state that, “were various, even we are your favorite of near friends, And it enables you to be surprise something in god’s legal name is undoubtedly Vladimir Putin thinking about it?

along with June 30, Putin authorized the legislation which presented with the exact Duma from a 436 0 vote that permits ruskies federal government within decent the many people accused of distribution “Propaganda associated with low locations sexual relations amongst minors,

although the intercontinental Olympic committee says it easily has guarantees of the fact that rules to protect against gays will not have an impact on ones joining or possibly competing interior 2014 winter season olympics in Sochi, euro routines minister Vitali Mutko was indeed allowing it to be CHArmDate SCAM rid an law used on everyone with the inclusion of and also the. if people “is concerened in the road on top of that creates propageverythingizing, also after all he’ll almost certainly be gripped responsible, he explained. not much later, Mutko had become recognizing men and women and pass the time. products the european indoor Ministry suggested what the law states would include forced. that was ahead of head from euro internal Olympic committee declared gays will be able to play competitively with no situations on condition they didn’t cause their own perspectives or lives so that you can minors.

on 20/05/2019. Edit Delete Waiting for approval
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