Financial Planning and Analysis

Guidelines On Sending Emails To A Prospective Supervisor 

09-03-2020 01:12 AM

If you are considering running a Ph.D., you may want to contact your potential supervisor via email. Sending an email to your intended supervisor would give you an edge over other students and do well. You would get the opportunity to better understand your project and get ideas on how to work on it. How do you email a supervisor? Let us first know who a supervisor is.

Who Is A Ph.D. Supervisor?

A Ph.D. supervisor could be a doctorate holder or a professor in a faculty whose duty is to guide you in choosing suitable courses for your program. A Ph.D. supervisor also enlightens you on preparing your thesis/dissertation, offering assistance all the way. The need for a Ph.D. supervisor cannot be overemphasized, so you have to email a supervisor for better results.

The Best Way To Email A Supervisor

Always bear in mind that supervisors are very busy people. You should be ready to wait a long while before you receive a reply to your emails. It would help if you were also persistent in sending mail so that the supervisor can make time for you. The quality of your mail can give you an edge, that is why you should follow the guidelines below on how to email a supervisor.

#1. Conduct researches

Before you email a potential supervisor, you must carry out background research on the supervisor. Through the research, you would know the supervisor's specific field and see if he/she will be relevant to your course of study. Through this research, you would see the supervisor's email address and send your information.
#2. Make your ''subject'' precise

Ensure you use a subject that captures your motive and plans. Most supervisors may not have the time to go through overly long subjects. Make sure you go straight to the point and include your reference number.

#3. Use the appropriate address

In writing an email to your supervisor, you should start with ''Dear'' followed by the supervisor's academic title and name. An example is ''Dear Professor John''. Any supervisor you send an email to, without a proper title, may feel offended, possibly causing the rejection of your mail.

#4. Formally introduce yourself and state your motives

After you address the supervisor, the next thing would be to introduce yourself by stating your name, academic portfolio, and years of experience. It would be best if you also said your interest in studying for a doctorate, funding plans, and the reason for choosing that particular supervisor. Remember to be brief.

#5. Summary

Summarize your mail by showing enthusiasm and anticipation towards the program. Also, state that you're looking forward to a physical discussion with the supervisor. Appreciate them by saying ''kind regards'', then include your full names.


You can attach your CV to your mail so that your supervisor would be familiar with your portfolio. Remember to exercise patience if you don't get feedback immediately.

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