9 Mistakes to Avoid When Emailing a Professor for Scholarship

There are hundreds of email samples available on the internet to contact professors but most of them are bogus. That’s alarming and it can ruin the dreams of many students. In this article, we have evaluated an email sample available on a scholarship website. It is full of the mistakes as demonstrated in the following paragraphs.

1. Missing a formal salutation

Greeting sir? That’s not a right way to address your potential supervisor. It demonstrates disrespect for professors to receive an email without proper courtesy. They have worked hard to be at a position of professor that’s why always use salutation and name with a title such as Dear Dr._____ or Dear Prof._____.


2. Personal pronoun mistakes

The personal pronoun ‘I’ is always written with a capital letter in standard English. How can someone write ‘i’ in a formal email? Never write ‘i’ in a formal email, it indicates that you don’t have sufficient English language skills. Professors are looking for candidates that have good command in English for understanding literature and writing the research papers.


3. Requesting in first sentence

Avoid asking a professor for supervision in the first sentence without proper introduction and demonstrating that you are a well-qualified and suitable person for professor’s lab. First of all, you have to emphasize your skills and expertise that the professor is looking for. After that, you can request for supervision.


4. Unclear research interests

The word ‘field’ is a wide area of research and branch of study. You have to select the specific keywords here. At a time, professors are working on many different topics. You have to mention a few research interests which are relevant to your expertise and professor’s research area.


5. Complete name of research group

Always write full name of the research group. It will show that you are not sending the same email to multiple professors.


6. Specify university name

Never forget to write the full name of the university and avoid using abbreviations. If you don’t specify university name, it means that you are sending similar emails to professors of other universities as well. Professors have a lot of experience and they can easily understand either this email is specially written for him/her or it’s a generic email. They only respond to the emails which shows that the applicant is motivated and his/her email isn’t generic.


7. Mistakes in mentioning work experience

I have worked in two top Oil Refineries. Firstly, how the professor will know that the refineries were the top ones? Always write the complete name of your workplace. Another mistake is, I had a wonderful industrial experience. Where it is mentioned in an email that the applicant has learned anything from his/her jobs?

You should relate your skill set and work experience with the current projects and research area of professor.


8. Don’t sound desperate

Don’t write the word ‘soon’ in the first email. This shows that the candidate is desperate that’s why professor even doesn’t bother to reply.


9. Avoid being annoying

It again shows that the applicant is impatient and will make your email annoying. Once, you introduced yourself properly. Next, you have to highlight your potential and relate it professor’s ongoing research projects. In the end, you can politely request for supervision but don’t sound like you are begging.

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Be careful when sending an email to a professor for MS and Ph.D. funding. Your email will be your first impression that’s why to keep it as good as you can. We have published articles ‘How to Email a Professor for Ph.D. and MS Scholarships’ and ‘Are You Going to Email a Professor for Scholarship? Read These 10 Points’, these articles cover each and every single detail about emailing a professor. 

You can ask any specific question to our team in comments below. Thanks for reading this article and share it with your friends so they can prevent these common mistakes.