Email is one of the most common modes of communication used for academic purposes. When applying for scholarships or graduate programs, it is important to know how to effectively email a professor to express your interest and make a good impression. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to write an email to a professor for MS, PhD, or Postdoctoral scholarships.
- Start with a proper salutation
Your email should begin with a proper salutation such as “Dear Prof.[Last Name].” This shows that you have taken the time to research the professor’s name and also show respect for their position.
- Introduce yourself
In the first paragraph of your email, introduce yourself briefly. Mention your name, your current academic status, and the program or scholarship you are interested in. Be concise and to the point. This will help the professor understand the purpose of your email.
- Explain why you are interested in their research
In the next paragraph, explain why you are interested in the professor’s research. Be specific about the projects or research papers that caught your attention. This will demonstrate that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in their work.
- Provide your academic background
In the following paragraph, provide a brief overview of your academic background. Mention your undergraduate degree, any relevant coursework, and any research experience you have. This will help the professor assess your suitability for the program or scholarship.
- Request a meeting
In the last paragraph, request an online meeting with the professor to discuss your interest in the program or scholarship. Be specific about the time and date you are available, and provide your contact information. You may also attach your CV or resume to the email for the professor’s reference.
- Proofread and revise
Before sending the email, proofread and revise it to ensure that it is free of errors and reads well. Use a professional tone and avoid using informal language or abbreviations. Your email should be clear, concise, and polite.
- Follow up
If you do not receive a response within a few days, you may follow up with a polite email. In the follow-up email, restate your interest in the program or scholarship and request a meeting. Be patient and do not send multiple follow-up emails.
Below, we offer three email samples
- Bad email sample:
Subject: Can you tell me about your program?
I am interested in your program and would like to learn more about it. Can you please tell me more about the requirements and application process?
Thank you for your time.
Comment: This email is too generic and does not show any effort or research. It lacks specific details and does not provide any context or background information. It is unlikely to receive a positive response.
- Good email sample:
Subject: Research interests and potential fit for your program
Dear Professor Smith,
My name is Jane Doe, and I am writing to express my interest in your PhD program in Genetics at XYZ University. I came across your research on CRISPR-Cas9 and gene editing, which aligns well with my research interests in the field of gene therapy.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from ABC University with a GPA of 3.9. During my undergraduate studies, I completed several research projects and published a paper on the genetic basis of cancer development. I am confident that my academic background and research experience make me a strong candidate for your program.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your research and how it aligns with my research interests. Please let me know if you are available to meet on Monday or Wednesday next week.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely, Jane Doe
Comment: This email is well-crafted and shows the applicant’s knowledge of the professor’s research. It provides specific details about the applicant’s academic background and research experience, which will probably make a positive impression on the professor. The email also ends with a polite request for a meeting, making it more likely that the professor will respond.
- Outstanding email sample:
Subject: Your research on gene editing and its implications for personalized medicine
Dear Professor Johnson,
I am a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Molecular Biology and a focus on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system. I have been following your research on the subject for some time and I am excited about the potential implications for personalized medicine.
I am interested in applying to the PhD program in Genetics at the University of Chicago, and I believe that your research aligns with my interests and experience. Specifically, I am interested in studying the ethical considerations surrounding gene editing and its impact on genetic counseling.
In addition to my academic qualifications, I have been actively involved in community outreach programs, where I have been able to apply my knowledge of genetics to help underserved populations. I am also proficient in several programming languages and have experience with bioinformatics tools.
I would be honored to discuss my background and research interests further with you. I understand that your time is valuable, and I am willing to accommodate your schedule to set up a meeting. Please let me know if there is a time that works for you.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Sincerely, Alexandra Smith
Comment: This email is outstanding because it goes beyond the basics and shows a deep understanding of the professor’s research interests. It also highlights the applicant’s unique qualifications and experience, which makes them stand out from other candidates. The email is well-written, polite, and concise, making it easy for the professor to read and respond. It is highly likely that this email will receive a positive response.
In conclusion, writing an email to a professor for an MS, PhD, or Postdoctoral scholarship requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can increase your chances of making a good impression and getting a positive response from the professor. Remember to be polite, professional, and concise in your email, and follow up if necessary.
We have published several articles and guidelines which discuss how to write email to professor for master and PhD scholarships, supervision and admissions.
- How to Email a Professor for Ph.D. and MS Scholarships
- How to Email a Professor for Master or PhD Positions: Sample Emails
- The right way to email a professor for PhD scholarship
- Are You Going to Email a Professor for Scholarship? Read These 10 Points
These articles cover each and every single detail when it comes to emailing a professor.
If you have some questions, please feel free to ask in comments below. Thanks for reading this article and share it with your friends so they can prevent these common mistakes.