Prospective graduate students, wondering why you’re not getting responses after sending emails to professors? Even though funding or full lab might be a reason, but if your email is convincing enough, you should get a response of encouragement/possible collaboration.Perhaps you’re guilty of one of the below points?
N.B: These are personal observations and not a general opinion of Professors.
1. Inappropriate Salutation
It’s easy to identify a spam email targeted at many Professors at a time.
E.g: sending just “Dear Professor” will bring mixed feelings on whether you “Bcc” many profs.
Solution: Writing “Dear Dr or Professor ABC” is better.
2. No obvious research fit
The Prof is working on “Global Health” and you’re interested in “Health Policy” research? The Professor will likely not reply as there’s no fit (unless open for such collaboration if you have your funding).
3. Vague and Verbose statement
“I strongly believe that learning under your supervision will improve my capacity and contribute to the development of my country”- Nobody cares about this (save it for Mastercard, Commonwealth, etc). They just need you to do research- PERIOD.
Read also : Why professors don't reply your emails and proper way to email a professor.
So, can you be specific with your research questions and why it’s important? (even though it might be hypothetical at that point)
4. False claim
E.g: The Professor doesn’t even have a research website or no longer working in that line and you claimed to have read their webpage (How?).- It shows you’re just sending the same email you’ve been sending to others.
5. Inappropriate references. Truly read their paper(s), find a gap, and build on that. Better not to refer to it at all than quoting them wrongly. “I don’t know is better than false information”- No one knows it all. 8/n
6. No skills
Fine, you’ve written a concise email about how you make a good fit but nothing on your skills or what you bring to the lab- You can use python, R, STATA, Earth engine, MATLAB, etc? Write it here.
Read also : General Tips for Writing Email to any professor.
Updated on 4:06-am May 31, 2023