Fully funded PhD Scholarship positions-Australia National University(ANU)

                                         About the Fully funded PhD Scholarship positions-Australia National University(ANU) A number of PhD scholarships are currently  open at Australia National University  to help attract postgraduate students to the fields of Demography. The scholarship is being offered by  the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences known as the 'ANU Futures of Demography PhD Scholarship'.  The scholarship is open to any eligible applicant to undertake  PhD research degree in Australia. The scholarship will offer  full tuition cover and other financial supports for the duration of study.  The goal of ANU Futures of Demography PhD Scholarship is to support high achieving  PhD students  (both international and local) who are interested in conducting research in demography at the Australian National University. The Funding for the scholarships has been facilitated by the Australian National University Futures Scheme Grant, via the School of Demography, ANU C

How to Successfully Contact a Potential PhD/Master Supervisor

how to contact a potential PhD supervisor

An Ultimate Student Guide to study abroad

Once you have decided to take that big step to go further into the academic world, searching for Higher Degree by Research(HDR) Student Positions (PhD, Masters) around the world, the first thing to do is to identify a Potential Supervisor who is ready to take you in and guide you towards your academic independence. It is necessary to contact prospective supervisors to discuss the suitability of your research interests in relation to theirs. Like i said before ,in almost all Australian Universities(including most other Universities abroad), there is a need to get an approval from a potential supervisor in research degree  programs ready to supervise you before lodging an application for that program. In some universities ,your advisory team could be made up of two to three advisors.

You must keep in mind that, these people are among one of the most busy people you will ever meet. 
Apart from the busy job life itself, they got lots of on-going projects, students under supervision, lectures, markings, seminars and equally receive thousands of emails from students like you around the world asking for studentship position. With this busy schedules, only few emails from students around the world asking for studentship position would get a reply. The rest would end up in the trash box.

So in order to capture their attention and avoid your email being sent into the trash folder, your (first) email must be very  captivating, explicit, rich in content and well planned showing a genuine interest in your academic pursuit and your possessed potentials. With a good planning ahead of time, you will be surprised how much respond you get from these researchers who are interested to work with you. This guide will provide you with all the tips you need to successful captivate the interest of your  potential supervisors. So how to contact  a PhD/master supervisor? In another word, how to email potential PhD/Masters supervisor?

A good approach to email a potential supervisor might be email formatting ie good mail presentation, style and content. Below are two main strategies to consider that we will be looking at:
  • A rich email content And 
  • The content Presentation approach/Structure

Lets now  look broadly into the above two aspects or approaches to successfully email a potential supervisor when asking for a studentship position. We will start first with the strategies on how to construct a rich and captivating email content before looking at the next strategy which is how to present or structure this rich content to be more captivating, a reason for your email to be paid attention for.

A. Rich Email Content Approach

A rich email content is more about the contain of your email, ie quality of your email, the inputs of your email, the captivating subjects such as your academic achievements, skills, experience, knowledge about your research area and relationship with current program you are going in for etc.. These are all essential elements that your email must contain. 
Tips: Things to take note when contacting potential supervisors:

#1 Search for the supervisors

     The very first thing to do is to go through the school database and search for those supervisors that have common research goals with you. Most Universities have databases or portals filled with supervisors portfolio and all the necessary academic details you need to know about them. Make sure to single out all those who match your research interests.
    some lecturers even have their own websites. Go through it and try to understand their research interest.

    #2 Be sure that your research interests are aligned to his (Common Research interests)

      One of the errors must students make is that, they do not care to find out if the supervisors they are contacting have a research area that is aligned to their area of expertise. Most supervisors hesitate to read or even reply back to such emails.

      #3 Have a good background knowledge of your area of interest.

         Having a well equipped knowledge in your area of expertise or interest is the first stricken point to captivate your potential supervisors. This is the area they want to see more as this will enable them to able to judge your already acquired skills and potentials. You must keep in mind that, there are thousands of other students around the world sending emails to him for same position, so ask yourself what makes you special? and try to differentiate yourself from the others.

         #4 Prepare a well planned/very captivating research background of your area of interest

          Before sending your first email, make sure to have planned a brief but explicit
           research proposal about your area of interest. This should explain why u are best suitable for the position you are requesting for. Usually, i recommend students to do like a cover letter, make a good formatted draft in Microsoft word ,well planned and revised. If possible ask for a friend or a lecturer from your current university to cross check. If you have not read this post yet about how to write a captivating research proposal make sure to check it before preparing any research proposal

          contacting potential phd supervisor example email

           B. Content Presentation Approach (how to approach that first Email)

          How to email potential PhD or Masters Supervisor:

          After all the above considerations, you are now good to go. Before you send that first email that will leave an everlasting impression, and winning you the research student position you wish to get, this is what you must take into further consideration :

          Mail content presentation approach (Structure of the email)Make sure to subdivide you mail into three subcategories :

          Introduction, body and conclusion.(Note you do not need to write down these subcategories in your email, it is just a format that you need to demonstrate through paragraphing)

            (1) Introducing yourself :

                 πŸ‘‰ Start with an email etiquette

              Do not make your email look like a spam. That is, an email that you have composed to be sending to randomly all professors around the world seeking for academic study position.
              To avoid this, always start your email with "Dear Professor or DR" and followed by his name and the greetings. Lecturers do not want to read emails showing no dedications and personal efforts.
              Ex. of  a good start should be like :"Good Day Dear Prof "M" etc..,

                  πŸ‘‰ Introduce who you are

              State your current qualifications ,that is:
              •  Degree and the grades,
              • Number of publications,
              • English language scores,
              • Current university and your current location 
              • And briefly highlight the reason for your email :
                For Ex. "I would like to apply for the position of a PhD studentship under your supervision in the University of X . 
                Upon visiting your research website, I found your research interests to be closely related to my own field and thus captured my interests.
                 After carefully investigating your research topics and your publications, I am confident about your professional skills.....,i like this concepts in this your research"... etc..

                You must give him/her an impression that you have seen his works and  publication papers, you know well about him. All this is a proof to show that you know exactly what you are searching for.

                 (2) In the body paragraph :

                          πŸ‘‰ State your main goal

                    That is, expatiate on the reason why you are contacting him and why you are interested in his works. if possible introduce your funding status or how you intend to secure funding.(Australian universities have high competitive scholarships  available for all eligible international students. Once you secure supervision, there is a possibility for an available competitive scholarship).Find out more about scholarships in Australia and tips on how to apply for one from this post How to apply successfully to Australian Scholarships .

                          πŸ‘‰  State your current research and academic background.

                     Demonstrate how your research interests is related to his field of expertise. keep in mind that most supervisors can only easily supervise people in their field of expertise. Let him know about your most recent publications and how that is related to some of the concepts in his own research works.

                         πŸ‘‰ State your most current experience

                    If available, maybe some internships and demonstrate how that has improved  on your professional skills, leadership and how it can impact your working with him.
                    For Ex: 
                    "with previous and ongoing experience, I think that I can be an ideal candidate for the PhD position in your group, and strongly believe that I can make a positive contribution to your lab/your research group" etc...

                    (3) In the conclusion paragraph :

                            πŸ‘‰  Finally, end your email with another sign of good email etiquette
                        For Ex: ...
                        "I would greatly welcome an opportunity to discuss with you regarding my qualification & experience and the position in greater insight. 
                                        Thank you for your consideration, and I am looking forward to seeing your reply please".

                             Kind regards,

                            Yours sincerely future student, 

                            Your name
                          Do not forget to attach :

                         Your resume, CV, Academic transcripts and certificates, an English Language Proficiency Test
                        ( for those who have English as their second Language)
                          With a well planned, explicit email demonstrating genuine interest, knowledge in area of interest, outstanding qualifications, research skills, and good formatting email, there is a high chance that you will receive a response to your request.

                          Are you having problems contacting a potential supervisor in Australia Universities or else where ?Please share your experience with us. This could be in any discipline including music supervisors
                          Good luck with your  search for a studentship position in Australia. Don't forget to leave a like on the page if you find it helpful πŸ˜ƒ

                          how to email potential PhD supervisor

                          Other related links mentioned in this post you should equally check:

                              Please don't hesitate to leave a comment below, tell us about your experience in applying for scholarship abroad, your difficulties and how we can assist you. Please  Subscribe  and follow for future updates and opportunities.
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                              1. Replies
                                1. Thanks.we appreciate you visiting our webpage and glad you find it helpful

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                                1. You are welcome, we are glad you find this helpful!

                              3. Very helpful. That is so thoughtful of you. Thanks a lot

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                              5. i find the article to be clear and direct to point. my problem is a situation where you have less research papers, how do you present them to be captivating to a potential supervisor.

                                1. Hi Raymond. Thanks for the comment. The whole process is still same. Though many publications is an added advantage, having at least one publication especially in a good international Journal is good start. Just make an effort to do a research on the previous works of this supervisor and make a connection in your email. Cheers!

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