Faculty scoop: How should prospects approach a potential supervisor?

We’ve reached out to faculty members across disciplines and asked them how prospective students can best approach them as a potential supervisor. Not all programs require contact to supervisors prior to applying, so check each program website for details.

Here’s what they had to say: 

“Be specific. Send a specific email that makes it clear you know the area of research of the potential supervisor and that it aligns with your interests.”

– Professor in Medicine

“Applicants should understand the prospective supervisor’s research, read their papers, and they should clearly express interests in some areas of that research when contacting them via email.”

– Professor in Computer Science

“Find one or two [potential supervisors] whose interests include your own. Read about them on the department website. Read their publications. And then initiate contact by email. State your own interests and inquire if they are taking on new graduate students.”

– Professor in Anthropology

“If a student is interested in a particular topic and/or the research of a particular faculty member, then that shows they’ve put some thought into their application. Inquiries are welcome as long as they have done their homework.”

– Professor in Linguistics