Couple of students have sent us an email requesting for a format on how to send first email to professors asking for assistantship. Before I write the template I would like to give you some basic tips which is absolutely important.Your email will not receive attention if you don’t follow this tips.
Basic rules to follow when writing an email to Professors
Whether this is your 1st email or you are sending a follow up as part of previous email follow this rules.
- Have a catchy subject line including Professors area of research interest (see below)
- Proper punctuations, capitalization.
- Emails should be short and simple. Should be around 4 to 5 lines or less.
- Email should be sent only during weekdays. Professors don’t usually respond if you send on weekends.
- Do NOT attach Resume or your research paper, etc( in first email)
- Read Research papers published by the professor before emailing and include a line that matches with your experience.
- Use right technical words related to their research
- Refer to professor as “Dr. LAST NAME ”.
- Highlight the key research area in bold or underline.
- Do NOT ask directly if you will get funding in first email.
- Check your grammar or spelling mistakes before click send button.
Example email to Professor:
Imagine you are emailing Physics professor about research opportunities.
Subject: Prospective Student Fall 2011 – Pulsed, low-temperature supersonically cooled OH molecules – Info needed
I am applying to North Carolina State University for Fall 2011 for MS in Physics. I have read few of your research publications on Pulsed, low-temperature supersonically cooled OH molecules. I have worked on similar research project in my undergraduate involving OH molecules at hyper state and below sub degree level. I am interested in your research area and would like to know about research opportunities to work with you.
Looking forward for your reply,
After you finished writing your e-mail stop and think. Will the professor have time to read? Did I write a short email or is it too long. If you think it’s too long the chances are the professor will also think the same thing. If the size of the email is jus right enough will it catch the attention of the professor. What are my chances of receiving a positive reply? If you have an answer to these questions and if your conscience is confident enough then you have written a good email.
Another thing I would like to mention is use some strong technical content from professor’s research field. Not too long. Jus a line as per above email. The email should stir professor’s mind asking you to explain what you have done in OH molecules at hyper state and below sub degree level. So keep the email simple.
Do you have any other formats that worked for you? Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to post it in our blog.