Networking Email tips for PhD aspirants
Updated on Nov 19, 2016 - 3:49 p.m. IST by Shivani Bhatt
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Networking Email tips for PhD aspirants — Before applying for a PhD programme, applicants need to ensure whether the position they are interested in is available or not. Though a good GRE score is a prime requisite for PhD programme, university rules usually warrant that each professor may only take a particular number of PhD students under them. Networking mail also helps to know if the concerned professor has the vacancy and funding for an extra student. Students opting for PhD also need to network with the concerned professor to know if their fields of interest match. Like every other professional, academicians check their emails very frequently and respond to the networking emails often. Here, we explain Networking Email tips for PhD aspirants.

Five steps to networking email for PhD Aspirants:


Step 1. Networking Email -Research


An aimless mail is treated like a spam by everyone. This holds true for an academician as well. Research your intentions well before you start writing networking email for PhD. Know exactly about the field you want to do your PhD in. Before you send an email to any faculty or professor, research their background, their fields of interest, publications, no of present students etc. Send an email only if your research interests match. PhD is specialisation and therefore an aimless mail will not be fruitful. Find out if your interests are very specific to the professor's field as professors rarely like to digress from their core field of study.

Go through the profile of the academicians on academic social media like Google Scholar, Researchgate and to learn more about their research interests.


Step 2. Networking Email - Introduce


Networking Email tips for PhD aspirants aim to introduce the student with the professor. Networking emails create a link between would be student and professor; therefore make the mails as concise and personal as professionally possible. Aimless mails which begin with “To whom so ever it may concern” actually concerns no one and therefore goes unanswered. Introduce yourself with a brief on your academic background. Mention the current research you have carried out and publications, if any. Mention all the methods, packages and courses specific to your study area that you have used in your research and have learned in your previous course.


Do not send generic mails on mail addresses like Take time to find out the name and email address of the professor you are trying to network with. You will find the emails addresses and their areas of interest at the department website.


The networking email for PhD should also have a descriptive subject line. Never send an email with no subject line to professionals; they usually have their mail clients configured to send mails without any subject line to spam.

Also, avoid having ‘Hi’ as the subject line.


Check here to know how to write your Statement of Purpose


Step 3. Networking Email -Connect


Create a connection with the professor first. The initial research will be helpful in creating a connection.  Before you claim to have read any of the works of the professor, please do so. Mention honestly the things you have read and the things that have impressed you.


Mention the highlights of what you have learned and worked on. Avoid insignificant achievements. Rather elaborate on the most significant achievement which is also the interest of the professor. Mention the projects and internships done and in brief mention the result of the study Also, outline your research plans for PhD in your networking email.


If you are a PhD aspirant, create your detailed profile on websites Research Gate, Google Scholar, or Academia and provide a link to your profile in the mail.


Step 4. Networking Email - Request


Finally, request the teacher to give you some time to discuss your plans. Do not be vague about the time. This should be a call to action statement.


Step 5. Networking Email - Followup


Follow up your mail a week later if you have not received an answer to your networking mail. Academicians are usually prompt to reply to networking emails if it suits their requirements.


Besides, GRE scores IELTS and TOEFL, some universities also allow applicants to enroll for PhD after Bachelor’s degree

Sample Networking Email: Bad example


To whom so ever it may concern


Dear Sir,

I would like to join your Department as PhD student in your Department. Please accept me.

Yours sincerely,



Sample Networking Email: Good example


Subject: PhD Aspirant Referred by Dr. Jane Smith


Dear Prof Doe,

Dr Jane Smith, Assistant Professor, University Name, has asked me to speak to you regarding a possibility of doing my PhD under your guidance. Your papers and publications on gender studies have inspired me to continue my studies in this field.


I have graduated with honors in Masters in Sociology from University Name.  My research project during Masters Programme is 'Learned helplessness and achievement in males and females'. For this project, I studied a sample of 50 boys and girls from a primarily middle class neighbourhood of Delhi. I evaluated the subjects on NEO-Five Factor Inventory (FFI) before the actual experiment. I evaluated picture-rating and anagram-solving performances of the subject group to differentiate the cognitive and emotional deficits of Learned Helplessness. I found no marked gender differences in learned helplessness in the area studied.


I intend to do an extensive comparative study on learning helplessness among middle class neighbourhood in a developing and an underdeveloped country.


I understand that you have a very tight schedule and would appreciate any time you can give me to discuss my interests and suggest if you have a position available with you. I will be travelling to New York on 15th of this month and would be there till the end of the month. Any day within this period would be a good time to meet with if you have time.


Hoping to hear from you soon.



Research Gate Profile

Google Scholar Profile Profile

Also read:

How to apply for PhD in UK?

Tips to write a good reference letter

WHAT to highlight in a resume?

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