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chem.bug

Email to prospective advisor: should I send the SOP as an attachment?

4 posts in this topic

Hey guys, a professor i am interested with in working has mentioned on his web-page to include a CV and brief statement of interest?

What does the brief statement include? is mentioning my research interest in the email body enough or it requires a separate file with part of my SOP or the whole thing?

Much appreciated, thanks! 

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Definitely attach your CV/resume to the email as requested, but I would stick with just explaining your research interests initially. Be specific but not super long-winded, and politely ask if your research is something that the professor would be interested in, or if she/he is focusing on anything similar at the moment. The strategy I took was to briefly share my background experience and list ~3 major research questions I was considering.

I did this in emails for two professors for one of the programs I was ultimately accepted to. After a few initial emails, both offered to edit my SOP, which I sent along to them later. One also offered to Skype with me to discuss my interests, which also ended up being very helpful. They may or may not offer to help edit your SOP--I think it depends on the program and the admission process at that particular school. I contacted individuals at other schools who simply expressed interest in my work but did not offer guidance beyond that.

Anyway, just start by expressing interest and passing along your CV, and see where it goes from there. Good luck!

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If you have a short, 1-page SOP then my thought would be to send that if it's really well written. If you have a long SOP that discusses a wider variety of things (like many SOPs do) then distill it and send only the parts directly related to your research background and interests, and only the parts specific to this professor of course.

Although one can only guess what another person means, when they say "brief", I would think that they don't want an entire essay, but they want more than just saying "I am interested in X, Y and Z". I would aim for 2-3 paragraphs, maybe something like 10-12 sentences total.

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Thank you guys! It was helpful to get a second thought on that :)

How about if the professor asks to forward a letter of interest? is that like an academic version of a job cover letter?

I am new to all this and being an international student, I sometimes find it difficult to understand what they need exactly..

Much thanks!!

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