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ResilientDreams

What to say in email to second professor you've contacted at the same school

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Hello!

I recently sent an email to a professor I was interested in working with, and he informed me that he was not taking graduate students this year due to funding distribution, but that I seemed like a promising student. There is a second professor in the department whose work I found interesting, and I was thinking of reaching out to her. How should I word that email? Do I mention at all that I talked to the first professor? They actually both collaborate in the same lab.

Thanks for the input. This site is a lifesaver.

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Faculty know you are reaching out to multiple professors. The applications request that you list all the faculty you are interested in, and the more successful candidates typically have at least 2 that are good research fits. I would just say that you are interested in x field and excited about y project and you already spoke to Professor A. If they regularly collaborate then they are probably friends and talk anyway. It may seem like you're weirdly hiding something if you don't mention reaching out to the other professor. 

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@Hk328

Thanks for the input! So something along the lines of "I spoke to Professor A, but he's not taking grad students this year. I see that you do similar work and it fits in with my interest area" and so on? I just want to be sure to word it so that Professor B doesn't feel offended for being my "second choice". 

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24 minutes ago, ResilientDreams said:

@Hk328

Thanks for the input! So something along the lines of "I spoke to Professor A, but he's not taking grad students this year. I see that you do similar work and it fits in with my interest area" and so on? I just want to be sure to word it so that Professor B doesn't feel offended for being my "second choice". 

I would maybe do something like "I'm very interested in researching X, and I see that you and Professor A are currently working on Project Y, which sounds very intriguing. I'm aware Professor A is not taking a new student next year, but I was hoping to see if you will have funding for your lab. I would love to hear more about E, F, and G projects..."

You really want the main focus of the conversation to be the research topics and ideas, especially because the department website will probably post who is and is not taking a new student next year in about a month of two. 

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1 hour ago, ResilientDreams said:

"I spoke to Professor A, but he's not taking grad students this year. I see that you do similar work and it fits in with my interest area" 

 

53 minutes ago, Hk328 said:

I would maybe do something like "I'm very interested in researching X, and I see that you and Professor A are currently working on Project Y, which sounds very intriguing. I'm aware Professor A is not taking a new student next year, but I was hoping to see if you will have funding for your lab. I would love to hear more about E, F, and G projects..."

I recommend that you reconsider this approach because it can be read as follows.

"Dear Professor B, you're not my first choice to work with, but you're close enough to what I want to do, so tell me more about what else you're working on, and how much money you have for me..."

 

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@Sigaba

I agree, and that's exactly what I want to avoid! I actually really do like Professor B's work. The only reason I contacted Professor A first instead was because I could more directly tie in the research I had done (although I can also relate it well to B's work).

Do you have any suggestions for what I should say instead? Am I in a position where I really shouldn't email B at all?

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On 8/8/2018 at 6:13 AM, ResilientDreams said:

@Sigaba

I agree, and that's exactly what I want to avoid! I actually really do like Professor B's work. The only reason I contacted Professor A first instead was because I could more directly tie in the research I had done (although I can also relate it well to B's work).

Do you have any suggestions for what I should say instead? Am I in a position where I really shouldn't email B at all?

...just don't mention professor A? 

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2 hours ago, ResilientDreams said:

@ExponentialDecay Can I do that? It won't seem like I'm weirdly hiding something like @Hk328 said?

What other professors you asked isn't anybody's business but yours.

But also you're spending way too much time thinking about this. Just send the damn email.

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40 minutes ago, ExponentialDecay said:

What other professors you asked isn't anybody's business but yours.

But also you're spending way too much time thinking about this. Just send the damn email.

Nope, just trying to set myself up for success. :) Also been pretty busy the last couple of days so I'm just now finishing looking through Professor B's work. Thanks for the advice though. 

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