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Inf_emgPH

I am a newbie. Please help me with a query.

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Hello everyone,

I am planing to apply for Phd in Epidemiology and I am struggling with the best way to go about contacting the PIs. I have seen suggestions that apart from mentioning that one is interested and passionate about PIs work they should ideally ask 1/2 specific thing about the work of the PIs or try some little project based on the PI 's work.

I have read about 11 recent papers from 2 PIs and for some reason I can not come up with any questions (either I am too dumb or I grasp the paper quite well. IDK). Also, I can not think of a project based on their work either. I have done my tertiary education from US (English is my 2nd language) and I have been out of the school for 5+ years. My couple month old GRE also stinks (VR/Quant both 148 and Writing 4.5). I am not gunning for ivy or top 20-30 schools if that matters.

I am really interested in infectious disease epi and ph emergency management. I am certified in infectious disease and have work experience in both infectious disease  and emergency management post mph.

So, now coming to my main question, Can I just contact the PIs mentioning that I have read their recent papers on ______ topics and really interested on their work and let my work experience and certification speak for my passion (also 1 of my reference letter strongly speaks about my interest in infectious disease). Do you guys have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance. 

Edited by Inf_emgPH
Some edits

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On 6/4/2019 at 11:35 AM, Inf_emgPH said:

Hello everyone,

I am planing to apply for Phd in Epidemiology and I am struggling with the best way to go about contacting the PIs. I have seen suggestions that apart from mentioning that one is interested and passionate about PIs work they should ideally ask 1/2 specific thing about the work of the PIs or try some little project based on the PI 's work.

I have read about 11 recent papers from 2 PIs and for some reason I can not come up with any questions (either I am too dumb or I grasp the paper quite well. IDK). Also, I can not think of a project based on their work either. I have done my tertiary education from US (English is my 2nd language) and I have been out of the school for 5+ years. My couple month old GRE also stinks (VR/Quant both 148 and Writing 4.5). I am not gunning for ivy or top 20-30 schools if that matters.

I am really interested in infectious disease epi and ph emergency management. I am certified in infectious disease and have work experience in both infectious disease  and emergency management post mph.

So, now coming to my main question, Can I just contact the PIs mentioning that I have read their recent papers on ______ topics and really interested on their work and let my work experience and certification speak for my passion (also 1 of my reference letter strongly speaks about my interest in infectious disease). Do you guys have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance. 

Opinion from a recently accepted PHD  candidate with full tuition waiver- 

GRE-302 four years old score

MPH in united states with couple research publications and GRA work experience

First, come to the grounds in terms of your research interests. What topics interests you? Then filter the PIs accordingly. Develop your resume according to your interests i.e what research work related to your research area of interest have you performed or maybe work experience of any sort relevant to your research area of interest. All that a PI cares is are your interests corresponding to thier research interest? if not they would straight off say NO and reffer you to relevant department. PHD is all about research area of interest. PIS dont want to work with candidates in thier lab with completely different set of mind (research topic). Moreover you need not be sounding competitive as every lab has team work, so in your interview PI would specifically see in person or video calling if you are a perfect fit since you will be collegaues for atleast 5 next years.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for taking your time to answer my query. I am passionate about infectious disease epi and ph emergency management. I am aware of the all of the vital info you provided. I do have work experience in infectious disease epi as well as a certification. 

My question was about how should I approach the PI whose works matches with my interest, once I have tailored my resume and planning on applying to a program? There are at most 2-3 PI that work on infectious disease epi at the schools I have narrowed down. So, I was thinking about the best way to contact them to find out if they are taking on new students (hence my original question). I am trying to avoid wasting my application $$ by just applying to those programs not knowing whether or not PI at those entities are taking new students. Thanks.

 

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On 6/15/2019 at 11:38 PM, Inf_emgPH said:

Thanks for taking your time to answer my query. I am passionate about infectious disease epi and ph emergency management. I am aware of the all of the vital info you provided. I do have work experience in infectious disease epi as well as a certification. 

My question was about how should I approach the PI whose works matches with my interest, once I have tailored my resume and planning on applying to a program? There are at most 2-3 PI that work on infectious disease epi at the schools I have narrowed down. So, I was thinking about the best way to contact them to find out if they are taking on new students (hence my original question). I am trying to avoid wasting my application $$ by just applying to those programs not knowing whether or not PI at those entities are taking new students. Thanks.

 

My bad. Alright! so I never approached a PI because that would have narrowed down my chances of getting selected. But the school I applied had almost all PIs with a similar area of interest. 

My piece of advice from masters GRA position- Try to contact the PI via email and write an impactful subject line (in order to avoid getting your mail in spam folders). Research about their lab and maybe try to connect with one of the members already in the lab (bonus). If not email and in the closing email signature provide a link of your LinkedIn and/or link to your research profile like google scholar or researchgate or few of your cited published work. (it is easy for PI to just click on the link to judge you and see you without calling you for face to face conversation. No essay writings because PI's hardly would go through the entire thing (personal experience). Google impactful emails for position inquiry or request to get an idea. 

If you don't receive a response in a week, follow up every week by replying to the same email you sent (so the PI knows you are genuinely interested.)

Hope this helps!

Good Luck!

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Different field, but I kept my inquiry emails short and direct. I just introduced myself (name, degree, current position), then said I am interested in their work in X, Y, and Z, and would like to ask whether they plan on taking any new graduate students for the Fall 2019 semester. I also attached my CV to the email. 

A lot of PI's will note on their faculty page whether they are taking students, so you should double check that. 

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