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How to ask for funding?

petr. engineering

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So I was recently admitted to UT-Austin and am now in a position where I can lobby faculty for funding. Just wanted to get some advice in order to avoid messing this up. Here are a couple of my questions:


1) I applied as MS, but in my statement noted interest in ultimately pursuing a PhD. I think I only want the MS. Would it be wise of me to keep the PhD door open for the time being in order to have a higher chance of securing funds?


2) Should I just blanket contact a lot of different faculty members in the areas I am interested in, or be more deliberate with my selections?


Any advice is appreciated!



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I really suggest you look in depth at the faculty that you would like to work with. It might be that one of the ones in whose work you are really interested is looking for students. These should be your first choices. Write personalised letters to these people. Read up on their papers if you can, look up their work. Make sure that they can tell you are interested in their work, and then perhaps they will become interested in you.


Then other faculty members contact more generically, perhaps inquiring about their needs. 


But make a priority list, and make sure you dedicate more effort to the ones whose work you'd be more interested in collaborating with.

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