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Expressing concerns to POI after being admitted

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Hello all,


So I've recently been admitted to this grad program. The school is within top 15 in the field, higher ranked than any of the other school's I've been accepted to so far, and the acceptance came complete with a very tempting financial offer, also the best I've been offered thus far. In addition, I met with my POI at this school before applying and had a wonderful afternoon with her--I think we would match very very well. 


The only issue--perhaps the most important consideration in this process-- is the research. It's not exactly what I'm looking for. I like what she does but I would want to take it a step further and collaborate outside of her focus. However when I spoke with her before applying, she said that she didn't collaborate very much and that collaboration wasn't very common within this department--though she did mention wanting to work to change this. 


The only way I'd accept this offer is if she agreed that some sort of collaborative project could be arranged. Specifically, her research is very narrowly focused and I'm interested in connecting it to bigger picture implications.


I'd really like to contact her and ask her about this, since now is the time to be completely honest and up front about everything. I'm just not sure how to approach this in an email without sounding like either a complete moron or a jerk:

"While I'm really interested in your research (which you already know since I said as much in my SOP and wouldn't have applied otherwise...) it's just not quite enough..."

"I know I said I liked your research...but here's the thing..." 


"Your research is too narrow. Here are my conditions if you want me to accept:" (<<---joking. I would never say it like that haha).


Clearly none of these are very good. I didn't want to be too blunt and risk coming off as rude or demanding but maybe bluntness is the only way to go here... Any suggestions?

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You could certainly frame it in the context of asking for a collaborative project, but I think it might come across better if you propose a project that you would be interested in undertaking, and asking if that would be a possibility under her mentorship. This way, you would come in with an understanding that there are opportunities to do the kind of research you are interested in, and she would not be surprised concerning your focus. You say that you're interested in connecting to the bigger pictures implications, so propose something that would demonstrate that! Congrats on the acceptance, too :)

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You can avoid mentioning that you think her research is lacking the breadth you want. Just say you are particularly interested in projects that connect to the bigger picture, such as <example>, and wonder if such a project would be available there. She will be able to read between the lines.

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Both great ideas! I like the idea of proposing a specific project; that would really ensure to minimize any misunderstanding, and she would probably ask for an example anyways.


And MathCat, that makes a lot of sense. Rather than saying "here's what I dislike" I should phrase it in a way that says "here's what I would like". No need to bring up any negatives here. 


I can also mention that these interests came up after talking with her--else I would have mentioned them during our conversation last summer. 


I definitely know how to write this email now! Thank you thank you thank you to you both! :D 

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