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When did you start reaching out to potential supervisors?


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I'm finishing up my Master's thesis next semester, and only just realized that I'm interested in applying for PhD programs and continuing my education! 

Is it too late to apply for PhD programs next fall (Fall 2018)? Do professors and researchers already have their funding squared away and their potential students lined up? And, if so, when did you start reaching out to potential supervisors? And for Canadian applicants: How does funding (NSERCs, SSERCs, etc) work when they're due in early October, but most program application deadlines are Dec/January?



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In the US at least, many programs do not have application deadlines until December or January, so no, it's not too late to apply. 

This season I ended up not applying to any anthro programs (research interests were better aligned with a different field), but I can say I chose to reach out to PoIs around the start of the semester because I figured they wouldn't be as inundated with emails and student requests yet. Some profs have time to email with a student and others don't while some programs encourage early communication and others request no emails until after acceptance. 

The best thing you can do is research different programs and find those that are the best fit for your interests. Reach out to faculty, but be aware they might not respond. Then, write an amazing SoP to really indicate you belong in whichever programs you apply to.

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I think you have plenty of time! Applications in both Canada and US are generally not due until December, at the earliest. I'm going to be reaching out to potential supervisors within the next week, and will start working on applications once I have heard back from them. I can't really speak to the funding issue, but if it's like the US, you just apply and then when you apply to schools, you state that you've applied to such and such funding (I think). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I reached out after I had a completed SOP draft. In my email I explained my interest in the program and mentioned that I had an SOP I would be happy to send along if they would like. One or two took me up on it. One or two responded but didn't want to see the draft. And, at least one did not respond to the email at all until after I was offered an interview at the program. 

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