Any undergraduate student aiming to land a research internship during their undergraduate studies.
- Template of the email
- First paragraph: Introduction
- Second paragraph: Draw a parallel between your skills and Professor’s requirements
- Third paragraph: Closing remarks
- Some tips on sending the email
- PhD students
- Type of email account
- Resources: Links to some Professors’ advice
1. Template of the email
Respect time of the professor. Keep the email to-the-point. Focus on what you can contribute to their research so that you can help them to quickly assess how your skills fall in parallel to the work they want to get done.
o First paragraph: introduction
Your introduction in 1-2 sentences – Name, College, interest/objective/goal, CGPA, noteworthy achievement, publication.
o Second paragraph: Draw a parallel between your skills and Professor’s requirements
This paragraph is the most important in my opinion. You must tailor it according to the Professor. Emailing same thing to every professor has less chance of consideration.
Strategy: Go to their webpage and Google Scholar profile. Search for their projects. Check the latest /ongoing projects. Go through the description of that project. If there are papers/patents associated with the project, read them and find where you can contribute. Now, write this parallel between your contribution and thing they want to get done.
Mention that you have attached CV, transcript. Ask them if they need anything more.
o Third paragraph: Closing remarks.
Thank the receiver for his/her time and consideration. Mention that you are looking forward to their response.
Add transcript, CV. Preferably as a Google drive link because some PDFs tend to be large and some email accounts of the receiver will reject the email by default or will spit out an error in case of large size.
2. Some tips on sending the email
Your potential recruiter gets 500+ emails everyday. So, schedule your email smartly so that it gets noticed. For example, if you are sending your email when it is night in the country of your recruiter, then the chances are many emails will get compiled on top of it by the morning when the recruiter opens the inbox. So, it is a wise idea to schedule your email so that it reaches the Professor in the day time. Gmail has a scheduling feature.
o PhD Students
Sometimes the Professors will be very busy and miss out your email. In this case, it is a good idea to send a gentle/friendly reminder email after 1 week.
Also, as an undergraduate researcher you will mostly be working on a part of big project of a PhD student. So, it is a good idea to email the corresponding PhD student (again, refer to the webpage of the lab.).
It is a good idea to ask on the alumni group of your undergraduate institute if anyone there works at some lab. and can potentially check your application.
Or you can request senior students to refer you to the professor under whom they have done internships. Yet another idea is to actively participate in networking events/conferences and introduce yourself to the Professors. Now that conferences are online and hence registration fee is relatively cheaper, it is a good opportunity to try one of the reputed ones!
o Type of email account
Use your undergraduate institute’s email account instead of using personal email account. This adds to the credibility of your email.
3. Resources: Links to some professors’ advice
Hope you found this post helpful.
Let’s spread the love! 🙂