PHD Application process


I am suresh kumar from IIT Madras , India. I am applying for large number of phd programms by e-mail by just sending cover letter and CV and i didnt getting any reply. So, can some body please sugest me whtther my way of apprach is right or wrong. i a so much confus about my application process


The only way to find out for certain is to ask the people you have applied to why your application was not successful. They won't mind that you have asked and it will be important feedback. It's only when you know what you are doing wrong that you can make sure you are doing it right next time.

Could it be a funding problem? i.e. where you eligible to receive the funding for the project (if you have been applying for a funded place). As always, if you are able to self-fund then there will be many more options available to you. Good luck.


I think most PhD programs have very specific ways in which they want applications to reach them. Probably sending CVs and cover letters out to everybody won't help - they might just land in the dustbin.
Rather, you should check the websites of the places you are interested in individually. Some specifically want you to fill in an online application form, and applying will cost a certain fee. Some give you application guidelines which will usually involve a description of your proposed research project. I really do think that if your application does not match what is stated on the department's or university's website they might very well just ignore it. Hope that helps.


Are you emailing specific supervisors or the people in the department incharge of postgraduate studies?

If you are emailing supervisors is this because you have seen adverts for these PhDs or just in a speculative manner?

If the positions are advertised are you responding in the required way?

Also there could be a problem with the email system you could be sending emails that are being filtered out by spam filters alot of emails to my uni account from yahoo or hotmail etc are filtered out


A chapin my Dept, very well known Prof. in his field was telling me he gets 300 [THREE HUNDRED] emails a day. He doesn't take kindly to speculative ones, which he considers are a waste of his time.


Hi Suresh,
If it is obvious that the same e-mail has been sent to many people, then the risk is very great that nobody will bother reading it. Pick a few places and tell them why you are the best person for that particular place and why their research is just the most fascinating stuff you've ever read (not just saying "you're brilliant" but perhaps "I got interested in X because I used to work on Y" etc).
Maybe you could also let somebody else read your letter before sending, to give input on contents, finding spelling mistakes etc.

If it shows that you made an effort when writing, it is more likely that somebody will make the effort to read it. Good luck!