Is it necessary to send research proposal to the prospective supervisors?


Hi! I plan to apply for PhD this year and I have heard that contacting a prospective supervisor is encouraged in UK universities. My research proposal is progressing and I want to contact a supervisor to check if he/she is interested in new students or my research plan. Could anyone please suggest if it’s ok not to send the full proposal the first time but just an email mentioning my research interests and academic achievements? Also, I want to know if there are any cases where prospective supervisors were able to direct the applicants to some new project or opportunities within their interests. Thanks in advance.

Avatar for rewt

Contacting supervisors directly is a good idea and show initiative. Though I wouldn't send them a full-blown proposal in the first email, maybe say you are working on one and say what it is about. It looks good that you are thinking that far ahead but you don't want to be to pushy (or they steal your idea). If they are interested they will ask about it and then I would send it over.

Also, a lot of supervisors have ideas/projects that they are interested in but don't have funding yet. They might direct you towards them but don't be forced into one just for the sake of a PhD.



Hi rewt! Thanks for the response. I did contact her but unfortunately she is unable to take up students. She also said that my topic sounds interesting and that she could have meetings but not full supervision so I should ask other professors. I’m not sure what she meant by ‘could have meetings’ though.


It means she is happy to help you out on an informal basis without having to assume responsibility for you.