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Question about emailing future advisor.

  1. May 22, 2013 #1
    So I will be starting my Phd program in three weeks as a graduate intern. I was thinking of emailing my advisor with basic questions such as what I should be reading up on, relevant papers, what he would like me to get started on once I get there. However, I am worried that it will be perceived as bugging him. I was therefore wondering if it is alright to do this, and if it is, how I should go about doing it, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2013 #2


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    Education Advisor

    I didn't start grad school with an adviser, but I did email my professors who were teaching the classes I was going to take and all of them replied in a time matter. Like any formal email, be respectful, introduce yourself, explain what information you would like and be sure to thank the person for their time. Just keep it short and readable :).
  4. May 22, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Well you can follow the completed staff work approach:



    Find papers written by your new advisor and read them and follow his.her paper references.

    Find other relevant papers, email your old advisor and ask him/her about papers/books to read.

    Now having done one or more of the above write an intelligent email to your new advisor, introducing yourself
    and mention you read up on his/her area of study and ask some questions based on what you've read.

    This shows you have the initiative and drive to study on your own and with his/her guidance you'll do well in your work.

    Also you're going to have to talk with your advisor on a periodic basis and each time you need to prepare so you dont walk in and have little to show or nothing to say that will put you on the track to be sidelined.
  5. May 22, 2013 #4
    Yeah, too true about showing respect, Marnemath. So when did you end up getting your advisor? That stuff looks great Jedishrfu, I'll have to check it out. Yeah, what you said about reading their papers is really good advice (something I should have thought of), so I will definitely get on it. Anyways, thanks for the great words of wisdom.
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