Friday 29 March 2019

How to Email a Professor and Ask For Funding After You Have Been Admitted to Graduate School

email professor

In a previous post, we talked about How to Write a First Email to a Professor for Graduate School. In this post, we would be talking about a different scenario, where you have been admitted to a Master's or Ph.D. Program but the admission offer/decision letter did not make any funding or scholarship offer to you. This scenario is quite common these days. Many departments will make funding or scholarship offers to some applicants, these usually come in the form of Fellowships or Teaching Assistantships. The Graduate Coordinators then encourage others to seek for funding or scholarships in the form of Research Assistantships from individual Professors within the department. So if you are reading this and you are in this situation, you really should not worry as there are a whole lot of people in your shoes and it is still very possible to secure funding or a scholarship and I am here to tell you how.

First of all, the Professors usually have some discretionary funds which they use to support students as Research Assistants. This implies that the professor expects you to add value to his/her research work if he/she supports you with his/her funds. You should ONLY contact professors whose research you are genuinely interested in and you strongly believe you would be a good research fit in his/her lab. Trust me, they would easily be able to tell if you are just desperate for funding and spamming all the professors in the department asking for funding. They would also be able to tell if you are really genuine.

If you contacted any Professor before/during application or you mentioned any Professor in your statement of purpose as a Professor you want to work with, then that is a very good place to start. If you haven't already done so, you should go through the department's website and find out what kind of research each professor is currently working on. After perusing the department's website, the professor's research areas, and their recent research work, If you find any professor whose work you are really interested in, then you can send them an email in this format.

Topic: Lab and Funding Information Inquiry 
Dear Professor John Doe,
I hope this meets you well. My name is Jane, I was recently accepted into the Department of XYZ at ABC University for a Master's (with thesis) [or Ph.D.] program. ABC University was at the top of my wishlist so you can understand my excitement on receiving the email offering me admission into the program. I might not have applied if not for the encouragement you gave me and the interest you showed in me when I emailed you last year expressing my interest to work with you. Thank you very much once again! This only applies if you were previously in contact with this particular Professor before you applied and after an interview/email correspondence he/she encouraged you to apply. If this was not the case, leave this part out.  
I am using this opportunity to express my interest in securing a position in the department as a research assistant under your supervision. I have perused your projects and publications on your website and I believe it would be a very good fit for me because of your dedication to making advances in XXX which is the area I am most interested in and an opportunity to work in this area with you is the only reason I applied to the department.  
Apart from the tuition waiver and the stipend that the research assistant position will assure me of, I am really vying for it because I strongly believe that it falls within my long term academic goal to push for a doctoral position in ABC university at the conclusion of the masters program and I am really convinced that participating in an assistantship will nurture me into further graduate study[Say this if you were admitted into a Master's Program].  I am vying for it because I believe it falls within my long term academic ambition to work as a researcher and I am convinced that participating in an assistantship will help nurture me into a successful researcher.[Say this if you were admitted into a Ph.D. Program] 
Let me also add that I am extremely resourceful, apt, time conscious; hardworking and disciplined enough to more than contribute my own fair share to the success of your research work, the XYZ department and ABC University as a whole. In fact, I am sure you would be inclined to agree when you meet me in person. 
Thank you for taking your time to read this. I anticipate your reply. 

Related Posts
How to Write a First Email to a Professor for Graduate School

How to Write a Follow Up Email to a Professor for Graduate School


  1. This is very helpful.Thank you!

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