1

Suppose that you already have an advisor and an ongoing project. Suppose that you are willing to get a "side gig" and that there is a professor you know at your school who is working in an area that interests you (which is not your main area of interest though).

How do you preface and then ask in a professional way the following question:

"Do you have any projects on which I could work under your supervision/with your collaboration?"

Basically, it is about asking for a small "side" thesis project to a professor who is not your advisor.

  • 1
    Don't be shy - professors are generally happy to talk to students, although they may not have the time to make a commitment to work with you. Make sure to do your homework first - look at their web site and get an idea of what they are working on. Be prepared to explain what interests you about their work. Also - ask in person if at all possible. – Jair Taylor Feb 23 '18 at 20:10
10

As JeffE would say: "Ask it directly, just as if the professor were human."

"Do you have any projects on which I could work under your supervision/with your collaboration?"

Sounds just fine.

8

Step 1. You check with your supervisor whether they are okay with this "side" project.

Step 2. You learn if your own supervisor can give you such task. If not, you move onto the next step

Step 3. You go to the professor you want to work with and tell them that you want to collaborate with them.

  • 3
    I agree that it is best to get your advisor's blessing. – aparente001 Feb 23 '18 at 19:26
  • Or even better, try to find a project that combines both of the research areas. – Steve Feb 23 '18 at 22:00

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