I plan on applying to a PhD program in a US university. Previously, I asked a professor if he is interested in supervising my proposed project. His response is:

"The best will be to co-supervise with either Prof. X or Prof. Y.

How should I interpret this? And should I contact the professors he mentioned?

1 Answer 1


That depends on what else your Prof. said in the email - (s)he may have mentioned that they will initiate contact : in which case wait.

Or they may have said or implied for you to initiate formal contact (as they have already chatted over a cup of tea... and want to see how you handle it..!).

If the email is bereft of suggestions then perhaps the best is to ask your Prof. if you should go ahead and contact X and Y...

  • You could also ask the prof which of the two co-advisors he would recommend you contact first. Contacting both might be a bit awkward. Or you could do a bit of research on the two and ask specifically about contacting the one you would prefer first. But contacting one or the other of them cold isn't a terrible idea if you reference that the (named) prof suggested them.
    – Buffy
    Aug 2, 2018 at 13:26

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