I have sent many emails to lecturers within the nuclear field and at different German universities for the sake of supervision. I have attached my CV and complete detailed PhD proposal related to nuclear engineering. I already have a PhD in laser engineering and would like to develop my knowledge in application of high power lasers in nuclear reactors.

Unfortunately I did not receive any reply, even negative ones. I have re-checked my PhD proposal and reviewed my email text, where both seem very good and professional.

I will be very grateful if you could advise me regarding this issue and how can I get German supervisor for the sake of admission requirements.

  • Sidenote: Why would you do a second PhD for this? I strongly suggest that you browse the second-degree tag. Also consider asking a question about possible ways to continue your career when you have a PhD and a research idea in an adjacent field.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 6:12
  • Especially if you already have your PhD in laser engineering, and you want to work on high power lasers in nuclear reactors, I see even less reason to pursue a 2nd PhD, as both topics seem highly connected. A postdoc in said field could be a better idea. Additionally, there are only three operating research reactors in Germany (Berlin, Munich and Mainz) - in the case that you are not from Germany, why limit yourself to German universities?
    – BPND
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 6:46
  • Thank you very much 3kstc...i do appreciate your kind reply. Actually, with respect to the said topic..your point of view about post doc is very logical but i am afraid that there are no corresponding announcements. In addition, i thought that phd chance is easier than postdoc since i have prepared the objectives of proposal time table to be finished within 3 years. German universities are free for phd.
    – Oscar
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 22:16
  • Actually, i was surprised because my emails were hardly ignored. As Mr. Aeismail said, due to large number of recieved emails, people there are busy and could not reply every email. However, professionally we should answer any request in our inbox.
    – Oscar
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 22:25
  • Thank you very much for your answer..i will try second degree and post doc.
    – Oscar
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


A "cold" request sent to a faculty member—sent when there is either no announced opening for a position or no established cycle for admissions—is unlikely to generate a response. This is because of the sheer amount of email that German professors can receive, particularly if they run large research groups. (In many cases, the public email address may not be directly handled by the professor but be filtered by an administrative assistant.) In that case, there's not much you can do.

Your best bet is to look for groups that have announcements for open positions and apply to those. In such cases, you may get a response, but even then there is a possibility you might not hear anything back. It's basically saying "no" without sending a rejection email.

  • Thank you very much for your detailed answer. Actually, I sent to their personal official emails found in staff web page. In addition, it is difficult to find same topic of my phd research proposal in the announcements.
    – Oscar
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 23:51
  • I wouldn’t expect that. Most open positions are tied to third-party funding so the topic likely won’t match yours.
    – aeismail
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 23:53
  • I do appreciate your time and kind attention. Thank you very much Sir for your answer.
    – Oscar
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 23:58

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