A professor I want to work with (at the university I applied to) informed that he is awaiting some funding news (for a project I had expressed interest in working with him on) and he also stated that he has highlighted my name to the fellowship committee. Any idea what that means? Is that a positive development with regards to me getting an admit/fellowship?

  • This is all university/field specific. Is this a university fellowship, a teaching assistanship? Is the professor waiting to hear back on whether a grant was funded under which you will be supported? This is not clear in OP. – Jessica Burnett Dec 6 '18 at 0:08
  • It is for a university fellowship and I get a priority consideration since I attended their recruitment event. Yes. Going by my in-person communication with him, that would likely be a project I can be funded under. He mentioned that if all goes well we may get the funding and that it is definitely a positive news. I am trying to make sense of his sentiment from the email. Is he being optimistic of my chances? – Nagarjun Bhat Dec 7 '18 at 0:09
  • If it's a university-level competitive fellowship I doubt he has much say, other than the letter he could have submitted. I wouldn't get your hopes up just yet. – Jessica Burnett Dec 7 '18 at 22:33

It is positive certainly, but not definitive. It is just a progress report sent as a courtesy. He is being encouraging, but not making any commitments.

Of course, you need to go through the normal admissions process. This isn't a substitute for any formal procedures that are required. In US institutions admissions is handled by the university, not the individual professor. Funding may be under his control, however.

  • Yes, I understand that. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully my decent grades (3.6 CGPA) in masters (from a top school in my field), 3y of work experience and good projects will tilt the scale in my favor. although I have no publications yet.. will that hurt my chances? – Nagarjun Bhat Dec 7 '18 at 0:15

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