A few days ago, I received my offer letter to join the Ph.D. program. I was about to inform my prospective supervisor (via e-mail) that I have received this letter from the graduate office. I will be joining the program in August 2019.

I don't want to waste my 4 months. Is it okay if I ask my supervisor to recommend me some articles/topics to read in these four months?

  • 5
    Yes, even recommended
    – Zenon
    Apr 6, 2019 at 13:30
  • ahan. thank you for quick response Apr 6, 2019 at 13:33
  • 4
    I agree with @Zenon and I'd add that, if the supervisor doesn't recommend any articles, then you would do well to look at some of the supervisor's own recent papers and at any papers cited for background there. Apr 6, 2019 at 14:04
  • 3
    It's a plus. Every decent superviser should be delighted to have proactive students. Apr 6, 2019 at 14:05
  • One of you, maybe @AndreasBlass, who has said the most, should turn it into a proper answer. The advice is good.
    – Buffy
    Apr 6, 2019 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Yes, definitely ask for some recommended reading! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if your new supervisor suggests some papers to you even without prompting (mine did). As mentioned in the comments, supervisors are generally pleased when their students show an interest in the topic and want to learn more. You can look at some recent papers by your supervisor to get an idea of where to start, too.

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