Having decided to embrace the way for a PhD (based in Europe, DACH region), I now have to go through the crucial step of contacting Professors and convincing them to uphold my research proposal/enrollment candidature.

Can anyone share what are successful ways of doing so? Email contact? Getting to deeply know their previous research?

Any lead is appreciated.

  • Can you please indicate your scientific field? Because I'm in Germany and in my field you don't contact professors with a "research proposal/enrollment candi[d]ature".
    – Roland
    Jun 3, 2019 at 13:27
  • @Roland, thank you for your answer. My field is Finance and Economics. Any suggestion related to this?
    – Vitomir
    Jun 3, 2019 at 13:31
  • 2
    Step 1. Be someone that the professor wants to hire into their group.
    – JeffE
    Jun 3, 2019 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


This might depend quite a lot on the field and on how much the individual professor has to say in your general admission to the program.

But, the best method is a personal visit and directly asking them. You will need to convince them, no matter how you proceed, that you have the correct background and good prospects for success. Your proposal, if you have one, needs to mesh well with their interests. Or you might need to be flexible enough to fit into one of their projects rather than your own.

But face to face is best if you can arrange it. Professors get a lot of email from potential students who are just sending out broadcast appeals without being especially serious in any of them. You want to avoid getting lumped together with those. So, if you must do it by email, be sure that you express knowledge of what it is that they do and can say how you might fit into that in a productive way.

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