I am an early career researcher (pre-PhD) and planning to work on research articles before applying to PhD studies. May I ask is there any clear cut method to approach well-established scholars to ask for collaboration? or our options are only limited to the professors we worked previously? Thank you!

  • Welcome to academia.stackexchange. You should not ask two questions in one post. Moreover, I believe that we have definitely answered the second question here before - and plausibly the first question, too.
    – Arno
    Mar 7, 2020 at 12:29
  • @Buffy, I mean once you have a research idea and to make your article more visible to ask for contribution from other scholars rather than single authorship. Mar 7, 2020 at 12:32
  • @Arno, thank you for the notification. I could not find the answer therefore had to submit new one. May I kindly ask if there is a link to it so I can check? Thank you! Mar 7, 2020 at 12:33
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    Just search for "single author" in the search bar at the top, and plenty of relevant questions will come up.
    – Arno
    Mar 7, 2020 at 12:35
  • @Buffy, yes! I meant collaboration. Thanks for the modification Mar 7, 2020 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


Wide circles of discussion and collaboration are a good thing in academic research. If your research is close to that of some distinguished "elder of the tribe" then it is fine to reach out to them.

But, it might be better to go about it a bit indirectly. Introduce yourself with a few words about your research, and the new idea. Ask the person if they are interested in it and (most important) are there others who might be interested enough to collaborate going forward. You aren't directly asking for the professor's help/collaboration, but are seeking to build a circle of interested parties, a research group. It may be that the professor will suggest themselves, but they may also suggest others, even their own students.

That may not be exactly what you want, but in the longer term might be quite valuable. You seek to become part of their circle so that they think of you when new ideas arise. And introducing you to others is less of a commitment on their part and so might be more likely to be treated positively.

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    Note: "elder" is an honorific. It has little to do with age.
    – Buffy
    Mar 7, 2020 at 12:50

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