I am in the process of writing a cover letter for a PhD application. The two supervisors of the project are part of my faculty (where I am doing a postgraduate degree), and I have previously been in touch with them through an interview and because one of them taught me some classes last year. I would surely want to address the letter to their names, I am whoever doubting how to officially address them since the first supervisor has a title of professor and the second supervisor has a title of doctor. Maybe having this kind of issue seems exaggerated to some, but I do not know whether to make a distinction in their titles in my letter. I am studying in the UK now, but I previously studied in the Netherlands and getting the right title was always a big issue. To those who might know within the context, can I simply address them both as Dr. to avoid the whole feeling of pointing out their different levels in the letter?

  • Where is this? Still the UK? It might be different in Germany or a few other places with similar traditions.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 23:53
  • Yes, still in the UK, I am applying to the same university where I am studying at the moment
    – Ali
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


In all likelihood, nobody will pay much attention to this. But if anyone is going to take offence, I think it is much more likely they will be upset if you haven't given them the correct title than because you're "drawing attention to their different levels". So I would address my letter "Dear Prof. X and Dr Y".

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