I am a 2nd year masters student in Mathematics in an Asian University and my masters will be completed this month.

I wrote to professors in December and January asking about open positions in their working group for PhD in number theory but could find only 2 offers, and 1 without funding.

So, I am thinking of writing to some more professors in Hungary and Sweden.

My question is, is it the right decision to mail my CV and ask them about open positions when COVID-19 is affecting the whole of Europe?

Universities in Italy are taking PhD applications, but still I want to ask opinions of users here and also due to the reason that the admission process in my country are completely stopped due to the pandemic.

Any advice will be really appreciated.

  • 2
    I think the best you currently can expect is a general commitment to give you a position whenever things open up. Keep in mind that not only are you unable to travel, but that in particular for paid positions you'll need a visa and most embassies currently seem to have shut down as well. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but you should also make some shorter term plans, as it looks like you'll have an involuntary gap year to fill.
    – mlk
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


It is always good to send inquiries and applications for positions, in consideration of the pandemic, you need to think about transportation, amount of time you can potentially wait until the position must be filled, and whether you are qualified enough to be worth the inconvenience of what was previously mentioned. Many airlines are open, so I don’t suspect transportation will be an issue, and with the vaccine rolling out in Europe, I don’t suspect they will be too picky about foreign hires, the main issue arrises on how long you want the institution to wait before you will start in your position, as applying with the hope of waiting out the virus most likely will end up with you not landing the position; otherwise, it’s a great idea to apply to the institutions that meet your standards and vise versa.

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