I got my master's in Computer Science 3 years ago. I had a poor GPA of 3.3/4. I wanted to get a job back then and I was not that interested in the coursework. I am currently working as a software developer at a well-known company. And of late, I have been seriously thinking about becoming a researcher.

I live about an hour away from the college where I got my master's. There were two to three professors whose work I found to be interesting. I read a few papers that their groups produced, I know what problems they are solving. Now, how do I actually approach a professor and ask him if I could work in his lab parttime or work on some project with him? My goal is to ultimately get a Ph.D. admission. To that end, none of my professors would remember me well enough to write me a LOR. My only hope right now to work on a research project with a professor and hope he would get me a Ph.D. admit. How do I start the initial conversation? Should I email him and ask him if I could meet him for half an hour to get some career advice?

1 Answer 1


from my experience just last month, I am willing to join a professor's lab in the computer science area, so firstly I did my homework as you did, reading about his staff and paper, etc. then I wrote to him an email with sample subject (student want to work with you) and I explain my background and interests in his field of expertise alongside my CV. after somedays he replies and ask me to do a presentation about some project in my CV, then he asked me to prepare a research proposal and some research question, of course, related to the field. In the end, he accepted me and I am waiting for the acceptance from University research community. Be confident, professional, and concise in your email. good luck

  • Perhaps the most important part of this is letting them know what you can do for them. Giving some hints about your own skills.
    – Buffy
    Jul 11, 2020 at 18:52

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