After two years, six months, and 22 days, I am going to stop sending emails to Canadian professors. During these two and a half years looking for a Ph.D.studentship. The majority of my friends said that university professors are bombarded by emails from all the countries across the globe. I said ok. During this period I have published many articles in some reputable journals. Unlike Canadians, the Americans, New Zealanders, and Australians are the best ones, always reply to your email, say "yes" or "no". If Canadian professors are busy, please set your automatic answering in your email setting to reply NO. Thanks.

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    Is this a real question or just a rant? Maybe it is your approach, actually.
    – Buffy
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:33
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    I'm American and ignore almost all such requests. Too many are just blind outreach driven by mailing lists and contain hints that the sender has no real idea what it is I do (did, actually, I'm now retired). Flooding the arena makes it harder for the serious candidates to be heard. And, are you sure you understand the Canadian system of admitting students? If not, you may be addressing the wrong people to start with. If you don't make formal applications to the university, there is little that can be done by a professor to help you in many places.
    – Buffy
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:51
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    Oh, and, in general, I think Canadians are a lot more polite that we "Yanks". That is the stereotype, anyway.
    – Buffy
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:52
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    I don't know of any automatic email answering system that is sophisticated enough to identify emails about studentships and reply with an automatic "no", distinguishing them from other random emails that should get a different response or no response at all. That suggestion doesn't really make sense. Aug 16, 2020 at 16:24
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    Why not post some of your email so we can have an idea of what you wrote, how it is structured etc That may be illuminating.
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 16, 2020 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


It seems as though you might be the issue here, not the professors. I say this because the odds that every single professor you’ve emailed from a Canadian institution not responding because of their geographical context is near zero. Particularly because those at Canadian institutions are not necessarily even born Canadian‘s themselves, so you’d have to argue that Canadian academic culture is the problem, which again, I can’t envision being the case.

You should do some serious reflection on what your email titles are, your body paragraphs, how you come across, and the Canadian system will help you to find a more rational answer.

  • Thank you very much GrayLiterature for your comment
    – Afshin
    Aug 16, 2020 at 17:16

I suspect that Canadian academics get a far larger number of queries from prospective Iranian students (I gather from poking around in your question history that that's your country of origin), certainly compared to the US in recent times, because Canada is more open to student admissions from Iran. Therefore, Canadian academics may be increasingly overwhelmed by inquiries, and your inquiries may be more likely to be lost in the flood.

From here, "The number of Iranian student applications [to Canada] has more than doubled since 2017." (presumably the number of inquiries is roughly proportional to the number of applications ...)

(I am a Canadian academic who doesn't always manage to send a polite and timely e-mail response to student requests, even domestic ones! I get large numbers of inquiries from the Middle East and South Asia ...)

  • I also get my share of these poorly written, boilerplate emails. Aug 17, 2020 at 12:38

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