I have recently finished my PhD and I'd like to contact a professor to introduce myself and express my interest in doing a postdoc in their group. My doctoral supervisor is familiar with this professor's work, and he may know him/her personally.

How should I approach the professor? Should I contact the professor directly via email, presenting myself and mentioning my supervisor? Or should I start by asking my supervisor to connect me with the professor, and take it from there?

In case it is relevant: this is in Europe.

Thanks for the advice.

1 Answer 1


I think that the professor contacting their colleague about how wonderful you are is far superior to you cold emailing. The recipient doesn't know you and you have no reputation with them, so it is easy to just ignore any email unless they are actively seeking people.

It is especially effective if the two professors know one another already. This is one reason that I recommend every young scholar to spend some effort on expanding their circle of contacts and collaborators.

A colleague won't be ignored, but you might be.

  • 1
    Fully agree. So far every job I've taken (over 35+ years) has involved my network in one way or another. My postdoc came when the institute director walked up to me at a conference and said 'I heard from so-and-so you are looking for a postdoc - when can you start?'
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 16:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .