I am a 1st year Graduate(PhD) student in Mathematics in USA and I don't have advisor yet.

I have no serious work in the coming summer term in my University but I want to work on a research project to have some experience before choosing an advisor.

Can I apply to other Universities to do some Summer project? If so, can anyone please tell me the procedure?

  • Why not work with people in your current institution to test out whether you have compatible communication styles/ideas about what a mentor/mentee relationship should look like?
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 7, 2022 at 5:46
  • The issue is I have some particular topics in my mind but the PI will not be available in the summer. Mar 7, 2022 at 5:49

1 Answer 1


I would suggest to stay within your university and get to know the research of people there. You wrote in the comments that you have a particular professor in mind but that they are unavailable. Talk to them and ask for recommendations. There are multiple possible options:

  • They have a project you can work on mostly on your own. The professor might still be able to give some limited supervising even if they are mostly away.
  • They recommend a project you can work on with a postdoc or a more senior PhD student to advise you.
  • As a first year you should concentrate more on your regular classes and qualifying exams.
  • You just try out a completely different area of maths with a professor you like that is available.

I think going to a different university over a summer would more likely happen for a student who is already well into their PhD thesis where the other university provides some experts on an area that helps the thesis but that is not available at the home university. In that case this would be organized and set up through the PhD supervisor at your home university.

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