I am currently looking for a PhD program in Aerospace Engineering and I am going to ask by email if my research interest and thesis work fits the university research areas. Hence, I thought to summarize my thesis and produce a two-page-long document in the form of paper by using one of the following Overleaf templates: https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/springer-nature-latex-template/myxmhdsbzkyd, https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/springer-conference-proceedings-template-updated-2022-01-12/wcvbtmwtykqj. Instead of simply attaching the abstract of my thesis, I would like to provide an in-depth look at my work and hopefully show my passion and interest in the topic of the thesis. Do you think this is a good idea? If so, which of the two templates do you suggest using?

P.s. Please feel free to suggest other Overleaf template

P.p.s. my thesis work was presented at an ESA ESTEC conference by my supervisor in the form of a two-pages abstract that was published (https://indico.cern.ch/event/1158038/). She told me I could write my own instead of using it to avoid plagiarism.

2 Answers 2


If you really want to contact people like this, I recommend writing a 3-4 sentence summary, max. In general, though, I don't appreciate emails of this nature that are clearly mass-mailed, especially when after reading two sentences it's clear that a student's work has nothing to do with anything that I do.

"Does my work fit your research area?" is a question that shouldn't be necessary to ask. A simple search for a faculty member's body of work should be more than enough to answer the question on your own. Then, you could write emails that say "I work in your area, and here's why I think I might be a valuable asset to your research". When you include a 3-4 sentence summary of what you consider your area to be, you show good communication skills, which is probably more important from a recruiting aspect than what your master's work was.


Do you think this is a good idea?

I don't think anyone is going to spend the time reading 2 pages about your work to help you decide whether or not you should apply to graduate school at that institution: it's your job to figure out where to apply.

I don't think the Overleaf template will change that one way or the other, and be careful about pretending to make your work more official than it is, like making it appear to be a published manuscript when it isn't - this is usually quite apparent and could make people uncomfortable even if you don't intend to mislead. Cranks seem to do this sort of thing often.

Get used to summarizing your work in a much shorter format, be comfortable with a 2-minute summary of your work that you can do without any supporting material ("elevator speech").

If your MS thesis work is publishable but isn't published, I'd work on getting it published and post a preprint in the meantime; your masters' thesis advisor(s) can hopefully help you with that step.

She told me I could write my own instead of using it to avoid plagiarism.

This sounds totally backwards to me. If it's your work, you should be an author on the submission whether or not you presented it and if you are an author then that work is yours, no need to write a new version: a work you coauthor is your work. If, on the other hand, you write a new version, it's likely that this new version will be seen as plagiarizing your supervisors previous work! Even if you cite properly, it could be seen as trying to game publication counts by getting credit for the same project twice.

  • Thank you for your considerations. I missed an important information, please read my updated qustion. I tought to write this email to briefiely present my thesis work but above all to understand if my thesis topic could be a potential PhD research since the programs that I found talk about generic topics related to mine that instead is pretty specific.
    – g_don
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 7:52
  • 1
    @g_don That seems like a separate question that should be a separate post. I don't see any of that in the current version of your question.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 13:43
  • thanks for your modified answer. Just for well clarifying my question, I mean to share with a potential PhD supervisor a brief summary of my thesis that's a very brief well foromatted document made up by 2 or 3 sections with one table and one figure to show results. However, without sharing my ORCID it shouldn't appear as an official publication (or not?). I already have an abstract in another format (made with a well known word processor) that I was required to submit before my thesis defence, but I feel more comfortable to typeset my documents in LaTeX.
    – g_don
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 14:20
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    @g_don I think it's exceedingly unlikely that your choice of word processor will swing things one way or the other.
    – Cubic
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 14:55

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