What are the guidelines that I should follow when contacting a foreign University professor to ask for joining their lab?
I need to find a professor for my already accepted semester abroad as an exchange student. I will be doing my Final Year Project as an undergraduate student and I am having a hard time getting a response from the professors at the Tokyo University. I have contacted with the current student abroad and he told me that it also took him a while to find a professor.
So now I'm wondering about my methods. Is this letter okay?
I'm an exchange student from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. I am contacting you to see if you might be interested in accepting me for doing my Final Year Project.
The project I would like to do is an artificial skin capable of registering different pressure points on a soft material layer. It would consist mainly on a foam that has resistivity variable with the pressure and an Arduino circuit to read and process these values. In this way we can read many points of pressure in a precise way.
The main challenge is joining several fields of Engineering, which is also one of the strongest motivations for me. I have broad experience in programming, I am confident of my capabilities in electronics and I have already verified that this material is the right one.
There are mainly two fields where this technology could be very useful:
Medicine: For the people who are missing a limb, this could bring back a part of the sensibility, even if it's in a different format.
Robotics: relying on precise pressure sensors could improve greatly the accuracy of many of their functions.
Would you accept me as a student to develop this project? Seeing your background I think that you might be interested.
Thank you so much for your time,
Francisco Presencia Fandos
The main feedback I've already gotten is that if I write the letter open to suggestions but not proposing a project it would be easier for the professors to accept me. Also, I'm thinking of writing my achievements so far, but I think they could look like bragging.
Is this letter okay? Is this the right method for finding a professor in an university abroad?