I am a student from India and have been looking for internships outside India. Now, a lot of Indian students apply for summer internships without serious thought. So they end up spamming professors. See: What is behind the “Indian Undergrad Research Experience”-spam? is just an example for that.

It is normal for me to assume that a lot of professors by now may have applied spam filter for undergraduates from Indian universities. These would activate as soon as I send them a mail. As a result I might miss a good opportunity. Hence, I turn to you for a possible solution.

This problem does not apply to just Indian students or Indian under graduate students rather people from other countries applying for internships(including students from masters and other degree courses).


I understand why the question is heavily down-voted.


There are students(I used to) who believe that such practices can be followed to increase a chance of getting through. I quote from the link:

Always remember to attach your CV as a Google doc link and NOT as an attachment. Why? Because usually profs receive a huge number of mails for internship applications that they make their Spam filters keeping this in account. One criteria is attachments and their size (Though not a strong one, can help if your CV is really huge, despite all the cut-downs). So a Google doc link to your CV is a good call.( Make sure you change the privacy settings for this particular document, a mistake many people have committed)

Another pointer to avoid the spam filter as much as possible : Avoid words like "internship" , "applications" and other such words in your subject. They can trigger the spam filter.

I believe that the question could be helpful for students having false assumptions.

The answers I now expect should discourage students to spam professors and suggest an alternative pathway. I could have edited the question for a more appropriate title but didn't because ultimately I feel somewhere in future, some one is bound to look for an approach/hack to spam filters. Further, I think the title is all the more apt because people basically search a related title.

  • Why was the question down voted? Please leave a comment when you down vote so that I can review and edit my question. – spunkpike May 17 '15 at 17:34
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because questions "how to avoid spam filters" are not specific to academia. – Dmitry Savostyanov May 17 '15 at 17:59
  • @DmitrySavostyanov The question is about academic internships. – spunkpike May 17 '15 at 18:03
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    Just what are these "academic internships" that students from India (and elsewhere) expect to obtain? I've never heard of such a thing in an academic context. – Mad Jack May 18 '15 at 16:49
  • @MadJack Research internships and internship in universities. – spunkpike May 18 '15 at 16:52

Adding to the answer that aeismail has already given, thinking about this from a technology perspective is wrong. Even if your email gets through, how will a professor differentiate you from a spamming student?

A better way to go about dealing with this problem is to obtain an introduction to a potential supervisor from somebody who already knows that person, knows they might be interested in interns, and can also vouch for you as being worth their time.

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I believe you need to revisit your assumptions here.

If a faculty member has gone to the trouble of creating a filter to screen out any emails she gets from students looking for an internship, then it is probable that she is not willing to entertain the possibility of bringing someone in for such an internship regardless of how qualified the candidate may be. As a result, your efforts will not lead you to "miss a good opportunity," because an offer of support for the internship would not have been made in any event.

A clever rewording of the email to avoid whatever spam filter or search terms have been used will likely not help you.

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