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I have seen several approaches in selecting students to work on research projects like:

  1. Select from the list of admitted students
  2. Announce the job for all the students in the department and interview the top candidate
  3. Select after teaching a course and knowing the best students

Are there any other approaches and are there any recommended ones?

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    I find it good to announce opportunities in class and get to know the students that come to you at that time. My undergrad supervisor did that, and even though I wasn't the best student in the class I was passionate about the research and project. Don't always let grades limit your decisions for candidates. – GISKid Nov 9 '15 at 21:12
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    I know someone who was selected as follows: the student was working on physics homework on a blackboard, by himself, in the TA help room one day. A professor wandered in, struck up a conversation, and then invited the student to attach himself to the professor's group (at the undergrad participation level). – aparente001 Nov 10 '15 at 2:33
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Our department has a policy of matching students and faculty. The faculty write up a brief description of the project they want to pursue. The PhD coordinator meets with students to assess their skill sets and top choices for projects and a match is made. We also have a policy of switching advisers after the first year. Good collaborations usually go on past this year, others have a way of dying out. However, our department is rather small--usually between 10-15 grad students at a time.

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