I am applying to a Canadian University for a Master in Neuroscience. I have contacted a professor and asked for a place at his laboratory even though he only accepts PhD and post-doctorate students. However, he said that he accepted me as his student but wanted to have a skype meeting for us to get to know each other.

I am a medical doctor and his area of expertise is more philosophy-oriented. I am not an expert in this area. My questions are:

  • Will I be expected to have a well established research proposal even though I am a master student?
  • Are master students expected to have solid knowledge in the supervisor area even though they have a very different background?
  • What are some questions a master student can expect from a skype meeting with his/her possible advisor?

2 Answers 2


Ok, my interview has already taken place. In case anyone has the same question, it was a very relaxed interview ( even though I was obviously very stressed).

The researcher asked me why I chose to contact him, what I wanted to focus on ( based on his previous projects), when I would start, how I was going to finance my studies and how long would I be willing to stay at his laboratory, etc.

I wasn't asked about neurobiology, physiology or any other scientific knowledge.

  • 1
    Very nice (upvoted both Q and A). It certainly will be useful for others. Good luck with your studies. I don't think medical doctors very often decide to switch from medical practice to medical research. Would you care to share your motivation, if possible? I'm just curious about transitions within and to/from academia and their motivational and other factors. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 4:28
  • 2
    My motivation is mainly that I had so many unanswered questions on what the cognitive processes that underlie our everyday are. Also, during my medical practice I realized I was following guidelines in a sort of recipe-like way and I wanted a different kind of challenge. Hope it is helpful!
    – LenaMi
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 14:55
  • It is indeed helpful. Thank you for the clarification. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 19:59

What you will be asked obviously depends a lot on the person(s) involved, whatever data they already have on you, how many applicants they have, and a lot of other details.

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