It is rather common in many different disciplines to contact faculty members(potential post-doc mentors) asking if they take post-doc students. I was wondering if it is ok to contact a potential mentor of a post-doc position in mathematics that is publicly advertised?

  • 3
    Yes, totally OK, but do not expect a response (although they might respond if they're nice); they probably get hundreds of such emails.
    – Sana
    Oct 11, 2016 at 18:04
  • 5
    I'm pretty sure hundreds is the wrong order of magnitude. (Agree with the first half of the sentence though.) Oct 11, 2016 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Yes it's good idea, but the point is just to make them aware of your application. In particular make sure the application is already posted in mathjobs when you send the email. Keep your email short and don't expect a reply with any content. You want to say your name, your advisor, a sentence about what you work on, and a brief expression of interest in working with them.

  • 2
    I think it's reasonable to write to a faculty member in your field, even if you wouldn't work with them, if they're the closest person in the department to you.
    – Tom Church
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:32

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