When applying for PhD programs (or MPhil or MS) that require only a statement of purpose and not a research proposal, I was advised to first check if some faculty members (or is one good enough?) in the university have the same research interests as I do. I remember reading or hearing something like, it may be helpful to read up on the research that those faculty members have done and possibly contact some of those faculty members, and then incorporate the reading and contacting in the statement of purpose.
- So what could I ask those faculty members? What I think:
Hello Prof/Dr ___ .I'm interested in applying in your univ and am interested in X. Can I ask more about what you research? This is my background (I'm from blah blah blah. I have a master's, but it's in applied not pure math. I've done some self-study blah blah blah). Do you think I am a good fit for the university? Would you consider taking me on as a PhD student? Do you think I am better suited for MS/MPhil than a PhD?
- And then how do I incorporate the e-mails in my statement of purpose?