I am a graduate student in physics and every other month or so I get an e-mail from someone who wants a grad school or even postdoc position. These e-mails often start out "Dear Professor (my name)," (I'm not a professor) and go on to explain that they are a motivated student looking to do a PhD with me, sometimes referring to a position that I am supposed to have advertised (I didn't). In the past I have often sent a reply in which I try to be disinterested but helpful, pointing them to the jobs section on our website which explains clearly who to contact.
I'm asking because today I got another one:
I would be pleased to join for the PhD Studentship position into your institution for (field that has nothing to do with my institution) research.
Oddly specific and inaccurate at the same time. I don't mind just deleting it. However, I'd like to help if I can.
- Why do people do this? To me, it seems counterproductive.
- How can I help them onto the right track?