I am currently in the final (second) year of my masters degree (in bioinformatics) and am beginning to look around for a PhD. Admittedly, my resume so far is not very impressive: I did pretty well in courses but I do not have any published papers nor any conferences to speak of.
A few days ago I had a conversation with a Cambridge professor who has visited my institution and has collaborations with many key researchers working on a topic I'm interested in pursuing (he himself does not work directly on this topic, to my understanding).
The professor said that if I send him my CV he may be able to forward it to his collaborators.
When I talked to my thesis advisers (I have two) about this, both of them told me that I would be far better off if I had a published paper, or at least a submitted one, before I apply for a PhD. Our intention is to try to publish the project I'm currently working on, but it is likely to be a few months until we will a manuscript that we can submit.
On the one hand, I agree with my advisers that a paper would improve my odds with respect to admission to a PhD program (in terms of finding advisers, scholarships, etc.) . On the other hand, I think that I am presented here with an opportunity that I might not have again as the Cambridge professor will probably soon forget me if I don't write him soon.
So, I basically have two questions:
Is it a good idea to try to submit my CV at this stage? Could this have any negative effects or do I have nothing to lose?
If I do write to the Cambridge professor, what exactly should I include? If I write directly to a potential advisor I would of course enclose a cover letter and letters of reference, or at least list referees in my CV, but in this case I don't know if this is appropriate and I'm not wild about the idea of pestering my advisers by requesting letters of reference for this after they already told me that they don't think it is a good idea.
Any comments will be appreciated.
Note: this question is somewhat related to: Apply for PhD before finishing my Master's degree
but I thought that having a contact makes my situation sufficiently different in order to ask a new question.