I have written to my potential PhD supervisor and he has replied that he would be happy to supervise me on a project. I have not applied to the university yet and I think the process will take several months. During this process I would like to take some time and use it to develop skills and my résumé before getting into grad school (I call this "pre-doctoral fellow").

Professor X has with the "Équipe" Y all that is ideally situated for my needs.

What would be the academic position that I should apply for some months in Y with professor X to develop important skills for the success of my future phd program? A pre-doctoral fellow? How much time is the minimum/maximum I can apply for? In general, how would be the letter to professor X soliciting it go? Does this project is founding? Advice and comments are really welcome!

  • This varies greatly by institution/department/field. Job titles I have seen are things like "junior scientist" or "research technician" - there are also programs that are called "post-baccalaureate" but these are typically more involved, established programs for 1-2 years, whereas the timeline for the other titles can depend fully on the institution/supervisor. The only person that can answer these questions is the professor you would be working for. I suspect most people would want you to stay for at least a year to be paid, because anything less than that will be more effort than worth. – Bryan Krause Feb 28 '17 at 21:07
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    (I would add that "fellow" usually implies scholarship funding for your position, some external grant that is funding you specifically rather than a project you are working on - such an arrangement seems very unlikely in your circumstance) – Bryan Krause Feb 28 '17 at 21:09
  • Are you prepared to do this without pay if need be? That would make it easier to set up. // I would not call it a pre-doctoral fellowship, but rather just describe what you have in mind. – aparente001 Mar 2 '17 at 7:00

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