My roomie has recently been applying for PhD programmes. He's particularly interested in the one led by prof X in Some University, so the other day he sent an email to prof X, presenting his research experiences and showing his interest in prof X's research, to which he got a very positive reply from prof X today:

Hi XXX, Yes I am planning to accept PhD students this year. I strongly encourage you to apply... please indicate theory as your interest and/or mention my name as faculty of interest in your application.

This sounds like great news. So my roomie decides to reply and tell X he's really enthusiastic about applying to this programme. But we neither have any idea what would be an appropriate way to do this. Would simply writing like "thanks for your help prof X I will definitely apply!" be too short and not show enough enthusiasm? Could anybody give some advice? Thanks!

First question asked on this site so if there's any inappropriateness please tell me.

  • Why is your roomie is not asking this question here directly? – Coder Nov 21 '17 at 9:05
  • @Coder he's not got an account on this site. – Vim Nov 21 '17 at 9:10
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Thank you for your reply, Professor X. I am happy to hear that you're interested in taking on a PhD student for next year, I will definitely be putting in an application for the position. I look forward to hearing more about the project in the future. Regards, me.

You don't need to throw them a parade, but take a little more time to email them something other than just,

Thanks a bunch!

I tend to agree with Eppicurt. Keep it professional.

I suppose there's a fine line between being confident and being flatter. Only you can decide where that is.

Assuming you have heard this person lecture, read their work, and inquired with others as to what it's like to work with Prof X, you could simply write back:

"Thank you for the instruction to submit my application. I am enthusiastic about an opportunity to work with you because...., and I trust you will find my application competitive with the other applicants."

I imagine that Prof X will have the final say on who she or he selects and a professional and courteous email is always welcome.

Best of luck with your application!

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