Tips for Finding a M.Sc. or Ph.D. Supervisor

If you are applying to a thesis-based Bioinformatics Graduate Program, you will need to find a graduate faculty supervisor, as having an established supervisor is required for admission. Before contacting members of our graduate faculty, please review some of our suggested tips below to optimize the success of your communication:

  1. Be informed: Ensure you review the research areas of our graduate faculty before contacting them. Take some time to review their information, publications, and the specifics of the faculty member’s research by browsing their departmental webpage and research group website (if available).
  2. Use concise, targeted communication: Graduate faculty supervisors receive numerous emails from prospective graduate students on a daily basis. Therefore, as most faculty members have very limited time, you must communicate your information as clearly and concisely as possible. Use short paragraphs, keep the length of your email to a minimum, use a descriptive email title and be professional.
  3. Stand out from the crowd:  Highlight specific and clear reasons why you would be a good candidate for working with the chosen faculty member. Include information that will set you apart from other candidates such as notable achievements/scholarships, publications, similar research interests and/or related experience.
  4. Communicate early: Start contacting faculty members at least 9-12 months in advance of the application deadlines. This is especially important for international applicants to ensure you have sufficient time to apply for a study permit/visa. Finding a supervisor can sometimes take months to establish.
  5. Be patient: Our graduate faculty members are very busy, especially during the start and end of the semester. Therefore, It may take some faculty members days or even weeks to respond to your email. Follow up if it has been a couple of weeks with no response.
Adapted from the School of Computer Science