Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Dos and Don'ts when applying for a PhD position

We have gathered a few hints on how to apply for a PhD position in our graduate school.

Please keep in mind that most of our faculty members literally receive dozens of application e-mails per week. You therefore want to make sure that your application does not get deleted immediately and that the professor is positively impressed by a well-prepared application, wishing to learn more about you.

Dos:
Prepare well.
- Think about where your specific scientific expertise lies.
- Think about what your scientific interests are.
- Go to the GGNB Open Positions webpage and check whether one of the positions listed would be interesting for you.
- Go to the GGNB People webpage and search the faculty members for those research fields best matching your interests and expertise.
- Read publications of the labs you'd be interested in joining.
- Brush up your CV. Format it as a pdf.

Contact wisely.
- Send a personalized e-mail to the lab(s) you'd like to join.
- Address the faculty member with their status and surname, e.g. "Dear Professor Miller" (for professors) or "Dear Dr. Miller" (for faculty members who are not professors yet, e.g. junior group leaders).
- Attach your CV (pdf) and, if applicable, your publications to the e-mail.
- Be specific: make clear a) why you are interested in working in that lab (referring e.g. to a scientific topic in the papers you have read and which intrigues you) and b) what you could contribute personally to the scientific work in the lab (referring to your experience).
- Proof-read the e-mail before sending it.

Don'ts:
- Do not start your e-mail with a greeting such as "Respected Sir" or "Dear Sir or Madam". This might be considered both rude and lazy since apparently you did not even bother to find out the name and gender of this faculty member.
- Do not use automated webservices which send applications. These e-mails are bound to be deleted.
- Do not send a general inquiry. Make sure your first contact is already specific since you might not get a second chance.
- Do not send e-mails randomly to faculty members or coordinators. Any unspecific e-mails are bound to be deleted.


Good luck!