Thursday, April 2, 2009

Undergrad research in India

This will not be applicable to the undergraduates who will graduate from IISc !

If you are undergraduate (B.Sc/B.Tech/B.E) student and interested in doing research, read this post first. The post ends with, "spamming the inbox of professors with 'I want to do summer research' doesn't serve any purpose. Write compelling, personalized and relevant emails that convey your goals and intentions to specific professors whose work interests you. It shows when you have taken the effort to look through their website and read about the projects that they work on. Ask at least a few people to review and proof-read your application."

I could not have put it better. I receive around 10 emails a week from undergrad students for the summer project. Though our department website has clear instructions for summer trainees, no one seems to read them. Prospective candidates should at least read the websites of faculty before applying to them directly. I also request one should proofread the application. Grammatical errors can be forgiven, typographical errors can not be excused. However, this is not restricted to undergraduates. See the following email I received for a post doctoral position,

Hey prof.,
good morning, i introudce myself presently doing my post doctoral fellwo job at X (since 2006 begning), and seraching suitable position in india. I did my phD in IIT Madras. I read your aritcles recently due to curiosity of the name and I pubilshed. I am intrested to continue to my research area related to engery applicaitons, i am also intrested in fluides, i collected many articles recently. I need your suggestion regarding to apply for Reserach Associtate fellowship from IIS to work with you as my principle investigator for your convenice.


L said...

This is exactly my crib about our education. Though this person MAY have studied a lot of fluid mechanics or whatever the case maybe, he writes as if he just passed his "maatric" from a moffusil town. During the course of his 10+2+3+2+n years of education,he has not picked up basic skills needed to interact with other people.So what education are we imparting?

Anonymous said...

Dear Giridhar:

Heartening to read a sympathizing post on this issue.

I wrote on this "spamming the inbox of professor" recently that invited some comments. This time, I am simply sending that link in reply to many such emails.

For some unpretentious requests, I respond in kind.

I have collected some email gems over years. May be will host them in the future, once the piquancy subsides (will take years).

Anonymous said...

I recently came across a similar post in a blog (Professor in Training) by a faculty member in a university in the US.

I must say, that I (and several other members of our group) continue to receive similar emails from undergraduates in India. I have been tempted to write back to the student pointing out how this mass-emailing strategy will not get them a research project anywhere. What bothers me is the fact that it might be perceived by the student as a very rude response.

-Indian postdoc abroad

mekie said...

That email is indeed atrocious!! I think a good course or a workshop on practical communication and writing is definitely required in Science & Engineering colleges. I emphasize 'practical' because the English class that I had in undergrad focused on adjectives and propositions!

Anonymous said...

funny enough. IIT Madras Phd...huh? How do they take admission for Phd?

Anonymous said...

Look at the comment by an IIT professor in one of the other blog post, "One a person is in PB4, do you thing he will be bothered with all these trivial facilities and do research!!. "

If this is the state of English writing of an IIT professor, what will be the quality of an IIT Ph.D student? IISc Ph.D students do not write any better either


Ashok Kumar Nanjundan said...

This email is real bad. In my opinion a student should master the language, learn discipline before writing to Professors. Our education system and students really got to work more. Couldnt believe my eyes! An IIT PhD students standard.?