How to Find a Dissertation Supervisor

At undergraduate or Master’s level, you will certainly be assigned a dissertation supervisor even if you don’t go out looking for one. However, considering how important a good supervisor is for your dissertation project, you may not want to leave this choice up to chance.

Look at the list of professors in your research area

Your university website probably has lists of professors and scholars by subject areas.

Look for those whose recent research works have something in common with the topic you want to explore.

It is important that this person looks pleasant and approachable. You need a supervisor whom you will be able to get on well with.

Write an effective email

After you have found those who may be interested in supervising your work, you need to contact them by email.

Take care to use a proper title (‘Dr.’ or ‘Professor’).

Explain why you want them to become your supervisor. Make a connection between their recent work and yours.

Keep the letter brief, but include essential details, such as your degree level and research interests.

If you have any past experience of research work, you may want to list it in a CV and attach it to your letter as a Word or PDF document.

Wait for a response

Professors are busy people, so be patient.

If you get no response within a week, most likely they are not interested.

Do not write to them asking for a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Just contact the next person on your list.

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