Making an (even more) effective enquiry

Whether you are enquiring about available positions (and perhaps funding) or have a funding scheme that you would like to apply for (to be held in Owen’s group), there are a few things you can do to make it more likely that you get a useful response from Owen, or any other potential supporter.

  • Include your CV with your enquiry, including names of any previous supervisors.
  • Include a short statement of research interests and motivation, highlighting any outstanding acheivements.
  • Include a statement about the research you propose and how this research fits well with the supervisor’s / group’s.
  • Be explicit about the funding source(s) you have in mind. Link to the funding scheme web pages you have identified.
  • Begin enquiries at least one month before any deadlines; more time may be needed in many cases.

Many enquiries Owen receives do not adequately address the third point… i.e. fit is unclear and/or weak. If you would like advice from Owen about who at UZH, in Zurich, or further afield might be a better fit, please lead with suggestions of such people/groups/laboratories, each with rationale, and Owen would be happy to provide feedback.

Many enquiries also do not adequately address the third or fourth point.

Owen Petchey
Professor of Integrative Ecology

Interested in ecology, diversity, prediction, quantitative methods, a bit of programming, and making beer.