Getting an acceptance letter from a professor is one of the many prerequisites that is required of you when applying for a Master’s, Doctoral or Assistant Professorship scholarship position in most universities. However, this request is mostly conversant with Chinese universities and the China Scholarships Council (CSC) scholarships.
The acceptance letter does not necessarily mean you have been accepted by the university. It only increases your chances of being offered a scholarship by the university or an external awarding body. To get an acceptance letter, we have outlined a process for you to follow. Avoid missing out on any so you do not falter in the process.
1. Search and Explore Universities
This would depend on the country where you intend to study. However, our focus on this would be the CSC scholarships.
There are about two thousand accredited universities in China, and they are categorized into national, public and private institutions. Usually, the national universities are managed at the national level by the Government of China, other public universities are the responsibility of provincial and municipal governments, while private universities are run by corporate entities and individuals.
You must decide what category of university you would like to attend first. If you cannot speak the Chinese official language ‘Mandarin‘, you might look out for universities that offer programmes in English. Wikipedia offers a public directory on the List of universities in China, Prec Edu Services has a List of China Universities by Specialization, while BestEduChina has collated a list of Universities in China that offer Programmes in English. You can go through the resource available to decide which schools would be best for you.
2. Narrow your Search to a University that Offers your Programme
You have probably gotten a handful of universities on your list after following the previous step. Now, you should limit your search to a university that offers the programme that interests you. This means narrowing down your search to one or two universities.
More importantly, confirm if the university you have chosen is a delivery partner in the scholarship scheme.
3. Navigate through the University website to the ‘Faculty’ or ‘Professors Directory’ section of the website
Try locating the website of your choice university through search engines or online school directories. On the website, you should navigate to your faculty of choice on the school website. If directories of professors are made available, you should go there directly. It is very important the professors you are making contact with, relate to your programme of prospect and has an interest in your research field.
Upon finding professors related to your field, extract their emails and note down their names.
4. Create a Special CV that Appeals to the Field of your Choice
Now that you have gotten the name and email address of the professor you would like to contact for an acceptance letter, draft an outline of your achievements, awards, education history and experience. After a complete draft out, you can proceed to create a special CV. Ensure it is created in a professionally accepted style.
5. Outline your Research Proposal
A research proposal is a structured and formal document that outlines what you plan to research (i.e. your research topic), why it’s worth researching (i.e. your justification), and how you plan to investigate it (i.e. your practical approach).
You should ensure that the research proposal attempts all of the above expectations. It must outline what you plan to research, justify your reason for the research topic and how you intend to go about the research. This would inform the Professor that you know what exactly you are doing and gives you an edge over others.
6. Write a (Cover) Letter of Request Addressing the Professor
The type of letter you would be writing is a ‘Letter of Request for an Acceptance Letter‘. This kind of letter is a formal one and ought to contain two addresses; the writer’s and the recipient’s. Your address should come first on the top right hand of the letter, followed by the recipient’s who is the Professor. The Professor’s address should be his name, followed by his faculty, followed by university name, the municipality where the university is located, the region and the country.
The salutation should not be that of a conventional formal letter. Instead of
Dear Sir, you are encouraged to use Respected Professor.
The opening paragraph should introduce you to the Professor. Although your CV contains personal and professional details about you, you are advised to introduce yourself personally and professionally to the Professor. Who knows? He might not check your CV before making a decision. Include your name, country, previous study programme and achievements to woo him. Don’t try making an impression, it is safer being yourself.
In the second paragraph, you should let him know why are interested in a research subject. Also, relate it to how you feel he is the best person to guide you through the research since he is an expert in the field. If you are able to find research publications on your chosen field documented by the same professor, this may be a plus. Let him know you also came across such research publications. Lastly, let him know how much you intend to make contributions to his career and the university via the research.
In the final paragraph, you would like to let him know you have attached your CV and Research Proposal in the same e-mail. Thank him for the opportunity in advance and let him know you are on the lookout for his response earnestly.
I would not encourage you to use a letter format available online because it must have been used by a lot of other applicants. Writing the letter on your own also makes your request stand out. If you find it difficult to write it on your own, you can contact us to write one for you.
7. Send an E-mail to the Professor with your CV, Research Proposal and Cover Letter as Attachments
The final step you might want to take is to attach the necessary documents to an email in pdf format. The subject of your email can be ‘A Possible Research in Bioinformatics and Request for Acceptance Letter‘. Next, enter the professor’s email address and send the e-mail.
8. Wait for a Response from the Professor
There is actually no time frame as to when you would receive feedback from the professor, but within 12 hours to 7 days, you should hear back from him. This would depend on a lot of circumstances such as the day the e-mail is sent (whether it is a weekday or weekend in the recipient’s country), the workload of the professor and other personal reasons.
The email should contain a softcopy of your acceptance letter in attached files, a suggestion to contact another professor who is more detailed in your chosen field, and a request for more documentation or declination of the offer. In all, you should be optimistic prior to when you receive a response.
Should a negative response be received, you can reach out to other professors in the same school or in other schools with the same application method. Who knows, you might be lucky to receive an acceptance letter from any one of them who catches interest in your proposed field of research.