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    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone here has e-mailed a potential supervisor about a topic, and then got a negative response (e.g. that they didn't think they could supervise it)? I'm wondering because I sent some e-mails to faculty members at Cambridge, and I'm wondering what others have ended up doing when/if they got negative responses.
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone here has e-mailed a potential supervisor about a topic, and then got a negative response (e.g. that they didn't think they could supervise it)? I'm wondering because I sent some e-mails to faculty members at Cambridge, and I'm wondering what others have ended up doing when/if they got negative responses.
    Have they said they can't supervise it because they haven't got time/space or because it's not their area?
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone here has e-mailed a potential supervisor about a topic, and then got a negative response (e.g. that they didn't think they could supervise it)? I'm wondering because I sent some e-mails to faculty members at Cambridge, and I'm wondering what others have ended up doing when/if they got negative responses.
    I had a lot of contact like that from Cambridge as well: they're just not very helpful at all. Even the "positive" responses were ultimately negative so ... my advice: don't go to Cambridge!
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone here has e-mailed a potential supervisor about a topic, and then got a negative response (e.g. that they didn't think they could supervise it)? I'm wondering because I sent some e-mails to faculty members at Cambridge, and I'm wondering what others have ended up doing when/if they got negative responses.
    The responses I got were all positive as far as I remember, but even if some - or indeed all - of your prospective supervisors at Cambridge did tell you they're not interested in your topic, it wouldn't really be all bad, would it? If nothing else it would prevent you from wasting time (and application fees) on applications which are essentially pointless if the people you'd like to be supervised by aren't keen on supervising you. So you'd at least know where you are...:dontknow:
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    Have they said they can't supervise it because they haven't got time/space or because it's not their area?
    Well, I only sent the e-mails today, but I'm preparing myself for the worst - since the people who deal with American history focus on Slavery, the South, and US foreign policy, and I'm interested in the economic factors behind the New England and Southern states ratification of the US Constitution.
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone here has e-mailed a potential supervisor about a topic, and then got a negative response (e.g. that they didn't think they could supervise it)? I'm wondering because I sent some e-mails to faculty members at Cambridge, and I'm wondering what others have ended up doing when/if they got negative responses.
    Oh yes. I got lots of responses disagreeing with my proposal and saying they'd feel uncomfortable supervising it (I'm very critical of something which is meant to be blindly accepted within the legal system). I found most of their arguments unconvincing, but the same few points kept on being raised in negative responses so I was able to build responses to these concerns into my proposal and this, in my opinion, made for a stronger proposal.

    If you think people might not like it, you'd better get ready to spam a lot of academics. You'll find someone good in the end, though.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    Have they said they can't supervise it because they haven't got time/space or because it's not their area?
    No, one of them e-mailed me and said that my topic was too vague, and needed to be greatly narrowed. Which is better than it not being in their area of interest I guess.
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    (Original post by LLB Kevin)
    Oh yes. I got lots of responses disagreeing with my proposal and saying they'd feel uncomfortable supervising it (I'm very critical of something which is meant to be blindly accepted within the legal system). I found most of their arguments unconvincing, but the same few points kept on being raised in negative responses so I was able to build responses to these concerns into my proposal and this, in my opinion, made for a stronger proposal.

    If you think people might not like it, you'd better get ready to spam a lot of academics. You'll find someone good in the end, though.
    Okay. Did you get any responses saying that it was too vague and needed to be narrowed.
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    (Original post by rmn002)
    Okay. Did you get any responses saying that it was too vague and needed to be narrowed.
    I actually got the opposite from some people, who thought I might have defined my problem too narrowly (and I think they may have been right)
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    For me it varied massively from one supervisor to another. Thankfully they all liked my core idea (though that could partly be because I researched their interests in depth and only approached the ones who matched mine closest), but while one pretty much sent me an email saying "yeah that's fine just give it the once over and polish it before you actually submit it" another invited me for a personal meeting, bought me lunch and then we spent about an hour talking about ways to improve it and bits to add/drop.

    Oh and be warned of the massive variations in academic response times, some practically take their computer to bed with them and thus will reply to emails within seconds, while others see it as mostly an irritating box in the corner which beeps occasionally and will only check their emails every few days/weeks.
 
 
 
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