Is mailing post-docs helpful for Grad Admissions?

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indigo
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:59 am

Is mailing post-docs helpful for Grad Admissions?

Post by indigo » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:29 am

I received 4 replies for (astro/hep-th) arXiv pre-print (I was the first and corresponding author). Apart from polite replies, we didn't really discuss many technical aspects except maybe a few clarifications(mainly because their papers were somewhat beyond my current experience/scope). Few in Stack Acad even suggested most such mails are 'fishing' for citation. So, I am not sure if it would be of any use to mail them.
All 4 were post-docs in, what I consider to be, 'beyond reach' places in US. So, any small positive is good enough for me, if it means that it would help my application. It seems logical that if they were interested enough to write a mail then their group would be at least somewhat suitable for me. But I am not really sure if it's polite or if it's even worth bothering them.

Thanks in advance!

jabennett2194
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Is mailing post-docs helpful for Grad Admissions?

Post by jabennett2194 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:37 pm

absolutely talk to those interested in your work! (congrats!)
it may indeed help grad admissions at their programs
fishing for citations??

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Nishikata
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Is mailing post-docs helpful for Grad Admissions?

Post by Nishikata » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:54 pm

It is not related. Yes, they may be just trying to make you cite their previous works in your current preprint.
Maybe they are just contacting you as someone who work in the same topic.

Even their professors may not be involved in the admission process, let alone the postdocs...

cat_mama
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:07 pm

Re: Is mailing post-docs helpful for Grad Admissions?

Post by cat_mama » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:54 pm

indigo wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:29 am
Few in Stack Acad even suggested most such mails are 'fishing' for citation. So, I am not sure if it would be of any use to mail them.
I don't think you need to cite them if you are not using their information in your paper, but I think it's good to email with them about any specific questions that you might have (if you have them). I actually have couple clarification questions from some papers I read written by couple professors while they were grad students (now assistant professors at the schools I was accepted to!). I didn't email them because I'm not very brave, but I intend to ask those questions at the Open Houses, if I can muster up the courage to do so.
indigo wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:29 am
All 4 were post-docs in, what I consider to be, 'beyond reach' places in US. So, any small positive is good enough for me, if it means that it would help my application.
I think if I had emailed the professors with my questions when I first had them, which was coincidentally during the application review period of early Jan, I might have gotten more attention by these professors, or maybe not because I wouldn't have mentioned that I was also a grad school applicant.

Also, I don't think postdocs are helpful for grad admission because they don't sit on the admission committee in any way, though could be a good networking opportunity for the future. For instance, I was in charge of teaching our lab techniques to this visiting postdoc from a top5 university and I think I did a decent job, but I didn't get into that university. However, I now know another researcher in my field with whom I have established some contact, which I still count as a plus for me.



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