Many potential supervisors receive multiple requests for traineeship positions. Sometimes they have to prioritize their work and such requests go unanswered. If you don't receive an answer to your email within two weeks, it's best to write a friendly reminder where you copy your original email. If you still don't receive an answer, contact the next best option.
International Exchange Services can not help you contact the researchers, so it's very important you start this process in time. Many start as early as 6 to 12 months before their exchange/traineeship.
Some researchers have no prior experience in receiving trainees. You can send them our internal instructions for units receiving international trainees. The instructions are available on this Flamma-page (only accessible for those with a University of Helsinki user account)
Pay attention to the following things:
- Write only to one person at a time. Teams and departments often discuss applications they received and if many receive the same email, it gives a bad impression. Also, emails that have several receivers tend to go unanswered since it’s common to expect someone else to answer. Unless you have other contacts, it’s a good idea to contact the group leader.
- State clearly and in short at least the following:
- your motivation for seeking for the supervision of the said group/professor
- the status you wish to gain (intern/ERASMUS trainee/thesis work etc.)
- what you wish to get as a compensation or if you are receiving a grant from your home institution or elsewhere and wish to work unpaid
- All except for PhD students need to ask the supervisor to give them ECTS credits for their traineeship/research work - also in the case the student does not need them for their home institution. This is a prerequisite for getting a student status (and the student discounts). Giving credits is easy for the supervisor and they find the instructions under the above mentioned link.
- if you look for a thesis supervisor, you should present a preliminary research plan and have another supervisor already from your home institution.
- Attach your CV to the application.