Finding a Supervisor

Choosing a supervisor is one of the most important steps you’ll take toward ensuring a successful research experience. Your supervisor will play a vital role in your research, drawing from personal experience and expertise to provide you with ongoing mentorship, feedback, and support. You’ll want to be sure that your expectations are aligned from the start, so taking the time to determine and seek out the best fit is essential.

Supervisors at Hebrew University are in high demand, and the process of securing one can be competitive in certain fields. As you begin your search, you’ll discover that some researchers will be at maximum capacity for supervision, others may find your proposed research topic less relevant for their field of expertise, and some may simply be too busy to respond in a timely manner. Since the process of seeking out a supervisor is not always an easy one, we’ve put together some helpful tips:

  • Start early: Finding a match can be a time-consuming, lengthy process. Therefore, we recommend starting your search as early as possible.
  • Be concise: Supervisors receive a high volume of email inquiries. Be clear in your initial approach and offer a succinct summary of your research interests. This will help you stand out.
  • Be informed: Before reaching out to potential supervisors, familiarize yourself with their work and confirm that your research interests are mutual. Doing so will increase the likelihood of receiving a response.
  • Be persistent: As we’ve mentioned, this a competitive process. Be prepared for rejection and, in some cases, a lack of response altogether. Don’t be discouraged, as patience and perseverance are key throughout this process.

6 Steps to Finding a Supervisor at Hebrew University

Determine your research topic: While you don’t need to have a final draft of your research proposal at the onset of this process, having a good sense of your research topic will help narrow down the search for a supervisor to those with relevant research interests and expertise.


Identify experts in your field: Hebrew University is comprised of 7 faculties and 14 schools. Exploring our comprehensive list is a good place to start. From there, you can narrow your search to a specific department or institute, and identify faculty members whose fields of expertise best align with your research goals.


Contact a potential supervisor: Once you’ve found a potential supervisor, reach out via email to convey your research pursuits, address how your interests align, and inquire as to whether they’d be interested in supervising you. This should be a formal email with a clear subject line. Introduce yourself, demonstrate genuine familiarity with their research and publications, and establish your interest in conducting research under their supervision. We recommend that you attach your CV to this correspondence.


Develop a tailored research proposal: Writing a research proposal can be time-consuming, and often requires a familiarity with the supervisor’s research portfolio before you begin. It’s best to draft your proposal after communication with a supervisor has been established and the potential for a match has been identified. Your proposal should be concise (up to 500 words), informative and persuasive.


Meet with a potential supervisor: Email correspondence may lead to a request for a Zoom or Skype meeting, should the supervisor be interested in learning more about you and discussing potential avenues for research. This is not only an opportunity for the supervisor to determine how compatible you are, but is also a chance for you to evaluate the supervisor, discuss the research, ask questions, and demonstrate your interest in working together.


Confirm the match and apply for PhD studies: Congratulations! Once you’ve secured a match, your next step is to formally apply and register for research/studies at Hebrew University. Different registration procedures apply to the varying research frameworks at the university, including PhD studies, postdoctoral research (registration completed by supervisor), visiting research fellows, and more.