Find a Supervisor

Questions about contacting supervisors, the application process, and life at IPN itself can be directed to the projects.ipn [at] (IPN Project Administrator)

When should I start searching for an IPN supervisor? 

If you are an undergraduate student considering graduate school, you should start thinking about securing a thesis supervisor as early as the start of your penultimate semester. It can take a considerate amount of time to decide on where you want to go to study, which university you want to study in, and who you want to train with. Hence, the earlier you start searching, the better. Furthermore, there are various studentship awards you can apply for in the last year of your undergraduate studies. Many of these awards have early deadlines, hence make sure to talk to your program's Administration Staff to learn more. 

If you are a graduate student considering graduate studies in IPN, you are in a slightly different position. For instance, if you are an M.Sc. candidate wishing to pursue a Ph.D. degree in IPN, you should start looking for a supervisor as soon as you can after you decide to finish your M.Sc. in your current location (even if you don't have permission to write your thesis just yet, you can still start looking). This will be important for funding deadlines as well. We advise you to inform your current supervisor that you are considering pursuing your Ph.D. in a different program, under the direction of a different supervisor, because your current supervisor may be contacted by your prospective ones to obtain a reference report. 

Having said all of this, we encourage you to apply to the IPN by submitting your online application form and supporting documents by the appropriate application deadline, even if you have not confirmed a supervisor as of yet. After having applied, you can then continue your search for a supervisor. Note that you must inform our admissions office as to who your supervisor will be by the second application deadline.

Please take your choice of lab seriously. Students who want to switch labs will be subject to a review process, and will only be allowed to do so one time.

How do I secure an IPN supervisor? 

  1. Search through our comprehensive database of IPN supervisors. We also have a page of supervisors currently recruiting here.
  2. Once you've gathered a list of supervisors you would like to work with, start contacting them. 
  3. When contacting your preferred supervisors, you are highly encouraged to follow our advice listed down below: 
    • Your e-mails should be concise and well-written;
      • Indicate the reason(s) for wanting to join their lab;
      • Demonstrate, through your text, that you have a good understanding of their research (hence, read a few of their publications);
      • Explain why you believe joining their lab will help propel you towards your research goals;
      • Mention that you are interested in applying for awards.
      • Consult our sample PDF icon Letter to IPN Supervisor template
    • Attach your PDF icon Curriculum Vitae, which should not only include your academic achievements, but should also list your extra-curricular activities that demonstrate qualities of determination, creativity, and perseverance.
    • We strongly encourage that you reach out to members of the lab(s) you are interested in joining.
  4. Once you've reached out to your preferred supervisors, you must now wait for a response. Do not feel discouraged if you do not receive any replies.
  5. Once you have confirmed a supervisor for your IPN studies, inform our admissions office at ipn.admissions [at]


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