Step-by-step guide on finding potential graduate supervisors!

In my experience seeking graduate (Masters and PhD) admissions, I had to figure out a lot of things the hard way while trying to navigate. I realized even something as fundamental as researching academics and finding potential supervisors can be a daunting task. This is why I thought to break down the steps I took to research potential supervisors in this tutorial.

1. Preliminaries

a. Set down the initial information you need to commence a search including the target country, course of study and research interests. For our tutorial purposes, we choose the following:

Country: Germany

Course: Computer Science

Research interests: Big Data, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, AI, and Cloud Computing

b. Keep a list: Keeping a list of essential information like faculty name, interests, email address and link to page can help you as you go along your research.

2. Google [or-another-browser] search

Find universities offering the course by doing a Google search.

Google search for universities

There are some websites that might give you a list of the universities. Like in the picture below, the website.

Website listing universities by ranking

3. Systematic navigation

Choose a university from the list. Ideally, you should do it systematically, say following a top-down approach starting from the best-ranked and going downwards. So let’s say you choose: Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin).

Website listing universities

4. Find research/faculty page on Uni website

Go to the University website and explore. Remember translating to English where needed. You will be looking out for menu pointing to the research information of the university  such as “academic programs” or “research” or “departments”. Don’t expect them to look the same for all the universities.

University website
Research page
  • This below doesn’t help as there are no links to the academics and their research. Dead end!
Dead end!
  • Now I go to “Faculties”. This looks more promising
Different faculites or departments in the university
  • Bingo! We found what we were looking for. You can now look for one of the research areas in the query given
List of faculty members (potential supervisors)

We can get his contact, and if he has any personal website, we can go in there to find additional information.

potential supervisor contact page

I hope this helps. How have you been going about admission and potential supervisors’ search? Please also share any hurdles you faced and questions you may have about the process.


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