Process of earning a graduate assistantship vary from school to school. First contact the school to find about their selection process for asisstantship positions. Also if there’s is a professor who has research in your interest area, it would be helpful to contact them and show your interest in that research topic and your interest working with him/her.
The biggest sign of showing a professor that you would like to work with them for long-term is enrolling in a Phd program. Applying for a master’s program, even if you plan to continue to a Phd, implies that you may leave in a short time.
A point which professors give a lot of importance especially in research assistants is if the candidate has prior knowledge on the research or previous research experience. Having a master’s degree will be helpful.
Communication during this process is generally done through e-mail exchange. It is very important to use an appropriate language and to state all the required information in your e-mails. Make sure to:
- state who you are, your purpose of writing and how you found the e-mail of that person.
- clearly state the required information about yourself.
- state which subject you would like to research on.
- NEVER neglect using formal language.
- avoid giving unnecessary details
- use HTML format in your e-mails.
- Include a CV in text format.
Do not forget that your work will not go down the drain. Even if your assistanship is not accepted, the professor will know your presence and your chances of being hired as an assistant will increase when you start school.