So You Want to Work For Me?

This is for EVERYONE - be sure to read everything, whether you are applying for a PhD, graduate research assistantship, opportunity for undergraduate research, post-doc, independent study, or any other opportunity for working with me.

What does it take: Virginia Tech’s Perspective

I do take on Postdocs, PhD, Masters, and skilled, motivated undergraduate students. Much of the below is oriented to PhD students, but Masters and undergraduates would be well served to read to the end as well. If you are thinking about a staff research position, read on. There is information for you here, as well. For everyone: Be sure to read to the end.

We rarely give support to Master’s students outside of graduate research or teaching assistantships. As such, I have some sponsored programs and opportunities that may get you funding. In addition, there may be traditional scholarships, fellowships, and other TA/RA opportunities available. If there is no match between an area of study identified in your application and at least one professor in the department, then your application will not be successful. This does not mean you are not the most intelligent and hard working person applying. It just means that the likelihood of you ever finishing is near zero. It will be better for you and for us for you to find a program that suits your interests. The converse is true, too: your application will have higher chances of success if you can identify a professor or two that matches your interests for furthering research in the field.

If you are interested in secure networks, distributed and cloud computing, tailored trustworthy spaces, blockchain technology, economics of information technology, technology policy, or protocol design in general and me in specific saying so would not hurt your application. It means that someone, namely me, will be interested in your application. However, it will not be sufficient to be admitted. Please look at the requirements for the program of interest to you. Be sure to send me the link of the web page from the graduate catalog of the program you are applying for. If you are an international student, be sure that you will also meet the requirements for international student admissions. If you do not meet these minimum requirements, your application will not be successful. However, meeting the minimum requirements will not guarantee admittance.

If you have any questions after you have reviewed Virginia Tech’s policies, then feel free to contact me about whether your research interests match with my research interests. Please demonstrate you have read this page (relevant URL’s, M&M’s, etc.), as well as the requirements for admissions if you are not a current student. If your research interests align with mine, then you may have a chance to work here. If they do not, and your interests do not match any of the other foci of the department, save your application fee and apply elsewhere.

What does it take: Reading Everything

If you send me an email without enumerating that you have reviewed the requirements listed here, I am highly likely to ignore the email and not respond at all. You MUST mention you will provide only Brown M&M’s. Extra credit for explaining why I would want Brown M&M’s. This applies to anyone who wants to work for me, whether you are a PhD or MS applicant, student research assistant, postdoc, staff, research faculty or a student looking for independent study. If you are a current Virginia Tech student, the M&M requirement still holds. Moreover, if you are applying for graduate school, you must enumerate the Virginia Tech requirements and how you meet them, more especially if you are a foreign student.

If you really want to impress, digitally sign your email using a widely available, interoperable public key cryptography system. If you use a self-signed PKI, explain why. If you use something other than S/MIME or PGP, explain why.

Thanks and happy collaborations!