How to Acquire a Supervisor Letter of Support

You are required to provide evidence that an academic has agreed to be your research supervisor when applying to study a research degree at Western Sydney University. Please read these guidelines carefully before submitting an application.

What is the purpose of the letter of support?

All research candidates are required to have a Principal Supervisor to provide guidance, training and support throughout their candidature. The purpose of the letter of support is to demonstrate that you have discussed your research proposal with a potential supervisor and that they have agreed to support your application for admission.

The letter of support does not guarantee that you will be made an offer of admission or that the proposed supervisor will be confirmed as the Principal Supervisor by the relevant School or Institute.

Letter of Support Template

Please copy and paste the following text into an email, send it to your proposed supervisor and request that they complete the template and return it to you. You should then save a PDF copy of the email and attach it to your online application.

Use the email subject line: HDR Application – Supervisor Letter of Support
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Dear Graduate Research School,

I would like to express my support for [insert applicant full name] to submit an application for [Admission and/or Scholarship] into the [MRes / MPhil / PhD]. I have had a discussion with the applicant about a potential project and/or reviewed their research proposal. If they are successful, I am prepared to provide ongoing supervisory support for their project within the [Name of School or Institute]

*I understand that this statement of support does not guarantee admission and is not assurance that I will be confirmed as the Principal Supervisor by the School/Institute.

[supervisor to insert their email signature]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

What are some tips when requesting a letter of support?

Finding the right supervisor to support you has a direct impact on the overall strength of your application to study a research degree. The following tips will help you when making a request for a letter of support.

  • Think about what field of research or discipline you are really interested in and do some background research about this area, including reading some of the relevant literature or articles in that area.
  • Visit the School and Institute research pages and search for researchers in your area of interest.
  • Keyword search the Staff Profiles Directory to find potential supervisors, based on their area of expertise.
  • Prepare an email to introduce yourself, your degrees, your previous experience and your area of research interest. You should not ask for a letter of support in your first communication with the potential supervisor, wait until you have had a discussion about potential projects.
  • When you have found a supervisor that is interested in your ideas, has a project they would like to work with you on and is interested in becoming your supervisor, send them the template with a request to provide you with a letter of support.
  • Submit your application by following the instructions on the relevant how to apply page.
  • If you are having difficulty in identifying a potential supervisor, visit our find a supervisor page for more information.

Further Information