Contacting Steve

ANU Undergraduates

If you are taking one of my courses, you already know how to contact me — it is on the course web site.

PhD Applicants

Please don’t contact me until you have read this page. (If you have not read it, I will know and I won’t respond.)

If you are interested in a PhD at ANU, you’ll need to complete the relevant administrative processes. Please carefully read the information provided by our College before you do anything else. Your application will need to include a statement of support from an ANU academic. If you think you would like to work with me, please carefully read the following before writing to me. If you are already at ANU, please read this carefully and then come and see me in person.

If I hear from you, my first consideration will be whether you are genuinely interested in my research. I will also note whether you’ve taken the time to carefully read these instructions. Please don’t expect a response if you have not.

In your letter, you will need to show that you have some understanding of what I do, demonstrate that by joining us you will bring something interesting to my research group, and that you’ve identified something in my work that particularly interests you. Please be sure to summarize your academic background and work experience, describe highlights such as the courses that you found most inspiring or challenging, state what you know of my work and what aspects of my work you most engage with. To signal to me that you have read this carefully, start your subject line with “[PhD Enquiry]” and include the word Tidbinbilla somewhere in your letter.

These requirements may sound onerous, but remember that a PhD is an enormous commitment, both for you and your advisor. Taking the time to carefully and thoughtfully engage with prospective advisors is an investment that is sure to pay off greatly as you embark on this academic adventure.

Good luck!

Post Docs

I’m always happy to hear from prospective post-docs. You’ll know by now how to write an appropriate letter. Reading the above won’t hurt though.