Prospective interns, graduate students, post-docs and visitors for Jeff Fessler's research group

As of Summer 2024 my research group is quite large, so it is unlikely I will be recruiting any new PhD students or postdocs for Fall 2025. Possible exceptions would be students who are strong candidates for a NSF Graduate Fellowship, or postdoctoral candidates who are eligible for an NIH F32 fellowship. All of the doctoral students (and post-docs) in my group are co-advised with my collaborators; it is possible that some of them may be recruiting.

Thank you for your interest in my imaging research at the University of Michigan. I have been in the EECS Department here since 1995, and over these many years I have been enjoying the privilege of working with a diverse group of creative and bright undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs from all around the world. You can see the dissertations and current positions of all of these students here. I have also mentored several terrific postdoctoral fellows; you can see their current positions here.

To get a feeling about what are the current projects in my group, look at our in-press papers and recent conference papers. Reading the "future work" section of any recent paper or thesis on my web page is a reasonable way to see possible future directions. However, every member of my group is unique and I work with each person to find projects that suit their interests.

I love collaborative research so most of the graduate students and postdocs working with me are also co-mentored by one of my collaborators. They benefit from having two mentors and from being part of two groups.

Every year I get numerous emails with the question "will there be any openings in your lab next year?"
My web page shows that I have graduated at least one PhD student every year since 2003, often 2 or 3 students per year. So it is logical to think that I must recruit one or more new PhD students every year! Naturally I prefer to work with students who think logically.

If you email me to express interest in joining my group, please include one of the following keys in the subject line: [fessler-intern] or [fessler-phd] or [fessler-postdoc] or [fessler-visitor] as appropriate to your situation. Also include your name in the subject line.

Instead of attaching a resume to your email, the best way to promote yourself is to make a web page that describes yourself and highlights your skills, and then include the URL for that web page in the email. If you email me this URL and use the appropriate subject line, then I will look at your web page. If you are a PhD applicant, then I will certainly consider you for financial aid decisions that are made in the Spring.

If you are a prospective post-doc or visitor, then please also create a Google scholar entry for yourself. It is helpful for prospective mentors/employers.

I will ignore any emails sent to me that disregard the above requests, because I guess such students have not read this page and might be sending mass emails rather than really trying to find an adviser whose interests match theirs! I do not read resumes sent to me in Microsoft formats. Here are many reasons why not.

For the most part, I focus my time on my current students. In particular, I cannot answer the question "what are my chances of admission." Your chances will be improved by applying!

Please understand that after you are in a graduate program, you will be glad if your adviser spends his or her time working with you instead of responding to numerous emails from prospective students. I hope you understand.

I have never hosted any international interns, and the only international visitors I have hosted have been students who I have met previously or who are associated with ongoing collaborations. In general I do not have time to interview prospective international student visitors, so it is unlikely to be worthwhile to contact me about an internship as an international student. I do value working with a diverse student group and the graduate students in my group are from all over the world.


If you are embarking on research, this short article about the importance of stupidity should be required reading.
Here is another article about failing.
Here is an article about the common "imposter syndrome" and here is an informative visualization of it
Here is a book on Mastering your PhD: survival and success in the doctoral years and beyond
At some point you will get to attend conferences to present your research. Here is an article about networking at conferences that will help you realize you are not alone.
Here is a brief article about reading in grad school.


If you are a UM undergraduate student interested in performing undergraduate research experience with my group, use the subject line [fessler-um-ugrad] along with your name, and attach a pdf of your transcript (unofficial is fine) so I can see what courses you have taken. Also consider the advice above about resumes and web sites.

Back to Fessler home page