I cold emailed a lab I really wanted to work in and received a positive response. I had two phone calls with the PI and she seemed very responsive and said she thought I would be a good fit. They asked me to write a rough project proposal and organize a lab visit. She assured me that she would be able to respond within 24 hours regarding the proposal.

As I don't live in the US and am uncertain currently about when I would be available in the next few months, I asked in a follow up email if the lab visit was a necessary part of making a final decision -- I wasn't really clear if I was going to be offered the position. They also didn't mention if I would be reimbursed for the visit, and that's kind of important, but I stressed that I will do my best to organize it if it is part of the process. Also, if I'm not actually being offered the position, then I should know in case I should be applying for other positions.

Anyway, it's been more than a week after I sent the email and I haven't gotten a response. I even sent the proposal and haven't heard anything. I'm confused what happened, it seems like I did something wrong.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


It’s winter time and many people are sick. Your email could have been caught up in a spam filter. She could be on travel. There are any number of explanations that don’t involve you having done something wrong.

Just send a follow-up email politely asking if the proposal had been received and proceed from there.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've sent two emails total now. How long do you think I should wait before emailing the PI's assistant to see what's up? I'm inclined to agree with you and probably I sound neurotic, but I'm nervous they are not interested anymore because they were very quick to respond before. – phimac Feb 13 '18 at 18:14
  • Wait at least a week since your previous email. – aeismail Feb 13 '18 at 18:35
  • It's not just winter time. The flu season is the worst in a decade. I'm being sick myself. – qsp Feb 13 '18 at 20:44
  • @phimac ...and at least we are having exams at the moment which are the top priority... so one week of silence is not really uncommon. But it's a bit strange that an answer within 24h was promised, so I understand why you are insecure. – OBu Feb 13 '18 at 20:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.