I am applying for a foreign research internship/ scholarship that requires the applicants to first approach their potential adviser over email.

I had sent my first email around the end of August and then a follow up email around September 18. I heard back from the professor the next day, who said that my application will go through a pipeline and then he will let me know if there is a further possibility for me. It has already been a month since that.

Now here's the thing, the deadline for application is approaching fast and there is a need for a number of documents to be prepared and processed both by me and my potential supervisor before that. Also, my institute has declared an official holiday of about two weeks, so it won't be possible to get the signatures and stamps from my home institute before that (nearly October 25 and the deadline is November 1).

Should I send a second email? If I should, then how can I structure such an email without sounding impatient and unprofessional?

2 Answers 2


Too late to be useful, but I'm on an "unanswered questions" kick, so...

Yes, I would contact him again. The worst that can happen is that he is annoyed; the best that can happen is that you get your internship.

How to structure it? Concisely. Like this:

Dear Professor, Sorry to pester you, but if we move ahead with this, I will need to get the signatures/stamps from my home institute this week. Is there any update about my status? I am still highly interested in this opportunity. Thank you, -Name.

  • 2
    Thank you for the response. I ended up receiving another approval from a different Professor from a different university and proceeded with that application. I wasn't sure how the previous professor would have reacted had I sent him yet another email, so I kinda took the safe way out and approached another. I was able to submit my application before the deadline. Nov 20, 2018 at 5:09

A phone call may work better in this case. Obtain the professor's desk phone number and call with Skype credit. Try finding out the best time to reach them by calling theirs admins first.

Before the phone call, memorize and rehearse the first few sentences that you want to say, and let the rest flow based on the tone of the talk. This allows you to manage the situation smoothly.

About your email, try saying something like "would you like me to send it again?"

  • 1
    Absolutely don't call a cell phone, that's highly unprofessional. Apr 18, 2019 at 22:37
  • Right, I removed that part. The ones I used to call gave me their numbers themselves, but that doesn't necessarily always happen.
    – naco
    Apr 19, 2019 at 5:03

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