I had a face-to-face interview at a German University for a PhD position on Feb 12. The project is co-supervised by two professors. I was asked to prepare a presentation of my Master thesis for the interview. I was told that they invited only 4 out of 90+ applicants. It went okay and the sit-down interview after that went more or less fine. They seemed to value my enthusiasm while doubting my mathematical backgrounds. At the end of the interview, they asked me to send my transcript. I sent it the very next day (Feb 13) through email and got a reply from one of the professors on the same day that said they would soon be in touch with me regarding the position. However, I have not heard from them yet. I sent an email politely asking for an update last Friday (March 1) to one of the professors, but no reply again. Should I send an email to another professor? Or should I wait? Also, does it look like I am being refused? Any help would be good.


1 Answer 1



You aren't refused until they say so. It may be that you aren't first in line, but you are certainly still in line. They have no advantage in stringing you along. But they may be waiting to hear from others. That can take a while.

The time has actually been very short. The institution probably has rules about contacting candidates other than officially.

  • Can I now send an email requesting the update of my status? I still have not gotten anything from them...
    – grandukekj
    Mar 18, 2019 at 14:13
  • Certainly you can. But you will possibly only get an answer when they are ready to give it. But, after three weeks it is reasonable to be wondering about your status.
    – Buffy
    Mar 18, 2019 at 14:17
  • I just got an email from one of the professors. In short, I am their top choice for displaying "the highest scientific ambition," but they are not sure of my mathematical background to offer me the position. They also let me know that the position remains open. Do you think I can make one more attempt at convincing them that I have good math training? Would it be helpful to tell them that I am willing to take online math courses to meet their requirements or ask them for an intern/assistant at their lab before the PhD studies?
    – grandukekj
    Apr 18, 2019 at 7:52
  • Hard to say exactly. Thank the prof for their interest. Express your own continued interest and just note that you will continue to work on your math skills. I wouldn't mention online courses, etc. You don't want to sound desperate here.
    – Buffy
    Apr 18, 2019 at 11:10

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