Context: I am an undergrad, and working in a research group over 7 months now. I have asked my P.I (group leader) whether he would write me a recommendation letter one month before the deadline of Master's programs, and he said that he would.

Now, the deadline was yesterday, and he haven't write me any letter. I have reminded him the letter regularly via email, and he responded positively, and when I reminded him again just one day before the deadline, he said that he will write it after finishing a report, and still there is no letter.

What is the most logical course of action in this case?

  • 2
    You have already done the right thing. Keep reminding him. Nov 1, 2019 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


I'd say your best course of action is to notify the institution that you are applying to that there has been a delay, and to find someone else who can write you a recommendation within a week's time. The admissions department is likely to have a little bit of grace period for you to work with, but probably not more than a few working days. That said, they may not accept the late recommendation, but it is worth trying.


If you worked closely with a senior postdoc or graduate student, you can ask that person to write you a letter. While they would not have the name recognition that your advisor does, they would be able to provide actual examples of your research skills, problem-solving abilities, and writing that the actual PI probably cannot match. Admissions committees have seen lame PIs before, and would like to know if you can do the work.

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