I have a campus visit two weeks ago. The search committee chair told me that if I got a positive feedback, they will contact me, otherwise they will contact me after three weeks and half ( I assumed that I may be the second choice). I read many answers that suggest not contacting the search committee about their decision, but I still don’t know why most answers recommend not contacting the committee. Actually, I will defend my thesis sooner and I am worried and over thinking too much so I want to know a decision. So, I want to email the search committee chair about decision or any updates, just to stop thinking, is it ok to do so or it will hurt my application?


I think there are only two cases where you should follow-up with the search committee:

  1. The time by which they said they would get back to you has passed.
  2. You have another opportunity that requires a time-sensitive response.

A while ago I read some good advice (somewhere on this site) about how to deal with the waiting period after a tenure-track interview:

As soon as you're done with the interview & visit, thank everyone who you've met, and then immediately move on with your life under the assumption that you did not get the job, i.e., search for the next opportunities, etc.

  • Do u think the two weeks is the period I should consider as the time and it is already passed? I also read on their website that the university will go for a hiring freeze due to Coronavirus. Is this another reason to contact them? So i can relieve anxiety and see my life – Heba Mohsen Apr 18 '20 at 16:57
  • 3
    @HebaMohsen -- The period to wait is "three weeks and half" and not two weeks. – Daniel Apr 18 '20 at 17:48
  • You are right. Actually, the hiring process is very slow and it is causing alot of anxiety especially for an over-thinking person like me. I had an opportunity for two campus interview this year. One of them is canceled due to Coronavirus. And this one is the last one. Otherwise, I have to wait one more year and apply in November for jobs starting on fall 2021 – Heba Mohsen Apr 18 '20 at 18:24

Two aspects:

  1. It's unlikely that you will get any helpful answer. If they give you a precise timeline like "three weeks and a half", they certainly follow some clearly defined process, the outcome of which can only communicated after three weeks and a half.

  2. By the mere act of asking, you deviate from the communication protocol that was agreed on, which could come off as slightly negative (annoying). It probably won't make or break your chances, but it's still a signal you might want to avoid sending.

Your best bet is to be patient. Focus on other activities and write more applications, which will help you put that particular position in perspective. It's not your only shot.

  • But the committee chair told me two weeks to reply. Also, I don’t have other shots, the other shot is canceled due to Coronavirus – Heba Mohsen Apr 18 '20 at 9:52
  • 1
    I don't see the part about the two weeks in your original question. It looks like you will hear from them after three and a half weeks the latest, and that's a sane timeline to wait for. – lighthouse keeper Apr 18 '20 at 10:06
  • Every new application that you write is another shot. You need to get comfortable with the idea that this one may not work out, but there's more possibilities. – lighthouse keeper Apr 18 '20 at 10:08
  • You might not be aware of the hiring freezes. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 18 '20 at 10:42
  • 2
    @HebaMohsen That's indeed a proper reason. If you write them, you should focus on this particular concern. – lighthouse keeper Apr 18 '20 at 20:17

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.