This is a usual how to write a thank you letter but the twist is during the application process I put down professor X as a possible supervisor. I then interviewed with professor X and professor Y (both at the same institution). I was later accepted and the letter stated the supervisor would be professor Y. (Speculation: maybe professor X could not/did not want to take me on for whatever reason but professor Y did.) I spent a few days looking into professor Y's research and would probably accept.

How do I go about replying to the offer and emailing both professors? I'm not sure how to navigate this situation with the expected tact. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Context: this is for a PhD at a UK/European university.

  • Did you go through a singe interview with both X and Y present or through two separate interviews (applications), one with X and one with Y? Also, have you already accepted and want to contact X after the acceptance, or are you asking about how to write the acceptance email? – user117109 Jun 2 '20 at 13:08
  • I went through one single interview with both present. (I think it's standard to be interviewed by two people in my field...) I haven't actually accepted formally (i.e. from the university itself) nor have I contacted X nor Y yet. I suppose I want to contact both X (since X was my first point of contact and agreed to the interview to begin wtih) and Y (for accepting me), but I'm not sure where to start. – Riley Jun 2 '20 at 13:13
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    I don't see a reason to email X separately. Just include both of them in the email and say sth like "Dear both I gladly accept and look forward to meeting you both in person and start working under prof. Y". – user117109 Jun 2 '20 at 13:17
  • Thanks for the advice. I was sort of stuck thinking how I would write to X and Y courteously but as Buffy said they probably did talk with each other and so I can see why there should be no issue sending an email to both in one. – Riley Jun 2 '20 at 13:29

All it really takes is something simple.

Thank you both for considering my candidacy. I'm happy to join the program under Professor Y's direction.

And stay friendly with everyone.

  • Is there anything I should say to either X or Y? Or should I just respond to the university itself? – Riley Jun 2 '20 at 13:13
  • All the university needs is a notice of acceptance. My suggestion is to the professors. I'd guess that they both know about the two interviews, and probably had a discussion. – Buffy Jun 2 '20 at 13:15
  • Oh right. I guess I was overthinking the situation and thought more tact would be required since I hadn't actually applied to professor Y. In any case the interview was actually with both simultaneously but I wasn't aware of professor Y's interest at the time. – Riley Jun 2 '20 at 13:24

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