I have recently started to communicate with scholars and administrators at an American institution (I myself am based in Europe) as part of a fellowship program. I have since then received several emails with general information which were addressed to me but likely sent in bulk to all participants. The director of the programme (herself a professor) and another administrator are also copied in the messages.

Should I reply to those emails with a "thank you" email? If so, should I include the professor and the other administrator in the reply?

1 Answer 1


No. You probably don't need to reply.

You should reply if:

  1. You have reason to believe that it will help your administrator to know that you've received the email.
  2. The email is unusually important/helpful to you.
  3. The email is unclear and you want clarification.
  4. The administrator is going "above and beyond". For example, because they are sending everyone general information following your suggestion or a discussion they had with you.

If there is a small number of participants, it could also be helpful say thanks if you do not usually receive emails from this administrator or group of administrators. For example, to give them feedback about including you in their mailing list.

To be sure, I suggest you briefly discuss this with a friend or line manager. Customs vary between research groups, so it is possible that customary thanks are expected.

This answer is based on etiquette in the UK, which I expect to be similar to the US.

  • What's a "line manager"? Oct 14, 2020 at 15:36
  • @AzorAhai Line managers have direct managerial responsibility for employees. In this case, it might be one of the academics leading Kenji's part of the investigation. Oct 14, 2020 at 17:32

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