I am being offered a PhD position at a German institute and I still have a few other interviews planned for the next month (late October).

How much time can I safely ask for to think about accepting this offer? I read somewhere that they usually they give you 1-2 week to think. However, it is obviously not enough, as my other interviews will be conducted at the end of the next month. And the results of those interviews may be known after as long as 1 month (from my experience so far).

I really like the position I am being offered to. But, I also want to have my interviews with the other institutes and make a decision at the end. Is asking say, for 1.5-2 months a bad idea?

I am very inexperienced in this kind of situations and do not know what my options are. I would really like to know, what I should do in this situation, in order to be able to participate in my future interviews without losing (rejecting) this current offer?

UPDATE: The suggested "duplicate" questions are not asking the same thing, although they are somehow related. I am asking how much time (roughly) I could ask for, but none of these questions answer my specific questions.

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    @henning Where in these questions do you see the answer for OP's question? Sep 23, 2021 at 7:50
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    @lighthousekeeper okay, the answer isn't explicit, so I'll retract the close vote. The other questions indirectly answer this one, however, to the extent that there is no "maximum time"; instead, the best course of action is to communicate transparently with all involved parties about your constraints and preferences.
    – henning
    Sep 23, 2021 at 8:23
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    Doesn't the offer letter state by when they expect a reply?
    – user151413
    Sep 23, 2021 at 16:57
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    You would have to be truly exceptional or they desperate if they allow you to wait 1.5-2 months. Sep 23, 2021 at 17:45
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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes.
    – cag51
    Sep 23, 2021 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


Asking will (at least it should) not hurt. You already got the offer, they want you to join them, they will probably not rescind the offer that easily. However, asking for 1.5-2 months is really pushing it. So if you do ask, be polite and make sure you let them know you understand that this is inconvenient for them.

But it could leave the impression that they are your second choice. If the other interviews offer you the same (in terms of benefits) will you prefer one of those over your current offer?

Is it possible to contact the other institutes and ask them to do you interviews sooner? This can possible shorten the extension you want to ask.

  • To understand which one I would prefer, I would really need to have all of my interviews and see with which team I match better. I think it would not be possible for the other institutes to interview me sooner since it would mean they have to interview all the other candidates sooner too. (I think)
    – bird
    Sep 23, 2021 at 7:47
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    Then the option is to ask and be open on why you want the extension (other interviews) but be prepared that they will not give you this amount of time.
    – Jeroen
    Sep 24, 2021 at 8:46
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    Indeed, there is not much to loose in asking. You can also ask in an open fashion ("until when do you need my decision") and afterwards to negotiate a longer deadline if needed.
    – user151413
    Sep 24, 2021 at 17:08

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