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A few days ago I asked when an offer is considered official (see here) and the consensus seemed to be that nothing is official until a contract is signed.

Therefore, I was wondering if anyone has had an offer rescinded after accepting it via email? Or why the "distrust"?

Please don't take this as a judgment, I am genuinely curious about how pervasive this is.

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    Occasional and not pervasive. Generally would require a serious cause. Changes in available funding. Misconduct by applicant discovered late. But not chaotic. Occasionally a complete department is eliminated, though hopefully with more notice.
    – Buffy
    Jan 13 at 15:19
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    The offer is independent of the contract being signed. Signing a contract is accepting the offer. I can't imagine anyone accepting an offer via e-mail. How would they know all the details of what they are saying yes to? You need to see a complete contract for that.
    – Sverre
    Jan 13 at 16:36
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    I had a grad school colleague who accepted an offer from a corporate lab some months before they would defend their thesis, signed and everything. Some months went by, the company reorganized/changed priorities, and the group they were hired into was axed. They got a nice letter from the company explaining the situation, that there was not job to come to, as well as a check (in essence, severance pay). They restarted their job search and found another position. Wasn't during Covid though...
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 13 at 17:46
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    @Sverre Many of us in the US do not have a "signed work contract". I don't have a piece of paper that states that the offer I had accepted has actually been converted to an actual job contract. I do have an employee card and the university pays my salary every month, so I am legally an employee, but I don't have a piece of paper that says so. Jan 13 at 18:23

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