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I had two Zoom interviews with a PI in two weeks. As of today, 3 weeks have passed since the second interview and I haven't heard anything from the PI. I was expecting either position offer or rejection, but there was no update since then.

I wonder if it would be okay to send a polite "follow-up" email to the PI inquiring process update.

Thank you in advance for suggestions!

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Since two weeks have passed, you would be justified to ask.

Is there a reason on your side to ask now, such as another offer or the need to make alternate plans? People would understand such a reason.

Usually, there is some internal reasons for a delay. It could be as trivial as not getting a signature because a key person is on vacation. It could be that the offer was given to someone else, and now they are waiting for that candidate's decision, but they want to make an offer to you as the second-best choice. Or there might be some internal need to verify funding for the position. In these and similar cases, I do not see what an answer to the email can bring to you other than more clarity.

I would give it one more week to let them work out things internally, thus doubling their estimate. There have been cases where people just forgot to inform an unsuccessful candidate. In a case I know of personally, they forgot to inform the second tier candidates for a deanship.

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