I want to apply for an open position in Luxembourg I found. They ask me to give email addresses of at least 2 references who can provide a reference letter if contacted.

Two of my professors agreed to write a reference letter, but they haven't written it yet.

My question is: Can I already send my application or should I wait for the professors finishing their letters to send it?

Or in other words: When the university will send my referees an e-mail asking for recommandation letters, do they expect that my professors have already written the letters, or will they let them time to write it?

Thank you in advance for your help!

  • What part of the world are we talking about?
    – cag51
    May 20, 2023 at 17:57
  • @cag51 Europe, mostly netherlands, belgium, sweden
    – Abel Milor
    May 20, 2023 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


These kinds of professional requests from an institution to a faculty member can never demand response in less than a couple of weeks—professors just don’t work on that kind of time scale. So I wouldn’t recommend waiting for the letters to be finished before applying. It would be good to be sure your recommenders have at least a month’s notice, though this is tricky in this case with the lack of a clear deadline.

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