I realise this is a common question, but my situation is complicated by the work-related responses without a response to my reference request. I requested a reference letter from my professor a week ago, and followed up yesterday, but haven't received a response for it. I checked in with the administrator this morning to see if everything is ok but haven't received a response from him either. I did receive a prompt response (<1hr) from my professor today for an email regarding ethics approval on a project she is faculty supervisor for.

My professor has provided supportive reference letters in the past, so I am confused about how long to wait and whether I should follow up again. She did return from vacation last Monday. My other 3 referees, all directors of departments, responded within <1 hour in the affirmative so I feel like I'm a pretty good bet. The deadline for the letters is just over a month from now.

  • 1
    Can you talk to her in person? Emails get lost occasionally, or buried under other emails. Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 22:17
  • That's a great suggestion. She's been working remotely for the past three years, but I can try stopping into the office when the admin will be there.
    – WhooNo
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


When you get a lot of email, it's necessary to prioritize responding to them.

You need a letter in 1 month, not today. Especially after returning from vacation, there is a need to prioritize and triage.

I would not worry about this yet. Perhaps send another reminder when the deadline is closer.

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