My former supervisor from university offered me a PhD project two months ago. I gave it some thought, chatted with them once about the topic a month ago, talked to their current students, and then decided to instead take an industrial position, because of family reasons.
I cannot meet them in person, so I was thinking about writing a message to communicate my decision. Since I know the professor well I think that some personalization of the message is required here.
Would you advise to:
- motivate why I decided to take the industry position (i.e. family/partner related issues) and if so, should I be detailed? For instance, is "I wanted to stay closer to my partner" out of place?
- emphasize positive aspects of their offer that made the choice very tough? E.g. the topic was interesting, the past collaboration was good?
- say that I took so long to be able to communicate a definite decision?