I am applying to be a lecturer, where most of my references are professional references. I am being asked for a mailing address for references. Professionally, it seems awkward to ask for someone's mailing address. I understand this is easy in academia, as one can put down the department address. Similarly, I can put work addresses for professional references. However, a few references have since retired. What can I do in this situation?

  • Some universities (mine) leave email in place for retirees.
    – Buffy
    Dec 5, 2023 at 19:27
  • 3
    @Buffy the question asks about "mailing address for references" and seems to be snail mail. Dec 5, 2023 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


Your references should all have mailing addresses at which they receive professional correspondence. You can ask them for that information without any awkwardness.

  • A couple have since retired. What would I do there?
    – user760900
    Dec 5, 2023 at 18:34
  • 7
    @user760900 Ask them what address they'd like you to provide for this purpose. It's normal for people to receive mail.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 5, 2023 at 18:55

Many retired academics keep their university email address. Try that. If you can't find an address, ask their old department if they can give you updated contact information. This might include physical mail addresses.

Many retired academics still have a web presence and a web search may turn them up.

But you shouldn't be listing references that you haven't already contacted, so you should have some means of asking them what to do. They will supply an address if they choose to.

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