I recently sent a cold email to a potential PI in the USA. He replied to me the same day showing interest and we set up a meeting, during the meeting he suggested we continue the selection process with a campus visit. I accepted, we exchanged a few emails, he confirmed the visit. But he agreed to set a date as soon as he was less busy. As he didn't reply for two weeks, I sent him an e-mail asking if everything was all right with the visit and he hasn't replied since. He almost always gets back to me quickly, on the same day.

Should I be worried? Or is this normal between PI's in the US?


1 Answer 1


It's normal for any human not to respond immediately when something more important to them is going on.

Non-comprehensive list of things that might be more important to a PI than responding to a potential postdoc: Mentoring their current postdocs/graduate students. Preparing or grading finals around the end of semester. Their health. Their spouse's health. Their parents' health. Their kids' health. The vacation they are on right now. The grant due tomorrow. Reading the thesis of a PhD student whose committee they are on.

You haven't been offered this position yet so keep applying elsewhere, don't let this one possible opportunity be so important to you that you don't continue seeking opportunities, it is not a guarantee whether they respond to you every day or after a couple weeks.

  • 2
    @Join No, it's just an email not immediately responded to. It sounds like he was busy when you were first corresponding and he's probably busy now, too.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 15 at 23:59
  • On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd invest the time and money in a visit before getting a response. They aren't any more likely to make time to talk to you if you show up unexpectedly than they did for your letter. Or any less likely, but.
    – keshlam
    May 16 at 7:53
  • @keshlam Since the visit hasn't been scheduled yet, yes it would of course be inappropriate to show up unannounced.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 16 at 11:47
  • 1
    @Join Lots of other posts here with similar questions, you could search e.g. academia.stackexchange.com/search?q=how+long+before+follow+up
    – Bryan Krause
    May 16 at 13:27
  • @Join I think with a specific target time interval in mind, the reasonable time to wait decreases as you get closer and closer to the deadline.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 16 at 13:52

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