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I sent a PhD application almost 3 weeks ago on a thursday afternoon. As it happened, the next friday was a holiday. Something I noticed after sending the application.

Does one get a notification of receipt after sending an application?

My fear is that I sent the e-mail on thursday, when the PI and professor were already out. That, together with the 3 day weekend, and the mountain of mails probably coming on monday, buried my application and it went unnoticed.

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    Just send an email to ask whether your application had been received. – Dave Clarke Apr 22 '15 at 7:57
  • I got replies of PhD applications around 4 months after sending them. You never know – Ander Biguri Apr 22 '15 at 11:47
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It really depends on the school, and the channel of communication. I usually follow up after a week of sending an email if I were applying to a specific professor.

Using the example of my school, PhD applications are handled centrally, and you only get an email of further inquiry or rejection.

In either case, there are probably a lot of applications that the professor needs to sort through, a smart follow up is usually necessary.

  • I applied to a specific professor. I guess a follow up is in order. – Keine Apr 22 '15 at 8:30
  • Tim, I checked your profile and noticed that you are a PhD student at ETH. I have in mind applying to a couple of research groups in chemical engineering and biotech. However, from what I have seen, PhD applications are not handled centrally at ETH. But rather, all groups point you towards applying directly to the professor (except for doctoral programs, but that's another story). Is this just a difference between institutes? – Keine Apr 22 '15 at 8:42
  • Hehe, I guess I should've made that clear-er. The applications are mostly submitted centrally is what I meant. I think all vacancies must be posted on the central website (ethz.ch/en/the-eth-zurich/working-teaching-and-research/…). Though all subsequent communications are personalized. But of course the professors do different things. – Tim Apr 22 '15 at 18:36

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