I sent a research mentor an email (admittedly quite lengthy and dense) which he hasn't responded to in several days, nor my request within the email to discuss via phone / video call.

What should I do in this situation? Should I just resend the email?

  • 1
    A precious piece of advice I received many years ago at the beginning of my career was: never address in an email more than one issue, and keep the email as short as possible, no longer than a few lines (and sometimes even a few lines are too many: hey, have you read also the second line of my two-line email, haven't you? -- I frequently ask to one of my closest coworkers). Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 19:14
  • 4
    Use the phone. If your advisor doesn't answer, call another graduate student in your advisor's group, or another member of your committee, or whoever is in the next office, or even the department head, and ask them to knock on your advisor's door. Or call their home and apologetically ask their spouse/kids if your advisor is sick, and if not, could you please have their mobile phone number.
    – JeffE
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 22:35
  • They dont want to. Talk in person.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 23:53
  • Well, if your email looks like a spam, i.e., one in which you send to all universities in the world, then why would he/she respond? You are just fishing. Spend some time tailoring your email. Find out about the mentor. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


Adapt the communications structure to the situation at hand.

A request for a video/call conference should be sent alone, especially if your researcher seems to disdain long e-mails. In the 1st such live communication, clarify with him whether it will be pointless to send him long e-mails, and whether instead you will communicate live, mainly through video/call conferences.

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