While waiting for the outcome of my application for a research fellowship, I was offered a job at a university in another country. It turned out that my fellowship application passed the first stage, but after some consideration, I decided to accept the job offer and not to pursue my fellowship application any further. My question is, should I tell the secretariat immediately that I would like to withdraw my application or should I just let the deadline for the second stage of application pass without informing them anything? Also, what should I say to my potential collaborators?

2 Answers 2


It is customary to withdraw your application(s) as soon as you have accepted a post elsewhere. By doing so you increase the chances of fellow applicants to be shortlisted / admitted to the next stage. Also, non-attendances and late withdrawals create a considerable mess at the interview stage, and it is better not to annoy your prospective colleagues, with some of which you may need to collaborate in future.

Actually, prompt communication is typically a win-win situation, and unnecessary delays in communication usually give nothing good to anyone (despite maybe some illusion of control).

  • Thank you. Could you answer my second question as well, please?
    – adipro
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 14:23
  • @adipro - If there is some reason you are hesitating to let them know as well that you have accepted a post elsewhere, please explain. Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 9:59
  • @aparente001, I am not hesitating; I just would like to know what is normally said.
    – adipro
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 13:45

I am not hesitating; I just would like to know what is normally said.

How's this as a starting point?

Dear [name of collaborator],

I wanted to let you know that I've taken a position at __________, and have withdrawn my application at _________. I took this decision for a variety of personal and work reasons, and I think it's going to be a positive move for me.

I hope that we can still collaborate in future, albeit perhaps in a different way than we were hoping to do. OR This means that I won't be able to work on any collaborations with you in the foreseeable future, but I wish you well in your project.

What will help you write this letter is the conviction that if you were in their shoes, you would want to be notified, the sooner the better.

Feel free to provide more information about your situation if this draft doesn't suit your needs.

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