I email to prof X to ask about a PhD student vacancy. He refuses because of his retirement, but kindly introducing prof Y to me. When emailing to prof Y, should I CC prof X?

I do this because at the end of the letter he says that he wants me to get him informed of my work. But more importantly, even without this saying, I think CC to someone when they has introduced me to another person is a good etiquette. It shows that I'm transparent.

But what if they are not really close? They may know each other through the work of each other, but hasn't had any conversation? Would this make things become awkward? And if he didn't say anything about informing him, would CC him simply annoying him?

While you can say that this question is a continue of my previous one, the names have been rearranged completely. For the sake of your understanding, please assume that the two questions have no relation to each other.

  • 1
    And by the same poster. @Ooker - really, I think you are overthinking this. Contact prof X, period. Prof Y has given you his answer, and X knows that Y is passing you on (for whatever that is worth). Y is finished in the process.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 24, 2015 at 17:16
  • @JonCuster no. Prof X here = prof Y there. Prof Y here is a different prof
    – Ooker
    Nov 24, 2015 at 17:36
  • @Ooker. If you're really concerned about transparency, you can CC a thank you. But all in-depth discussion should only happen with those who are contributing. Keep Prof. X informed with updates, but if he's not on the project, there's no need to continually CC him.
    – Ric
    Nov 24, 2015 at 17:43
  • I'm quite sure that Professor X is directly communicating your thoughts to all parties involved. Apr 21, 2018 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


I work with many professors worldwide. I believe that its always good to CC the professor who had introduced you, (avoid only if he is not interested in you to know). Once you are involved with the professor and do some work with him, you are free to communicate independently. Also do not forget to thank him/her for looking forward an opportunity for you.

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