I was wondering about a case I lived before two weeks. I have applied to a postdoc position even 10 months before getting my PhD degree. After couple of days, a professor from the institution emailed me and showed a lot of interest in my CV. He offered me to go there and write my thesis there. I refused that because of many issues regarding family, supervisor, etc. I offered him that I can come just after finishing my dissertation writing, and would stay there till the defense day, taking couple of days off for the PhD degree and going back to them.

Anyway, he said they will study my case but they showed potential of acceptance. They gave me a scientific paper as a task and I did it on time. He finally told me we will keep you updated. So I waited 10 days and never heard back from him. I sent him an email, and did not reply. I resend a new email after another 5 days.

What do you think? Have you been in such case? I am already have the feel they don't want me anymore, but come on where is all their interest in me gone? And why he does not reply to my emails? Never know the answer.

PS. The university is prestigious and worth to think and dream of it.

Thanks for your comments.

  • Universities can have convulted bureaucracies and slow recruitment processes. It could mean the prof has been busy and can't see any urgency given the 10 month wait anyway. It could mean that he wants to hire you and is waiting for approval from HR or his dean before confirming with you. It could mean that he has lost interest. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:29
  • So it's been two weeks since you last heard from them? Don't worry, it is fine, they could be busy or traveling or waiting to get some more accurate information about your opportunities. Seems that you still have quite some before you finish your thesis, so also keep looking for other postdoc positions.
    – Alexey B.
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:34
  • Also, we are in the summer in the northern hemisphere, where most people take vacations or go to conferences, so he may just be away and disconnected.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 12:20
  • 1
    They gave me a scientific paper as a task What does this mean? No one reasonable expects you to do work for them while you're still applying.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 12:47
  • Thank you guys for your replies! I would wait for another two weeks, in the meanwhile i will keep applying. @Kimball they gave me a task, like to give an opinion in one of their case studies. so, just a review.
    – AZZahrawy
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


It is not clear from your question what you are waiting for. Based on your description of the conversation, you should continue to look for post doc opportunities until you have a firm offer. Do not wait to hear anything more before sending out more applications. It is probably worth noting that 10 months prior to defending seems very early to be actively looking for a post doc.

If you are talking about how long you should wait before giving up hope, then you should wait as long as possible. Right now you do not have another offer, so there is no reason to move on.

If you are talking about how long you should wait until contacting the PI again, I would say generally 1 or 2 weeks between attempts. You might be better off making a phone call next time.

  • Thank you.. Reasonable answer. But i wont agree you with applying to postdoc in advance worth nothing. I always read and my supervisor asked me to start searching for a postdoc position before 1 year. some positions might not be available but, it could emerge sometime and they dont find a suitable profile. The second part, in which what am waiting for, i also applied to another postdoc position, and will apply for a fellowship, that's why i was wondering what to do :)
    – AZZahrawy
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 7:03

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