I am a third year undergraduate biology major student.

At the beginning of this quarter, I sent out a bunch of emails looking for research opportunities. I heard back from some of them and got a position. But today when I checked the junk mail, I found a reply from a lab that I am really interested in. The professor replied me two months ago and asked for my transcript.

I am wondering should I reply this email directly with my transcript and apologise for the late. Or should I send him another email and apply again?

Thanks for any suggestions.

  • 4
    You can definitely try emailing with an apology and a short explanation ("Your email accidentally ended up in my junk folder and I didn't notice until now." -- nothing more). That said, remember that you've already gotten a position, so if you were offered a position in the other lab, you would have to figure out how to leave your current position. That may require burning bridges if you aren't careful about how you handle it.
    – tonysdg
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 22:50
  • Thanks for your suggestion. My current lab position does not have so many workloads and my project will finish soon. I am thinking if I can get this position, I might try to do both at the same time.
    – Mintvc
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 5:43
  • I think it is time for you to stop doing junk mail .Put a no junk mail sign on your letterbox and things like this will not happen again .The utility function of junk mail is zero .The glossey paper is no good for starting the log burner with .Maybe somebody could invent a car that would run on junk mail in the future but untill then it is best not to have it .
    – Autistic
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Suppose you do nothing. Then you remain at your current position, yourwork carries on, and whatever may come of that will happen.

Suppose you respond to this professor's request. You may write something that apologises for the late response, asks whether the position is still available, and provides your most recent transcript.

Then at worst, they reply with rudeness and aggression, and you thank them for their time, then move on. They may tell you the opportunity is closed, but invite you to keep in touch or to apply again when you graduate/advance in qualification.

They may also say the opportunity remains. At that point you must decide whether it is better to

  • thank the professor and remain where you are (flakey, might be seen as rude),

  • open a dialogue that allows you to transition once current projects are complete (reasonable, but may not work for the professor or their lab),

  • try to develop a sideline partnership working in or with both labs (could be a huge job, but also huge rewards if it works), or

  • jump ship totally (also flakey, reflects poorly on your commitment).

  • A reason for the downvote would be appreciated. If your issue is a lack of detail, that's not going to change, and if you disagree with a potential outcome, you could explain why it wouldn't be possible.
    – Nij
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 4:35
  • Thanks so much for your answering. I guess since I am new to this website, I cannot upvote you. But I really appreciate your analysis.
    – Mintvc
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 5:38

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