I am a Molecular biology post graduate from India. I enquire about PhD vacancy to various potential principal investigators (PhD supervisors) by sending my CV and cover letter. When I receive a rejection mail like mentioned below, how do I respond to the scientist? I would like to have good rapport with the lab as I aspire to join the lab later. Or should I ask any questions?

Examples of rejection e-mail:

Thank you for your interest in joining our lab. Unfortunately, I'm not looking for a phd student. Good luck

I am sorry but the lab is full

3 Answers 3


I would probably not bother to reply; the negative answer that you got seems to have to do with the fact that there are no open positions. The best you can do is to keep an eye open for PhD positions being announced in the future.


Many labs receive many such email requests every week and don't even have the time to look at them in any detail (unless, of course, you are applying to a particular advertised position, but that was obviously not the case here). The best course of action on your side is to not respond.

You should try to apply to advertised PhD programmes rather than just send uninvited CVs and covering letters to all possible labs. The chances to secure a position in this latter way are very slim, IMHO.


These are per se not mails that require any response. Most likely, the matter is finished for the scientist. The most I would write back is

Thank you for the information.

Sincerely, Ak2817

If you wish to stay on the "good side" I would definitely not respond with further questions or inquiries at this point.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .