Last week, I wrote my professor a email and asked her whether she would like to write a recommendation for me. She seems quite positive and asked when would be the submit time. I replied promote about the deadline would be in two weeks. Since then she didn't reply any more. I asked early this week whether she need extended time to write the reference letter. She still didn't reply. The deadline will be next week. So does the submit time didn't work for her? how can I do now?

  • 6
    Go and ask in person. Maybe offer solutions for any problems that might come up.
    – skymningen
    Jul 6, 2017 at 7:03
  • She may be busy and/or away from her email. In this time of year many researchers go on conferences, some even on vacation. Try to phone her or meet her in person.
    – Walter
    Jul 6, 2017 at 8:22
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    some even on vacation, the shocking world of vacation in July.
    – gerrit
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:35
  • 3
    @Sara Next time, tell the deadline in in the initial e-mail.
    – gerrit
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


Two weeks is very tight; how many letters did you ask her to write? Was it for multiple schools / grants?

A month's notice, at the minimum, is typical for multiple letters - she seems unwilling / unable to meet those deadlines. But, try again, and good luck.

  • 2
    I do not agree with this answer. Many people in academia who have had to write references/recommendations before typically have templates at hand, so it does not take more than 15 minutes for them to write a standard reference/recommendations. Even if there is some new, specific information which needs to be included, it should not take more than 30 minutes to put something together. Jul 6, 2017 at 12:40
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    @101010111100 although many profs may have templates I stand by my answer in speculating (since that's all we can really do for now) that this particular prof may feel that two weeks is too tight, if the OP were asking for multiple letters that each need to be tweaked a little.
    – user75680
    Jul 6, 2017 at 12:53
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    @101010111100 I have written many LORs and they usually take me somewhere between one hour and three hours (sometimes spread out over multiple days to give me a chance to correct and polish the letter). I find your presumption that writing an LOR takes only 15 minutes (and "should not take more than 30 minutes") rather annoying. IMO a professor who writes such a letter in 15 minutes is either insanely busy and/or doesn't care very much about their student.
    – Dan Romik
    Jul 6, 2017 at 23:36

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