Note that I am currently an undergrad.

One month ago, one of my professors agreed to let me work on a research project with him. After a few weeks of not hearing anything from them, I emailed the professor asking about the project (1.5 weeks ago). He replied saying that he would be contacting a collaborating researcher (at a different institution) in the project within two days and can discuss a roll for me with them. Based on the language of the email, it seems that he had been waiting for me to email him. He said that he would contact them in two or so days, so 1 week ago, and then get back to me.

I still haven't heard back from them and so I am wondering if it is inappropriate for me to email the professor and ask about the project a second time? (note that based on the current situation, we can only email each other and not talk in person). I realize that many times going through such a process can be a bit slow but I am in a position where a recommendation letter from this professor (who is well known in their field) would be significant, as he could then talk about my academic experience with him as well as my research experience with him.

  • 2
    As a somewhat absent-minded professor, I never mind when students send a polite reminder about something I had said that I would do. Maybe give it a couple of days. Waiting nearly 2 weeks wouldn't strike any reasonable person as a sign of impatience. Sep 29, 2017 at 11:11
  • I think this is fine! I would email to ask if they got ahold of the other professor and, if so, if they would be interested in setting up a call to discuss further. Here is my availability etc.
    – Dawn
    Sep 29, 2017 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


First and foremost if you have the option to visit their office, I would highly recommend doing so before sending the second email. Because I have had professor that have lost my email in the dozens or hundreds that they receive daily, and a simple office visit was sufficient enough to clear it up


Professors get tons of emails and a significant proportion of them will slip through.

If you can not go in person then: Yes, write again but be careful about the tone. Make sure that it does NOT sound like an accusation ("You promised to write within 2 days but you didnt!"). Better along the lines of: Sorry to be bothering you again but I was just wondering if there are any news on the project we had in mind? etc I want to again express my strong interest into this project and I would be really happy to work with you on it.

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