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I applied for a prestigious US national laboratory post-doctoral fellowship with a potential mentor. Unfortunately, I got rejected. However, I am very much interested in working in this mentor's group. Note that I am not sure if he is aware of my rejection. I need advice on the following two queries:

  1. Should I send another email expressing my interest in joining this mentor's group (i.e., on funding acquired by him)? If so, what would be the most polite way to ask him?
  2. Or should I wait for the next fellowship call and apply then with the same mentor?
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Go for option 1. How you contact him depends a lot on your relationship.

Generally, keep it simple. Inform him that your application was not successful and try to get to the next step, another application, or asking for other options.

This could be an option, but as said, the formulation depends a lot on your relationship and the PI's personality.

Hi [prof],

unfortunately, our application for xxx funding got rejected. I am still very interested in joining your group and working with you on xxx. Should we try to apply for grant xyz? Do you have any other suggestions?

Yours, nxkryptor

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