Professor hasnt replied.

<p>Hi guys! I sent an email to a professor two or three years ago and she hasn't replied yet. In the email I talked about my research plans and topics and expressed my willingness to be her student. Should I resend the email or should I wait for another couple of days? Will my resending the email be considered as too impolite?</p>

<p>Do you mean that you sent the email two or three days ago? I would at least give them between 1 week to 2 weeks to respond. There's a good chance that they are very busy with finals and grades, so just give it some more time. If it's more urgent, I would suggest calling their office/secretary or visiting in person</p>

<p>When you do resend the email, be polite and offer an excuse for them.<br>
- I'm sure you are busy and perhaps you haven't seen the earlier email yet.
- With the recent holidays...
- I've been having a few computer / email problems recently and maybe my earlier email has not reached you...</p>

<p>It is a delicate way of getting attention.</p>

<p>Haha, yes, two or three days ago...Thank you guys for the suggestions!</p>

<p>did you contact her just to show your interest in working with her? if so, I wouldn't expect too much, cuz it's more of cyber-greeting. I emailed quite a few professors from all the schools I applied, and only 3 replied me back. one of them were very enthusiastic since he used to be a faculty at my school, and he did a lot of collaboration works with my current PI. He thinks that my background would be an excellent fit for his lab. However, the only thing he could tell me is to apply and wait to see if I can have interview, then he can discuss more about the opportunity in his lab. </p>

<p>a professor might be interested in you, but the decision is still in the hand of the admission committee, and not always he/she is in the committee. Don't expect too much from a reply.</p>

<p>To ducphan--Yeah, i discussed my research topics and my interest in working with her because our research interests match perfectly. I guess you are right. We shouldn't expect too much. It's just that the Department suggests on the webpage that applicants contact potential supervisors about their research plans so I emailed her. Hope she will respond.</p>

<p>2-3 days? You should give a professor at least a week and a half before you start getting concerned. </p>

<p>When they suggest that you contact professors, you should ask them about their research and whether they are taking students. The contact shouldn't be made just to talk about yourself.</p>

<p>I agree with juillet and would add that asking an open ended question that should be very quick for the professor to respond to is a good strategy. At least make it not yes/no. Something like: how much interaction can a PhD student expect with various members of your research group (even if they are not working with you directly). Something that give you a better picture of the program, is quick and easy for them to reply to, and is not an obvious restatement of something you can find online. Creating a question that matches this criteria means it is likely unique and puts the candidate in a different light than those that ask is funding available, what are my chances, what is your advice for me. As juillet said, contact shouldn't be about you.</p>

<p>Thanks Juillet and Straightadmit! I realize that I talked too much about my own research interests in the email. That may be the real problem. Do you guys think I can send a follow-up email asking whether she is taking students and stuff?</p>

<p>I disagree with straightadmit. I would not offer the professor excuses (especially ones which are not true, like 'my computer has been acting up')... which can come across as a bit passive aggressive. I receive emails from undergraduate students from my college who want career advice and they do this frequently if I don't respond within a few days. </p>

<p>It's fairly transparent in these situations the individual has seen the email, it did go through, and the student is tiptoeing around his/her eagerness in hearing a response. </p>

<p>I think what comes across as more direct-- and therefore more professional-- is simply "I just wanted to touch in with you on my email last week" or "I wanted to follow up the email I sent you last week." </p>

<p>I think the more direct and polite a student is the more impressive and professional he/she comes across. There is nothing wrong with following up on an email that you haven't heard from, and you shouldn't have to send a meek "excuse me? I know you are sooo busy.... " follow-on email. Treat the professor very politely but as a potential colleague, not someone you have to tip toe around. </p>

<p>2Just my two cents! The other advice about giving the person a week is quite sound.</p>

<p>Yes, I do think you can send a follow-up email asking if the professor is taking any students next year - but do wait a while, like a week or two, before sending another one.</p>

<p>@guavas - "direct and polite" is always good advice.</p>