So here is the problem!

I asked a professor if he is taking any new students and he answered that there is a good chance that he would take me but he is waiting to hear back about his grant application. He said that he will contact me in a week but it has been a week and I didn't receive any emails from him. I want to write an email to check if there is any news but I'm afraid that would be impolite or too pushy.

I want to just politely ask if there are any updates(and make sure that he has not forgotten me!) but I'm not sure how to do it.

I would really appreciate your help and thank you for your time.

1 Answer 1


You're overthinking it ... The Professor is probably still waiting on the grant application and has nothing to say.

I am not sure what you mean by "taking any new students" - ie .. for a class or something that has a deadline - but wait till a week and a half or two, and send a followup - something like:

"just sending follow-up note about [taking me on as a new student] - so I don't get lost in all the noise. " depending on the situation - it wouldn't be inappropriate to add: "is it possible for me to make an appointment to discuss [topic] in the next week or so?"

I've been a professor (teaching and research) for nearly 15 years - so the above is quite normal. The shorter the better.

  • 1
    Thanks. I want to apply for a graduate program and I'm searching for a supervisor. Buy "taking new students" I meant if he has any open and funded positions in his lab for research assistance.
    – Parinaz
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 20:10
  • Well, you can also - in the same followup - if you have not done so already - explain why working with him (for him) in his program is so important to you ... ie. why the program, the subject (and his work) motivates you so much that you must be in his program. If you want to further be memorable - send him a link to a paper or article that most likely he has not seen (careful about this) - or if he has seen it - send the link with your comments on it.
    – CJ Cornell
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 1:23

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