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Declining an offer


liliafax
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Hello all! So, I’m sorry if this is an extremely obvious question but I figured I would ask it here instead of bugging my support network again. 

I was accepted to three different schools and made my final choice Friday. However, I’m stuck now writing my letters declining my offers at the other two. I know the formal declining letter should go to the email address indicated on the original letter. My question is: should I email the POI separately to thank them specifically for their time or is just having them CCed to the formal declining letter sufficient. I really don’t want to be annoying. I also want to do those quickly considering it took me this long to make the decision at all. 

Also! I assumed replying to the original email with the offer was the best way to do this. However, one of my offers was sent by the department secretary (normal) who emailed me this week alerting me that they were leaving the position and to address any questions regarding the offer to another person. Should I still reply to that original offer email (as a reply all) or write a new email altogether?

I feel bad enough declining offers when they were very accommodating of me in the first place and I want to do this properly.

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9 hours ago, liliafax said:

My question is: should I email the POI separately to thank them specifically for their time or is just having them CCed to the formal declining letter sufficient. 

I think that CC'ing them on an email might be a bit impersonal if you've talked to them personally? To the few POI I felt close to/I talked to personally, I sent a separate email thanking them for their mentorship and help making this difficult decision and said I looked forward to seeing them at conferences/reading their work that has already been a great influence on my research. 

9 hours ago, liliafax said:

Should I still reply to that original offer email (as a reply all) or write a new email altogether?

I would send the email to the new person. 

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I would definitely send personalized emails to each of the POIs you expressed interest in working with, ESPECIALLY if you were in contact with them before/after interviews. That's what I did. It's just good form, and helps to avoid burning bridges.

As for the administrative side, I'd send it to the new secretary's email, as you were instructed.

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