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PsychPhdBound

Advice Needed - No Response from Potential Advisor

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What does everyone think of applying to a program if your desired PI won't respond to emails confirming their acceptance status? I'm really interested in the program and their lab, but don't want to waste the money or mental energy if it's a guaranteed rejection.

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You can always try contacting the Grad Admin person for that department. 

I've emailed quite a few POIs and a few of them replied fast, some of them took quite a long time and some didn't reply at all. Some of them emailed back saying they don't know yet and they will decide when they see the applications or  when they secure funding. So you never know.

I think emailing the department might get you a faster response. And if it's your dream lab/ POI, I would say give it a try and apply unless you are certain they are not taking any students. Otherwise you might regret it.

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Mine never replied, am still working with him now.

If you're worried about whether or not somebody is taking students, then email the grad admin or someone with a similar role to that.

Some schools/profs also have a policy that they don't talk with students before admissions are in.

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I agree - I had to email my current PI 3 times before I got a response as to whether or not they are taking a student. Glad I kept trying. I would either email again or email a grad admin person or even one of their current students.

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I ended up emailing the PI again, but still no response, and had to email the department twice before getting an email back. They ended up being no help and just said they don't keep a list of who is/isn't accepting students and I should contact the PI directly (sad trombone). In the end I decided to not apply to that program. I've gotten such wonderful and supportive emails from other PIs and even had some great phone calls, so I'm not chasing after this program if they can't even confirm the application status. Maybe I'll regret the decision later, but I think how people (departments, PIs) act during the application process says something about how they value the time and energy of those applying.

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7 minutes ago, PsychPhdBound said:

I ended up emailing the PI again, but still no response, and had to email the department twice before getting an email back. They ended up being no help and just said they don't keep a list of who is/isn't accepting students and I should contact the PI directly (sad trombone). In the end I decided to not apply to that program. I've gotten such wonderful and supportive emails from other PIs and even had some great phone calls, so I'm not chasing after this program if they can't even confirm the application status. Maybe I'll regret the decision later, but I think how people (departments, PIs) act during the application process says something about how they value the time and energy of those applying.

I agree with you! My original top choice fell out of my good graces because they changed who's accepting students 3 weeks before apps were due (I had been planning to submit since AUGUST, still applying but whatever), my POI never responded to any of my emails, however the DCT would reply but every interaction I had was just so.....off.

I was fortunate to find out about another program (through this site actually!) and since then it's become my top choice and I've had wonderful conversations with my POI AND the DCT has been so extremely helpful. 

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