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Follow-up emails after rejection


bookish21
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Hello,

I was wondering if many people send follow-up emails to their potential POI's after receiving a rejection letter.

  1. Personally, do you recommend following up?
  2. If not, why not?
  3. If so, what tone do you recommend taking?
  4. Is it common to ask what you might have done better in your application or what they recommend, even though they likely received numerous applications and may not remember yours specifically?
  5. What are some common questions people ask in follow-ups?

I figured this would be a helpful conversation to have. This is my first round, and I am currently watching the rejections roll in. I want to use this opportunity to improve my chances for next year, as I am sure many other applicants do. I know it's still early, but any advice is helpful, and I want to prepare myself for the (arguably probable) possibility that I may not get in.

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I would say if it was a top choice program/POI/you had contact before it wouldn't hurt to send a follow up. They may be able to offer some valuable insight on ways you can improve for next time! Whether it's common or not I'm not sure matters. What matters is that you do what you can to access feedback, and ultimately, learn from something that can be shitty and discouraging. 

 

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Just now, Schy said:

I would say if it was a top choice program/POI/you had contact before it wouldn't hurt to send a follow up. They may be able to offer some valuable insight on ways you can improve for next time! Whether it's common or not I'm not sure matters. What matters is that you do what you can to access feedback, and ultimately, learn from something that can be shitty and discouraging. 

 

I wanted to add that this is my third time applying to phd programs. The first time around I only had 6 mos experience and my Alma mater actually interviewed me! It was exciting! But I only had a bachelors and again 6 mos. research experience. It was a blessing in disguise being rejected. My second time I was still stuck on applying to clinical psych programs. My general research interest is pretty unique? I learned after my second round it would be best for me to apply to more behavior focused programs. Before the third round and before Covid I decided I was going to stick with what I knew. I had a paying research job. A lab I love! A fantastic research mentor who has been my guiding light in all of this! But a former friend and lab member reached out and recommended I apply to this one program that she was attending. I ended up applying, recently had an interview, and now I'm playing the waiting game. The possibility of being rejected might be high for more (I suck at interviewing) But I know what I love to do. So if an outcome occurs that I don't particularly like I know i'll be in a position to ask for some feedback and make the adjustments for my phd hopeful future. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't give up. You KNOW you're going to become a phd. There's no doubt about that. 🙂 

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I definitely agree! 
i think if the rejection came from a mass email/“admissions” address it may be a bit more difficult (depends on the school). I only say this because I know of some univ that state on their website they “are unable to provide feedback after rejections”. However, a follow up of thanks/etc (especially to a POI) could prove to be helpful and insightful. 
 

Best of luck. This is my first round as well and I haven’t heard anything yet. ❤️

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey All, 

I need some advice... 

I interviewed at a PhD program two weeks ago. I had encouraging exchanges with my PI prior to the formal interview. At the end of the formal interview, faculty informed applicants that decisions would sent out the following week. So... it's been two weeks since the formal interview. I saw last week that offers were sent out to students (just like the faculty said at the end of the formal interview). I've received no communication from the program or my PI. Should I reach out to my PI and inquire about where my application stands? This is a top choice for me. Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, Confused Ape said:

Hey All, 

I need some advice... 

I interviewed at a PhD program two weeks ago. I had encouraging exchanges with my PI prior to the formal interview. At the end of the formal interview, faculty informed applicants that decisions would sent out the following week. So... it's been two weeks since the formal interview. I saw last week that offers were sent out to students (just like the faculty said at the end of the formal interview). I've received no communication from the program or my PI. Should I reach out to my PI and inquire about where my application stands? This is a top choice for me. Thanks!

Do you have a competing offer? That might be your foot in the door to gently and respectfully inquire if there is any further information the program can provide, in order to aid in your decision-making process. They might not be able to comment on your specific status, but they might be able to say something general about whether offers have been extended yet. 

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