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Professor Communications Conundrum


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So I emailed a professor a couple of weeks ago to ask him about his research. I'm doing research on a very similar topic, and I haven't seen any papers from his group, so I emailed him to ask if his group was indeed working in the area, and asked if he could point me toward any papers.

He responded the next morning pretty early, and suggested we talk on the phone, but I can't see to get in touch with him since them. I emailed him back that same day with my phone number and availability, but got no response. I then emailed him a week later and got an out of office auto-reply saying he would be out of office until last Saturday. I just emailed him again, and I got another out of office auto-reply saying he is out again this week. At this point I really don't want to email him again, but I don't really know what to do.

I'm worried that if I can't get in contact with him he will remember me when he sees my application and think I wasn't interested in speaking with him on the phone, and I'm also worried about losing out on this excellent opportunity.

Any suggestions?

Edited by was1984
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First, it seems to me that he was interested in talking to you - he suggested that himself.

Second, it looks like he has some urgent business.

He has obviously received your e-mails but he could not answer. I think he will do that and I would just wait some more, without sending him new letters.

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Here is what an undergraduate professor told me about contact:

Get your foot in the door whatever way possible, emails, conferences, etc.

Bug administrative people without much worry about being too pesky.

If you have contacted the professor a couple times and received no response, or initial response and then nothing, back off a bit. Maybe follow up once you have submitted your application with a message that just outlines that you followed through and look forward to hearing more about this person's research.

That is what I would do.

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