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Awkward Situation

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I emailed a potential advisor 2 months ago about working with him; he said he's going to put me on the group list. I then asked to get started in his lab; he never replied.

Afterwards I thought he just didn't want me there so I asked another professor who was willing to take me in. That professor agreed and so I didn't think about this anymore.

Yesterday I got a group email from the first professor about going to a lab meeting which I just missed. The professor is this bigshot who leads a very large and well funded group.

What should I do? Do I just not reply to the email, since I have no obligations to him and its such a big group (and I never started) that he probably never missed me, or should I send him an email explaining the situation?

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I totally know what you are going through since I'm in a slightly similar situation. You don't want to blow off his email since he might be someone you end up collaborating with in the future. My advice is to respond to his email because he took the time to add you to his group list and invited you to the lab meeting. Thank him for the invitation and tell him that in the time that elapsed, you had joined another lab group. I don't think an explanation is needed unless he specifically asks.

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You missed a meeting that you couldn't have possibly heard of because he never answered. I wouldn't worry to much about this, Charlie's advice is good IMO, just be sure to mention that you joined the other group because of no news from his part...

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  • 2 months later...

Necroposting on something from 3 months ago.  I apologize in advance for being late, losing my wallet, running out of gas.


I hate email. Seriously.


Try this.  Act stupid.  Take the blame.  Tell them both.  Go to both meetings for a while.  Decide which group later.  Stall.


If you're about to make a decision which is going affect the next 5,7,whatever years of your life, it behooves one to do it wisely.


As an old man, I've learned to blame Alzheimer's or that motorcycle accident back in '70 when it's necessary.  I sure wouldn't base some life changing decision on a misunderstood email.

Edited by Gary in CA
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