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Writing an email to ask for material from different lab


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So, this isn't a question about applications. My PI asked me to write an email to another lab about getting cells they have. Their research was NIH funded, so they should give us a sample of them. Anyone ever write one of these emails? Any suggestions on how to frame it? What to say? Thanks!

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I've done that several times and it should be very straightforward.

You have two options: email the PI (cc your PI), or email the first author of the paper (cc both PIs). If the paper was published recently (which means the first author is likely to remain in the same lab), I'll prefer to email the first author because usually the grad students/postdocs tend to reply emails fast, but PIs are very busy and might take weeks to reply your email if you're unlucky. To start the email, just use several sentences to briefly introduce yourself, what research you're doing and explain why you need the cell line. Then mention in which of their papers did you know about the cell line, and ask if you can get their cell line. That's really it, just be polite and professional. You don't need to worry about the details like the method of delivery in the first email, as you guys will email back and forth several times afterward. 

Feel free to PM me if you need further info. Good luck!

Edited by MCF10A
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Yup, just be straightforward and [very] polite. From my experience PIs are usually happy to send reagents. You can worry about shipping (although I usually include the lab's fedex account number and shipping info with the first email) and possibly MTAs after they respond.

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