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eighty8keys

What to do - LOR Emergency?

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I requested a LOR from a PI. They told me that the PhD student that I worked with would write the first draft, and they would revise and write the final draft. I emailed both of them to remind them that my first deadline was today (I emailed them before today), and the grad student told me that he would be submitting it. He said that I should change the name and email in my application to his so that he could submit it.

I'm really unsure of what to do. I know that LORs from grad students are not good for applications. I have no idea whether the PIs name would even be in the letter. If not, then I just have LOR from a grad student which was not our agreement. If so, then I feel as though it will look sketchy that the LOR came from the grad student's email. What should I do?

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5 minutes ago, eighty8keys said:

I'm really unsure of what to do. I know that LORs from grad students are not good for applications. I have no idea whether the PIs name would even be in the letter. If not, then I just have LOR from a grad student which was not our agreement. If so, then I feel as though it will look sketchy that the LOR came from the grad student's email. What should I do?

Ask first, worry about what-if scenarios second. Write back and ask who will sign the letter. If it's co-written, I think you're generally fine. It'd be better if it came from the prof, but apparently that's not working out. If not, the question is what your alternatives are at this point. Is there an emergency contact you could ask for a last-minute email? Either way, you might write the prof again and ask if they might agree to submit the letter themselves, since that will help your application compared to a letter coming from a student. You'd appreciate their time, etc etc. I would do my best to hold back on accusations, and simply stress the benefits to your application. I'm sorry, this is unfair :/ 

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So basically, the PI can't submit until Dec 5. So it's either submit with the grad student today or wait for the PI to submit late. Which one is better? It seems as though the rec would be just from the grad student if it were sent today. I talked to the school and they said that Dec. 5 is the latest that they'd want it.

Edited by eighty8keys

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44 minutes ago, eighty8keys said:

So basically, the PI can't submit until Dec 5. So it's either submit with the grad student today or wait for the PI to submit late. Which one is better? It seems as though the rec would be just from the grad student if it were sent today. I talked to the school and they said that Dec. 5 is the latest that they'd want it.

I'd definitely opt for the letter from the PI on the 5th. But you should make sure they know that the letter absolutely needs to be there on the 5th and that they're okay with that. 

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3 hours ago, fuzzylogician said:

I'd definitely opt for the letter from the PI on the 5th. But you should make sure they know that the letter absolutely needs to be there on the 5th and that they're okay with that. 

Second this.

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I told the PI on Friday I'd like for her to send it by Dec. 5, but I haven't heard back. I just followed up with her. Apparently, my grad student didn't get his draft on time to her so she couldn't do it on time. And nobody seemed to think it was important enough to let me know until I followed up with them the day before it was due. I'm just really frustrated, especially by their repeated urges not to stress out. I mean, I just feel like if you failed to do something you promised me you would do, your first response should be to apologize not tell me not to stress out. :(

Edited by eighty8keys

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In all fairness, you should have confidence that it'll be fine, because it's exceedingly likely that it will be. This is an annoying way to put it, perhaps, but your prof is right. (I also hope you didn't say things like "I told you I'd like you to do it by Friday" to your prof, because that may rub some people the wrong way. Especially while you still need something from her, it's good to remember the power structure in the relationship.) 

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The main reason I was worried was because the school told me that they start reviewing on Wednesday, and I have another deadline tomorrow. Additionally, I was frustrated because I don't think the situation was handled in the best way. Fortunately, I have heard back from my PI now! Seems like everything should work out.

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