EDIT: For those looking at whether to follow-up after an interview, this related quesiton may provide a good resource.

This particular question is unique, as it asks about an academic job, where I have been offered a position by a lab but the administrator who coordinates logistics has taken 3 months to get paperwork to me.

The answer I selected appropriately advises me that 3 months of waiting time for a university job is not atypical, and to politely continue to follow-up.

TL;DR: Got an informal internship offer (for July-December) 3 months ago. Have been following-up every two weeks or so, but have not gotten official paperwork yet. What should I do?

I'm an M.S. science student. The first week of January, I interviewed with an academic research lab (at a well-respected US university) for a 6-month internship for July-December. They emailed me back the next day saying they wanted to offer me a position, and that an administrator (CCed) would coordinate the paperwork.

The administrator gave me a call to tell me that she has been really busy and would get to my paperwork in another week or so. After two weeks, I sent her an email and she was busy with an April visa but would get to it soon. In mid-February, I followed up again, no response.

Three weeks ago (early March), I reached out to my contact with the laboratory. He confirmed that yeah she's been busy, but to send her an email. I did so, and she said that she was working on the paperwork behind the scenes and would get back to me 'next week'.

Now it's been about two weeks (13 days) and still nothing from her.

After sending emails every 2-3 weeks for the past few months, I feel like I might be pestering now and I don't want to anger the administrator, who does seem overwhelmed with paperwork.

Should I just chill and wait? Do you have any suggestions on dealing with a situation like this?

  • 3
    This seems like a situation where a quick phone call might be more effective than an email. – dwizum Apr 3 '19 at 17:20
  • @gnat Yeah, i think it’s reasonable to mark this as a possible duplicate. Though, I think this post is unique because (1) asking about following-up after knowing I have the job (linked poster didn’t know yet) and (2) asking about following-up after repeated emails, not for the first time. – julianstanley Apr 3 '19 at 18:58
  • 1
    the relevant point of the duplicate is to keep looking, and assume your internship is not going to happen. If you have no paperwork, you have no offer. – mcknz Apr 3 '19 at 21:34

This is pretty typical for universities and government agencies. The hiring process can take months.

Keep following up, and touching base with your contact. 2-3 weeks between followups is far from being a pest, it shows that you're interested. Just keep the tone light, and friendly.

You can write something like...

Hi, I know you're busy. Just following up about my paperwork for the internship in July. If you're still to busy, would you mind if I checked in with you in another 2 weeks or so?

Use your own words, but thank her for the time she's spent, acknowledge that she's helping you, and ask her if she minds you sending the follow ups.

Being a pest is more about tone than frequency. If you come across as demanding, that gets old REAL FAST, but if you keep it light and friendly, much less so.

| improve this answer | |

Rather than sit and wait or constantly sending reminders to this specific company, you should be seeking other internship opportunities with different companies. The fact that this current company has been slow in their process and difficult to get a response could be a red flag. Continue to apply to other companies to ensure that you have the internship that you are looking for. If this company finally sends the written offer you can accept if it is good enough for you, otherwise keep applying until you have a written offer from someone.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .