clinpsych55

2+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2016
23
21
Status
Psychology Student
Hi everyone, I'll be sending out applications for the 2018-2019 cycle in a few months, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on the best way to craft an email to a POI of mine. I applied to work as a research coordinator for his lab, "Lab A," towards the end of my senior year of college and interviewed with a couple of his staff members over Skype. At the time, I knew I had a good shot of getting an offer for the coordinator position at the lab I was already in, "Lab B," but I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket because my getting the position at Lab B depended on the previous coordinator getting into grad school. Well, she did, and I was given an offer. At this time, I was told that it would still take a few months to hear back from Lab A, and there would be another round of interviews with the PI. Although the PI at Lab A is a leader in his field and I would have loved to work there, I was still happy with the position at Lab B and decided not to turn down the offer in favor of an uncertain possibility of a position at Lab A. I politely dropped out of the application process for Lab A and thanked them for the opportunity.

Now, fast-forward to the impending 2018-2019 application cycle, I am planning to apply to work under the PI of Lab A - I just need to email him to confirm that he is taking students. My stats are good, but it will be stiff competition given how well-renowned he is, so I don't want to do anything to shoot myself in the foot. I might be overthinking this, but in my preliminary email to him, would you all suggest mentioning that I had previously applied to work in his lab and rescinded my application? I'm not sure if this would suggest that I've had longstanding interest in his work or be a red flag that I might turn down an offer at his lab. Any insight would be much appreciated! :)
 

psych.meout

2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2015
1,754
1,087
Status
DO/PhD Student
Hi everyone, I'll be sending out applications for the 2018-2019 cycle in a few months, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on the best way to craft an email to a POI of mine. I applied to work as a research coordinator for his lab, "Lab A," towards the end of my senior year of college and interviewed with a couple of his staff members over Skype. At the time, I knew I had a good shot of getting an offer for the coordinator position at the lab I was already in, "Lab B," but I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket because my getting the position at Lab B depended on the previous coordinator getting into grad school. Well, she did, and I was given an offer. At this time, I was told that it would still take a few months to hear back from Lab A, and there would be another round of interviews with the PI. Although the PI at Lab A is a leader in his field and I would have loved to work there, I was still happy with the position at Lab B and decided not to turn down the offer in favor of an uncertain possibility of a position at Lab A. I politely dropped out of the application process for Lab A and thanked them for the opportunity.

Now, fast-forward to the impending 2018-2019 application cycle, I am planning to apply to work under the PI of Lab A - I just need to email him to confirm that he is taking students. My stats are good, but it will be stiff competition given how well-renowned he is, so I don't want to do anything to shoot myself in the foot. I might be overthinking this, but in my preliminary email to him, would you all suggest mentioning that I had previously applied to work in his lab and rescinded my application? I'm not sure if this would suggest that I've had longstanding interest in his work or be a red flag that I might turn down an offer at his lab. Any insight would be much appreciated! :)
If you didn't meet or interview with him, I wouldn't bring it up. I doubt he even knew your name, let alone who you were. It might be different if you interview with him and his staff next year, then you might be asked about it from people who previously interviewed you for the position.

Regardless, I'd scour the program's and the professor's websites to see if they've already indicated which faculty members will be taking students. Don't waste their time asking questions that you could already answer yourself. Only email them if you truly can't find the info or have another legitimate question. They are already fielding so many emails and questions from prospective students who didn't do their own searching. You don't want to join the chorus.
 

Kadhir

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
218
158
Status
Psychology Student
My position on this is to never bring it up, unless it comes up naturally. Otherwise, you just come across as feeling guilty and like you have to explain yourself. If they want to know, they'll ask. I went through something similar between internship and post-doc. I did not mention my previous candidacy, but people spontaneously recognized me and expressed how glad they were to see my application again. It could work in your favor.
 
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