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Referee off sick, deadline impending!

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    • Thread Starter

    I asked my Masters supervisor for a PhD reference over a month ago.

    He didn't do it, and now he's been off sick for 3 weeks, likely until next week.
    The deadline for the PhD is Wednesday, and I'm not sure what to do.

    He's my only referee (only allowed one), I can't really ask anybody else as no one knows me well enough, plus it's way too short notice to go back to my undergrad supervisor.

    I've emailed him at his home email address, and I will ring him later if he doesn't reply, but I'm starting to panic.

    I'd email the supervisor of the PhD and explain but it looks so unprofessional.


    Well if it were me I'd put them on notice that you are having difficulty obtaining the reference, explain why and then seek an extension. Explain why the reference should come from this person and what efforts you are making to obtain it. Your referee might be seriously ill.

    If you take their instruction, then they cna tell you whether they are prepared to wait or they insist you find another.
    Perhaps a small supporting note from the persons department cconfirming he is ill and has been away might help?

    Put the application in on time with a note that says 'reference to follow'.

    If they like your application they will wait for a reference. Many postgrads have this problem, so if you explain the reason and do your best to get the reference as soon as you can, it should be okay.

    (Original post by twoforjoy)
    Apply, and in parallel, ask your current departmental administrator to email/speak to the PhD university and confirm that your Supervisor is off sick and unavailable to give a reference. That way you have a formal, external confirmation administrator to administrator.
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