No response from both references for postgrad application, what should I do? Watch

BillMurray
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For context, I emailed the lecturers in November letting them know, they both agreed. I initially told them I wanted to submit by late Nov/early December. One lecturer wanted my personal statement first.

I didn't get the PS done until 3 January, I did keep them both up to date with my application progress.

I emailed them both on 3 January with my personal statement, explaining that I intend to submit within a week or two. I emailed them again on 6 January informing them that the uni won't seek references on the applicants behalf so they would have to send me the references.

None of them have responded to those emails at all.

I plan to email them later this afternoon for an update and to say that I am 100 percent ready to submit the application.

My application does not have a formal deadline, but I want to submit by next week seeing as places might be filling up.

Any advice here would be great, am I right to be concerned? Surly if they have changed their minds they would at least let me know so that I can seek references elsewhere?

I can't believe they would just ignore me and hope I'll stop bothering them eventually, after they agreed to do it. FYI, I don't believe that is the case, I'm just stressing at the moment as I'm desperate to submit.

Thanks for reading.
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by BillMurray)
For context, I emailed the lecturers in November letting them know, they both agreed. I initially told them I wanted to submit by late Nov/early December. One lecturer wanted my personal statement first.

I didn't get the PS done until 3 January, I did keep them both up to date with my application progress.

I emailed them both on 3 January with my personal statement, explaining that I intend to submit within a week or two. I emailed them again on 6 January informing them that the uni won't seek references on the applicants behalf so they would have to send me the references.

None of them have responded to those emails at all.

I plan to email them later this afternoon for an update and to say that I am 100 percent ready to submit the application.

My application does not have a formal deadline, but I want to submit by next week seeing as places might be filling up.

Any advice here would be great, am I right to be concerned? Surly if they have changed their minds they would at least let me know so that I can seek references elsewhere?

I can't believe they would just ignore me and hope I'll stop bothering them eventually, after they agreed to do it. FYI, I don't believe that is the case, I'm just stressing at the moment as I'm desperate to submit.

Thanks for reading.
So it's pretty unusual for a PG application system in the UK or US to have the references sent in by the candidate, for reasons of confidentiality and trust etc. It's much more common to have the target universities' system ping the referees a request and give a link to an upload page direct. This may be one of your issues, you will need to explain carefully to the referees when and why YOU as distinct from the institution will need them. I definitely write a different kind of reference if it's going via the candidate rather than direct.
Last edited by Mr Wednesday; 4 weeks ago
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trowe87
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(Original post by BillMurray)
For context, I emailed the lecturers in November letting them know, they both agreed. I initially told them I wanted to submit by late Nov/early December. One lecturer wanted my personal statement first.

I didn't get the PS done until 3 January, I did keep them both up to date with my application progress.

I emailed them both on 3 January with my personal statement, explaining that I intend to submit within a week or two. I emailed them again on 6 January informing them that the uni won't seek references on the applicants behalf so they would have to send me the references.

None of them have responded to those emails at all.

I plan to email them later this afternoon for an update and to say that I am 100 percent ready to submit the application.

My application does not have a formal deadline, but I want to submit by next week seeing as places might be filling up.

Any advice here would be great, am I right to be concerned? Surly if they have changed their minds they would at least let me know so that I can seek references elsewhere?

I can't believe they would just ignore me and hope I'll stop bothering them eventually, after they agreed to do it. FYI, I don't believe that is the case, I'm just stressing at the moment as I'm desperate to submit.

Thanks for reading.
I've not needed to speak to course leaders prior to applying, so I find that unusual.
I sent my postgrad applications off in October and two places requested an academic CV a month later.
Despite this, i'm only just now starting to get responses and i've still only received 50% back so far.
Although I do find the whole process that you are going through highly unusual. I gave my chosen universities my references email addresses and they contacted my references themselves.
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BillMurray
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
So it's pretty unusual for a PG application system in the UK or US to have the references sent in by the candidate, for reasons of confidentiality and trust etc. It's much more common to have the target universities' system ping the referees a request and give s link to an upload page direct. This may be one of your issues, you will need to explain carefully to the referees when and why YOU as distinct from the institution will need them. I definitely write a different kind of reference if it's going via the candidate rather than direct.

Very grateful for this response as it promoted me to enquire further, I did find it a bit odd. Turns out I just have to provide them with the admissions email and they can send the references there! So at least I have a better reason to email them now! Thanks.
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trowe87
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BillMurray Good luck with your applications
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BillMurray
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(Original post by trowe87)
BillMurray Good luck with your applications
Thank you!

Is this polite enough after not hearing anything for three weeks!

Hi "Professor",

Sorry to message you again, I understand that you are very busy right now. Just so you know, you do not have to send me the reference! I thought it was odd, Hogwarts just told me that I can provide you with the admissions email and you can send the refernce to them along with my name and the course name. Here are the details:

Email: [email protected]
Course: MSc Dark Arts

I'm ready to submit now, but I will submit the application next week and email you to let you know that it is sent. Again, no rush on your part, I'm very grateful for the letter. If there is anything else you need from me, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,

BillMurray.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by BillMurray)
Thank you!

Is this polite enough after not hearing anything for three weeks!

Hi "Professor",

I understand that you are very busy, but just so you know, Hogwarts say that you can send the reference to them via the admissions email ([email protected]) along with my name and the course name (MSc Dark Arts).

I will submit the application next week. I'm very grateful for the letter. If there is anything you need from me, please ask.

All the best,

BillMurray.
The tone is fine, although I think you need to cut to the chase as it were, and say where the reference needs to be sent much earlier. Academics don't have time to read wordy emails, so keep it short and sweet. I've edited the quote to show how much more succinct it can be.
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
The tone is fine, although I think you need to cut to the chase as it were, and say where the reference needs to be sent much earlier. Academics don't have time to read wordy emails, so keep it short and sweet. I've edited the quote to show how much more succinct it can be.
Second that, nail a specific cut off date so that "in a few weeks" cannot be misunderstood. Those dates tend to end up in peoples "must action by" list if they are obvious and important and so much more likely to get done on time.
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