I've been trying to meet this professor to talk about whether or not he would like to help me further develop this software that I've released.

We've exchanged emails three times. The last one was from him, about a week ago, telling me that he was busy this past week but might be available this coming week. He ended this email by saying "I will be in touch." I'm not sure if I should take this to mean that he intends on contacting me about his availability, or that he will respond promptly to any email I send him.

On the one hand, I could've slipped from his mind this past week because he is so busy, and I should contact him to remind him of my great interest in his mentor-ship. On the other hand, I don't want to be pushy; he does already have a lot to deal with, after all.

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    Welcome to IPS! This site encourages questions that have answers that achieve a goal. This kind of question is more of a discussion question, can you re word this question so that the site community can understand your goal? What is your goal? Getting in touch with the professor?
    – ElizB
    Sep 9, 2018 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


As a native British English speaker, I have always taken

"I will be in touch"

To mean

"I am aware of your communication, I will deal with it in due course [please don't chase me any further]"

So on that basis, yes I would say if you reply again on the same topic within a short time period, he is likely not to appreciate it. The difficulty comes in deciding how long to wait before a lack of response warrants further contact.

His reply stated he "might be available this coming week", but the use of might tends to suggest he may or may not contact you that week. It's personal preference, but in your position I would wait at least one extra week before initiating contact again, unless there is some external factor creating time pressure.

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