What is an outbound mailbox?

An outbound mailbox is a service that processes outgoing emails and forwards them to the recipient's inbox.


Why do I need an outbound mailbox?

The Glowbase PhD Administration Platform occasionally sends emails to registered users. Such emails include status notifications, referee invitations and automated reminders. To make sure these emails always reach their destination reliably, you need to configure an outbound mailbox.


How can I set up my outbound mailbox?

Setting up your outbound mailbox is really easy:

  • Ask your institution's IT desk to set up a dedicated SMTP account for you. The account must be able to send transactional as well as bulk emails using the "Helpdesk Email" configured under Admin> Setup>General Settings as a sender address.
  • Log in to your Glowbase instance and navigate to Admin> Setup>Outbound mailbox
  • Enter the SMTP details provided by your IT desk, and click "Save"
  • That's it - all emails are now sent via your institution's email infrastructure.

How can I check if my mailbox works?

Once you have configured your outbound mailbox, the platform will automatically attempt to connect to your SMTP server in order to validate the configured connection settings. If the connection can not be established, an error message will be displayed.


Important: The new configuration may take a few seconds to become active. If, after configuring your mailbox correctly, you still get the error message, please wait a few seconds and reload the page.


To test if email delivery works correctly, you can send an automated test email to yourself by clicking the "Send test email" button. If you receive the automated test email, your mailbox has been set up correctly and email delivery works as expected. If you do not receive the automated email, something is wrong with your mailbox settings.


What happens if the connection to my mail server fails?

An error message will be displayed and no outbound emails can be sent. The platform keeps a temporary backlog of unsent emails and will attempt to re-send them once the connection to the mail server can be established. However, please note that we can not guarantee the correct delivery of all emails in such situations. There is a small risk that emails sent with an incorrect mailbox configuration can get lost.


What happens if I do not configure my mailbox?

For now, an error message will be displayed and outbound emails will be sent via the Glowbase email infrastructure. However, because the Glowbase email infrastructure does not belong to your institution (i.e. the actual sender!), these emails have a greater chance of ending up in spam folders and you run a higher risk of your email never reaching its destination.

To protect you (and us) from spam complaints, setting up your own outbound mailbox will soon become mandatory for all customers.


I am getting an error message related to TLS / SSL encryption - what can I do?

Security is a top priority for us. If our platform is unable to verify your mail server's encryption certificate, it will refuse to establish a connection to your mail server. If your mail server is using a self-signed or otherwise non-trustworthy SSL certificate, you can disable certificate validation by enabling the "Disable certificate validation" option. Please note that disabling certificate validation is a potential security risk and strongly discouraged.