Questions on recommendation or reference letters received from faculty members when applying for graduate schools or faculty positions.

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0
votes
2answers
192 views

My Supervisors are not helping in writing recommendations letters

Maybe they are helping and I am the one who does not know how things really work and that's why I am seeking help here. I am about to finish my Master in Computer science (waiting for the oral ...
8
votes
1answer
100 views

Is sending a CV with recommendation letter a good idea?

My coworker requested me to write a recommendation letter for an academic position (postdoc). I myself am a postdoc, and afraid that my name may not be known well enough. In order to support my ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

What kinds of reference letters sound best to letter readers?

Since I'm only starting my mathematical career, I've only ever requested letters from my advisers. So I was wondering what kinds of letters sound good to people reading reference letters? How does a ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

References for Ph.D. admission application

I completed my B.A. in 2005 and my M.Ed. in 2010. I'm now looking at going back to school to do a Ph.D., but I'm not sure what to do about the references required for my applications. I'm still able ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Writer's contact information in recommendation letter

Should a recommendation letter for graduate school contain the writer's contact information?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing a letter of recommendation as a graduate student

I am a MA student who frequently works with undergraduates on projects. One student has asked me if I can write her a letter of recommendation for graduate school. Are there any risks to me submitting ...
13
votes
2answers
297 views

How to get letter of recommendation from current advisor if transferring PhD to another university for family reasons?

I've been in engineering PhD for 6 months and now considering transferring to another university. The reason is not academic, but family -- I'm in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. We're ...
7
votes
2answers
576 views

How to obtain a fair recommendation letter from a professor who knows me via course, not research?

The normal case is that students should obtain a recommendation letter for graduate school from the professor under whom the student has performed research. Currently, I am taking a course conducted ...
15
votes
3answers
599 views

If no choice, is it acceptable to write a recommendation letter for self?

Inspired by the question Is it acceptable to write a reference letter for yourself? I have a related but somewhat different question: Given no choice, is it acceptable to write a recommendation ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it acceptable to write a reference letter for yourself?

If a student needs a reference letter for graduate admissions or that sort of thing, some profs will ask the student to write a reference letter for themself before sending it off to the prof for ...
5
votes
2answers
456 views

Asking for Recommendation Letters for Multiple Grad School Applications

I would like to apply for many math PhD programs in order to maximize my chance of success. My main question is how should I ask for recommendation letters. In particular, should I ask for a generic ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

Is it appropriate to compare students to other successful students in a letter of recomendation?

Say you are writing a letter of recommendation for a freshman student of yours who is applying for an undergraduate research position in a field very different from yours. You can of course say some ...
9
votes
2answers
570 views

Recommendation letter from a research adviser who is expelled from the university

My undergraduate research adviser is expelled from the university for political reasons (in Middle East) after more than a decade of teaching and research. Now they have even forced the department to ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Getting letters of recommendation for a master's degree if I don't get along with my current advisor

I'm currently in my final undergraduate year and I really want to go to graduate school, but there are some problems: I'm not sure if I can get recommendation letters. < rant> My current advisor ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Recommender choice for admission to a MSc program

I am planning to apply for an MSc program in Northern Europe or the UK, starting September 2014, which typically requires two recommendation letters from my former university professors. I have the ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

What kind of advantage is there for recommendation letters from the university you are applying to?

After reading this question, I started wondering about students applying for graduate school and the letters of recommendation accompaning their applications. Let's say Student is studying at ...
13
votes
2answers
893 views

Is it appropriate to request letters of recommendation from professors a second time?

I received three letters of recommendation for applications to this spring semester, but I chose to decline admission for personal/financial reasons. I am now applying for fall admission, and I would ...
3
votes
2answers
551 views

Recommendation letter from a research supervisor who was not satisfied with my work

Is it beneficial/harmful to get a letter from a research supervisor who was not satisfied with my work? (I wasn't interested in that topic, but I kept working in the lab for the money). Or forget ...
2
votes
3answers
257 views

Research experience not backed up by recommendation letter

I have done a three months independent research at a national lab in US with guidance from a scientist who was working there, but he is very busy and not much time is left to ask him to write a ...
16
votes
3answers
497 views

Writing letters of recommendation for more than one student to the same department

Suppose multiple students have asked me for letters of recommendation to the same graduate department in the US. Am I expected to explicitly compare the students to one another? Am I supposed to do ...
10
votes
2answers
726 views

What to do when a thesis adviser refuses to recommend me?

After I completed my PhD program, during which I published one refereed paper, I applied for several academic positions. For a while, my two main thesis advisers agreed to write letters of ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Can both a grad. student & faculty member cosign a recommendation letter?

Can two people, a professor and a graduate student, sign a recommendation letter? The concern here is that the professor knows little about the student and the graduate student knows all about the ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

Why don't things work with comparisons in reference letters and refereeing?

This recent question How high should I rate a good student for PhD admission? is just an example of how puzzling the problem of writing reference letters is. One knows that there is inflation in the ...
31
votes
3answers
725 views

How high should I rate a good student for PhD admission?

I am a relatively young faculty member. I was asked to provide a reference for a student of mine so he is admitted in a PhD program in Sciences in UK. The student is probably one of the best students ...
8
votes
2answers
518 views

Letter of Recommendation Expiration Date

I have 9 and 10 months old recommendation letters. Can I use these when applying to graduate programs (United States)? Is that okay with the admissions committee?
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Choosing reference letters

I'm applying from Europe to US or US-styled Ph.D. programs and I'm wondering about who to choose for referees. I graduated 2 years ago and my undergraduate professors don't remember me well, or at ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How to reduce the load of professors writing recommendation letters for graduate school application?

If a student can't decide which school to apply at one time, and different schools have different' deadlines, how could the student do to reduce the load of professors writing recommendation letters ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Letter of Recommendation from an unofficial college email ID

I will be applying for MS (computer science) in US schools. I am from a rural part of India where lecturers (who will be writing letter of recommendations) in my college still don't have official ...
4
votes
2answers
297 views

Which recommender should I go for getting a LOR for graduate school admission?

Before I state my query, you should know two things about me: I'm an EE graduate I'm working in field of VLSI for past one year. I'm applying for Masters in VLSI for fall-2014 and I'm in a ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Do online recommendation systems ask specific questions about the PhD candidate?

I am applying to fall 2014 PhD programs in computer science. I have heard that the online recommendation system in place at most universities asks the recommender to answer a series of questions about ...
9
votes
4answers
594 views

Mentioning student name changes in a letter of recommendation

What is the best protocol for handling a student whose name has changed from the time when a letter writer knew the student. For instance, suppose Pat Jones has become Pat Smith. Do we write Pat ...
10
votes
1answer
881 views

What could be the effect of mentioning a student's weakness in the recommendation letter?

I am going to request a letter of recommendation for higher studies (PhD) from one of my faculty (I took two classes and did 3 very good course projects). I have never been good (just above average) ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Recommendation letter for application to CS graduate program from professors in math?

I graduated from Dept A with a master degree, and then pursued a PhD in Dept B (which is applied math). But I left the PhD program in B this fall. I am now applying to some CS master programs ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Must an “academic reference letter” be from a university-employed researcher, or will other researchers do too?

I'm applying for a post-doc where they ask for two "academic reference letters". Does the adjective "academic" strictly mean they must be from people working in academia? In my field, a good deal of ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Who should recommend applicants for administrative positions?

In a related question, Who should write a recommendation letter?, I came to the conclusion that letters of recommendation should be written by academics in the same field who knows the applicant's ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Who should write a recommendation letter?

When applying for a faculty position (from assistant to full professor), search committee ask for 3 - 5 recommendation letters by people who know the applicant professionally (and probably in person). ...
5
votes
1answer
574 views

How many reference letters to submit?

My question is related to, but not a duplicate of How many recommendation letters are enough? In that question the job requires 4 letters and the applicant has 5 good letters. I am applying for a TT ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are recommendation letters highly relied upon?

For any kind of academic application (from graduate admission to professor position), recommendation letters have a major impact on the outcome. The basic idea is understandable: discovering what ...
2
votes
2answers
535 views

Is general recommendation letter bad?

Sometimes online application systems ask for uploading recommendation letters as supplementary documents (scanned copies). In this case, it is possible to get general recommendation letters (addressed ...
5
votes
1answer
337 views

How do people manage recommendation letters?

A good academic job normally needs excellent recommendation. Due to the rapid growth of higher education, there are too many vacancies (in new or expanding universities) and too many applicants ...
6
votes
2answers
554 views

How many recommendation letters are enough?

If I apply to a job, and it asks for 4 recommendation letters, is it good if I submit 5 or more letters? Why and why not?
2
votes
1answer
498 views

Can I submit more than 3 reference letters with my grad school applications?

Is it acceptable to attach additional reference letters to an application under the supporting documents category of an application? Say I have 3 references from my masters institution, and another 2 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How much more does a recommendation letter from alumni help in PhD admissions?

Imagine a case where I wish to apply for MIT. I happened to work with a young assistant professor who finished her PhD in MIT. How much will her good words weigh in recommending me to MIT PhD program? ...
3
votes
1answer
277 views

Letter of Recommendation/Reference Protocols

I have a few questions about letters of recommendation for graduate school. I'll include my current situation, as I'm not sure what is relevant and what is not. I'm entering my fourth year of my ...
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Value of recommendation letters from professors in a different field

I will be a second year math under-grad in September, and currently doing an internship at applied math research institute. However, my interest after my bachelors is to do PhD in pure math at a top ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

Role/importance of letters of recommendation for PhD-applications in Europe?

In the US PhD prospects apply to several universities and those select an amount of applicants from that pool according to how many open spots the universities have for that term. Criteria for ...
15
votes
1answer
418 views

How do you comment on rapid improvement in a student's performance?

Sometimes, it can happen that a graduate student who is struggling on a project finally sees everything "click," and becomes far more productive. It might be due to a change in attitude, an improved ...
6
votes
3answers
237 views

Should recommenders be from the same discipline as the program one's applying to?

If I want to go to graduate school to study physics and am a math major, how bad is it to have recommendation letters from math professors, mostly? The problem is that I just have four physics courses ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

How to compose a great recommendation letter?

I was asked to compose a recommendation/reference letter for a Computer Engineer that works as a Researcher in the Research Center i am supervisor. I dont know if Academia is the right site to post , ...
9
votes
1answer
218 views

What to include in a letter of support for an academic assessment?

I have been asked to write a short note that includes comments about the impact and importance of a colleagues' work over the course of the past year - for a pre-tenure review. I could discuss a ...