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

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11
votes
3answers
195 views

From whom do prospective grad students get recommendation letters?

Most top graduate programs require at least 3 recommendation letters. Do students who apply to such programs (and have a reasonable chance to get in) typically have such extensive research experience ...
35
votes
5answers
2k views

How do academics get away with writing detailed recommendation letters?

It seems to be accepted wisdom in the business world that reference letters for former employees should be extremely terse. They should confirm that the employee worked there, and essentially nothing ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Letter of recommendation for academic position after PhD from a professor with whom I've had teaching-only interactions, not research

When applying for a tenure-track academic position in the US right after my PhD (in the US too), is it a good idea to ask for a letter of recommendation from a professor in my graduate school with ...
5
votes
2answers
605 views

Low ranking university with fund VS Unsure opportunity at a higher ranking one

Two years ago, I completed my bachelor degree with highest honor ranking 1st of my class in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department in my university in Egypt. Since then I have been working ...
7
votes
2answers
107 views

Is there a list of countries (or universities) showing which prefer direct communication with referee?

My students often request letters of reference from me. Sometimes to attend graduate school in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and sometimes in countries not internationally known for their education ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to call a professor for a recommendation on the weekend?

I emailed my professor about two weeks ago. He didn't respond to my first email. I sent a follow up. He said that he was happy to write one for me on the following weekend. I waited, the weekend ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Is it OK to write recommendation letters for two students for the same institution and how to avoid the competition? [duplicate]

I am a teacher in a high school for gifted students and a student (let's call him A) asks me for a recommendation letter some time ago to apply to a top-level university (say AU: Awesome University) ...
8
votes
3answers
145 views

Should references part of CV only include names of the people who wrote recommendation letter to where the CV is going to be sent?

Can one list all the people who have written letters of recommendations for him in his reference part of his CV regardless to where those recommendations are written? Or he should specially prepare ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Email to a professor after long time for recommendation

I did my bachelor at university A in which Prof. X supervised my graduation project. I asked him for a recommendation when I was applying to university B for masters and he wrote me a great one. That ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

how to make it easier for reference to submit recommendation letters? [duplicate]

I am a Computer Science PhD student in the US about to graduate this year and seeking research jobs, many of which require three references. I'll apply for many positions in the coming months, each ...
6
votes
1answer
497 views

Professor won't comment on research in his recommendation

I asked a professor who is my research co-supervisor for a recommendation letter and he said "OK I can write that you are my student and you are good, but I can't comment on your research until you ...
4
votes
2answers
275 views

Apply for PhD positions with only one (or no) reference (letter of recommendation)

After applying for a number of PhD positions I ended up with a surprisingly high rejection rate, and as little as 3 acceptances. Waiting for a positive answer from other labs (which I liked a lot ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

3 - 4 years since I graduated, how should I time asking for recommendations?

Currently in the military but will be transitioning about in about more than a year. Since I graduated as an undergrad three years ago, I've been setting and planning to go back into graduate school ...
6
votes
2answers
186 views

Getting a letter of recommendation from a new professor

I've read in multiple places that it is important that your recommenders be known to the admission committee. If I were to have a letter of recommendation from a professor who is quite new (Assistant ...
6
votes
2answers
766 views

Should I use recommendation letter from young professor I worked with or well-known professor I met in class?

I'm choosing reference writers for my math PhD application this year, and need to decide between the 2 following professors: Professor X is a young professor with whom I took measure theory and did ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I get a letter of recommendation from a professor who didn't teach me BUT I did research with?

I am an undergraduate student wanting to transfer to another institution for undergraduate studies. I am a research assistant for a professor at an institution that I do not attend. Would the ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What can I do if a professor agreed to write a recommendation letter, but never sent it?

Years ago, a professor agreed to write me a recommendation letter. So I applied to many grad schools indicating him as one of my referees. However, I didn't find out until later that he didn't write ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

Copied Letter of Recommendation?

I asked one of my professors whom I've known for 2 years to write a recommendation for me now that I'm planning for graduate school— about 3 years later after he left to another university. He asked ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Will an internship in biology benefit me when my major is not biology?

I'm an undergraduate majoring in Chemistry. But I'm very much interested in the field of Biology too. Will an internship in Biology benefit me, say when I apply for graduate school? I don't yet know ...
11
votes
3answers
622 views

If I cannot get sufficient recommendation letters, what can I do?

I know you should build a good network with your professors as early as possible, not only it will help your study, but also you can get great recommendation letter from them. But not all students ...
15
votes
1answer
955 views

Can I ask a postdoc to write me a letter of recommendation?

When I apply to a PhD program, may I ask a postdoc who closely supervised me to write a recommendation letter? My supervisor also has written one for me, but I believe the postdoc can comment on my ...
14
votes
2answers
566 views

Do goofs in a recommendation letter hurt a student applying for grad school?

When rereading my copies of letters of recommendation I wrote when a student of mine applied to multiple graduate schools, I was appalled to see mistakes I made where the wrong graduate program was ...
1
vote
2answers
298 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
134 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
227 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
568 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
162 views

Writer's contact information in recommendation letter

Should a recommendation letter for graduate school contain the writer's contact information?
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
486 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
252 views

I need a reference letter but I've been out of school for 3 years

Ok I need some advise on my situation. I obtained my BSc in Mathematics and Physics in Spring 2011, but I've been working in a programming position since then, in actuarial business. I want to apply ...
8
votes
2answers
768 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
879 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
6k 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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
740 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
397 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
47 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
187 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
1k 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
608 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
319 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
654 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
480 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
247 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
822 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
1k 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
144 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 ...
9
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 ...