I'm a relatively old student (29F) Currently applying for PhD positions in ecology, mainly in Europe.

Many applications encourage adding 3 letters of recommendation. I have two solid ones related to my MSc thesis topic. I'm on the fence about what to add as a third reference. I worked as a research assistant in various projects. Most of the time, I worked alongside PhD students. They know me well and could write informative statements. The profs who are running the projects haven't really worked with me, even though I was officially hired by them.

My question is: Should I go for a general letter from a prof who doesn't know me, or go for a statement from A PhD student who can write better, more informative things about how I work? How important are the letters anyway?

  • 1
    I wouldn't consider you as relatively old: I had several PhD students who started their PhD about your age (and I started mine at 28, almost 29). Given that in Europe one usually start their PhD after the master's degree, if one decides to work to sustain their studies or has personal issues (or whatever), they will likely start their PhD in their thirties. – Massimo Ortolano Feb 17 '18 at 19:30

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