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I will be applying for PhD in USA this year, so I will be needing recommendation letters. Can I ask a DST INSPIRE faculty who used to work in same lab as me (apart from my principal investigator)? Will US universities consider this reference because I don't know if they are aware of what is a DST INSPIRE faculty. Will it pose a problem because DST INSPIRE faculty have a tenure of 5 years and I don't know if will they become permanent after that. Also, they are not given the designation of an "assistant professor" and are call "DST INSPIRE faculty" so I had this question?

DST INSPIRE faculty: It is a scheme by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to offer an opportunity to young talents in India through contractual and tenure track positions for 5 years in both basic and applied sciences area. And INSPIRE means Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research.

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    Since neither I no @scaaahu know what a DST INSPIRE faculty is, it is at the very least necessary that the letter explains who the letter writer is and what DST INSPIRE is. Sep 13, 2019 at 5:51
  • What made you think a DST INSPIRE faculty member with 5 year tenure cannot write recommendation letter?
    – Nobody
    Sep 13, 2019 at 5:59
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    The universities might not know what is an INSPIRE faculty. Also, they are not given the designation of an "assistant professor" and are call "DST INSPIRE faculty" so I had this question? Sep 13, 2019 at 6:08
  • Please edit the question with the info you include in the comment above to make the question clearer.
    – Nobody
    Sep 13, 2019 at 6:12
  • "I don't know if they are aware of what is a DST INSPIRE faculty" make your life and everybod else life easy: assume they are not. And no one cares, because national grant in counry X are not relevant to people in country Y. You can however concisely explain that your recommender is holder of an highly competitive national grant (or whatever it is).
    – EarlGrey
    Jul 11, 2022 at 11:59

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In general, any mentor with good scientific or academic qualifications can be a good recommender. It's always better to have somebody who can speak strongly about you, even if they're in a "non-standard" academic position.

That said, it's important that your letter-writer make it clear who they are and why their opinion should be taken seriously, especially when writing to an international recipient who may not know their system. That might include explaining what a "DST INSPIRE" faculty position is, or it might just mean pointing at the letter-writer's own CV of scientific accomplishments.

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National grant in country X are, in general, not relevant to people in country Y. Please assume that when writing to people in country Y, you have to clearly and concisely explain what are your country conventions&the likes. If they are too complex, it is probably worthless to explain them anyhow.

In your cover letter, briefly introduce the recommendation letter writer, mentioning any relevant grant and title he has in a way that is relatable to the receipent background.

Which means:

no) "DST INSPIRE faculty"

not yet good, but better) fixed-term faculty appointeed under the highly competitive DST INSPIRE national program (acceptance rate 1~10%)

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