This year, I decided to apply to a top program in my field in a very good university.
Part of my application needed to include 3 to 4 letters of recommendation, one of them from my advisor / co-advisor.
My co-advisor told me she would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for me. I trusted her, and added her email to my application. However, she told me she wanted to read my research proposal. I sent it to her, and then, she told she could no longer support me with such a proposal. In addition, she told me she didn’t receive the link to recommend me. I made the corrections she told me to do, sent the new proposal to her, and didn’t hear back until I sent her an email saying that she could sent her letter to a general email address in case there is an issue with the link. Then, I received an email from the university system saying she had submitted her letter with the link she told me she didn’t receive. Then, she wrote to me to say that her letter will remain confidential because it « gives more weight to your application » but that she supported this new project.
However, I am not sure how to think of it. All my other professors asked for my resume to write my letter and told me things like « it was a pleasure to write for you », not her. I got a very high grade to my dissertation, but there were tensions between me and my advisor due to different character so I didn’t ask him for a letter.
As I trusted her initially, I also talked to her about my doubts for PhD applications, whether or not I wanted to stay in my country etc so I am afraid she would speak of that doubts in my letter.
I have really good grades all along my bachelor and my master (+3.9). But do you think my application could be sink by ONE bad letter of recommendation by my co-supervisor and three glowing letters from professors?