I am now preparing for my PhD applications to be submitted soon later this year. I recently was informed that one of my academic referees passed away quite unexpectedly.
The late professor was a great teacher and a wonderful person all round, in addition to being very well respected in my field. After recovering from my initial response to the news, I now have to decide who could write for me instead. I consider myself having done quite well and participated actively in the professor's class, hence the letter would have been quite positive.
I have considered asking my other tutors who have taught me in university, but I had not done as well and we were not as close, so I don't expect there would be credible or indeed useful details to be included in their recommendations. I have also considered asking my current supervisor (at another university) to write for me, though I have only been working for them since this summer.
Therefore my questions are:
- What should I do and expect now?
- How should I bring this up in my applications? Or should I? I certainly would consider it crass to include him anywhere on my CV or personal statement.
I have read discussions on situations where advisors passed away (e.g.1, e.g.2), but think my situation here is a little different, since I am still in the process of preparing for my applications and this was the first time he would write recommendation letters for me (he did not leave a letter, obviously). Hope this is ok.
I hope this question does not come off as insensitive, as I am at a loss thinking what to do next.