Questions tagged [recommendation-letter]

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

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Is it OK to ask a reference letter to someone not familiar with ones work?

I am working for a research organization where a senior member, holding a coordination role, John Doe, gives reference letters to people that he does not know well. It is a large organization and John ...
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  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
238 views

I accidentally had a reference request sent to a professor without having asked him first. Can I still ask him to recommend me?

I am an undergraduate studying engineering in the USA. I took classes with a professor, 3 undergraduate, and got A in all of them. I applied for graduate studies last Summer for September admission ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
658 views

I have just realized that my PhD supervisor is probably going to provide a bad recommandation letter? How can I stop him?

I spent the last 7 months looking for a postdoc after my PhD graduation. My toxic PhD advisor killed my previous postdoc, as they have withdrawn their offer after his non-negative but not enough ...
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-5 votes
1 answer
297 views

After Nikita Den Haag, should graduate schools consider also asking for peer-student references? [closed]

Some of you may have seen this story and the associated Tweet from this infiltrator's professor - who was an unwitting author of a strong letter of recommendation for him to the ICC at The Hague. ...
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1 vote
3 answers
189 views

Does the addition of a mildly impersonal recommendation letter hurt your application for grad school?

For context, my field is physics and my situation is as follows: I did an internship a couple of years ago in a branch of physics I don’t plan on going into. The main guy over the department, who ...
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  • 141
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Conflict of Interest regarding research question and company ownership

I suggested an interesting research question (exploratory data analysis) to my advisor and he really wants me to get started. However, I realized today in reading the agreement attached to the data ...
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21 votes
8 answers
6k views

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

A couple of months ago, I submitted a positive recommendation letter for one of my students for a master's program, and she got accepted by the university. However, after my submission, I've noticed ...
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  • 311
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Impact of 'canned' recommendation letter

If a respectable professor writes the same recommendation letter for all students they recommend, especially when it looks like merely a character certificate, i.e. the professor knows the student X, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
132 views

Seeking recommendation letter from faculty member you don't know

I asked a chemistry professor if she could provide a reference for a masters program. I took a course with her in Fall 2021 and although I did well in the course I don't know her well and have hardly ...
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10 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

Is it possible for a professor to write for an undergraduate student who is applying for a graduate program, a negative letter of recommendation? More like a minor criticism? If so doesn't this affect ...
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  • 209
3 votes
2 answers
210 views

How to retract emails requesting LORs?

I was planning on applying to med school. However I realized that I no longer wanted to apply this cycle. I am anxious to write an email to my LORs asking them to hold off on writing my letter of ...
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  • 33
26 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is it ethical to ask to see a letter of recommendation if the recommender is dead?

My former PI (and role model and one of the most incredible people I know) wrote me a letter of recommendation for a scholarship before she passed away. I know her secretary was the one who submitted ...
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  • 391
28 votes
2 answers
3k views

Fee for Recommendation letters?

My college demands a fee (equivalent to $10) from the students for every LOR that the student asks for. The fee goes to the college authorities and not to the professors themselves. Is this a ...
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  • 383
30 votes
6 answers
8k views

Should recommendation letters mention a candidate's weaknesses?

Even the best candidates have weaknesses and areas for development. When writing a (generally positive) letter of recommendation, is it appropriate/helpful to mention these, or will this count against ...
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1 vote
1 answer
92 views

When is a reference asked to submit a recommendation letter during postdoc hiring? [closed]

I have applied to a postdoc position at NTNU in Norway. I was invited to an interview and I think it went okay, they indicated that a decision would be reached within 1 week due to the urgency of this ...
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  • 11
6 votes
3 answers
371 views

Can a bad relationship with PhD supervisor spoil one's future career?

I have completed my Ph.D. in cancer biology. I want to apply for a postdoc position in the USA, but my supervisor is not on good terms with me. She is a very quarrelsome and arrogant lady. I am ...
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  • 69
15 votes
10 answers
7k views

Is it impolite to send the professor a pre-written letter of recommendation for approval?

I know the professors are a busy tribe. I would like to save them some time by writing a letter of recommendation myself and sending them for approval. Would that be seen as impolite as I am ...
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  • 189
0 votes
1 answer
188 views

How to ask your PhD promotor for a letter of recommendation for another PhD position

I may quit my current PhD position after a year and a half due to supervision-related reasons. My promotor is the professor who is head of team (and supervised my master thesis), while I am currently ...
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  • 513
1 vote
1 answer
113 views

Asking my PhD mentor to be my referee for PhD position

I'm a Master student in Belgium, 2nd year, doing my Master thesis. I have a supervisor/promoter (university professor) and a PhD student as a daily mentor, we work together and get along great. I ...
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  • 33
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Followed up on a reference, but no answer. Should I directly get in contact with professor? Also, continue searching for supervisors and applying?

I have a couple dilemmas. One, I'm submitting an application for an M.Sc. program and required two references. I had good experiences in both labs I worked with, so both professors were willing to ...
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  • 1
6 votes
3 answers
250 views

Writing an academic reference for a friend that was a fellow student and not a mentee

Important Context: I should note that while we are both American and did our BA/MA in the US, both of us have/will have gone abroad for our PhDs. My friend is applying to a university in the UK and ...
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  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

For LORs being drafted by the recommendee, do the contents need to be different?

I'm applying to a 24 week workshop (or short school), and I have two former attendees who are willing to write LORs for me. They are either nominated in the front page of the website, or still ...
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4 votes
2 answers
172 views

Who to ask for a letter of recommendation

I graduated with my bachelors recently and started working full time for the employer I had while I was a student. My employer has offered to pay for my tuition if I want to go back to school for my ...
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  • 143
0 votes
1 answer
163 views

Will the person writing my LoR know my GRE score?

So I told my Manager that I’d like to quit work to pursue my master’s & he asked if I had given my GRE. I panicked and told him I hadn’t, as most universities waived GRE. Now I need a professional ...
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22 votes
7 answers
5k views

Faux pas to send personal email along with letter of reference?

I'm a new professor and am writing my first letters of recommendation. I have an undergrad student that is truly quite good applying to a summer research program at an institution where I have people ...
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  • 1,312
3 votes
2 answers
201 views

PhD: Letters of recommendation from foreign professors

My partner was born outside the U.S. and received their degree from a foreign university. My partner is now living and working in the United States. They have begun to apply to various Ph.D. programs, ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
63 views

LOR designation wrongly put?

One of my references for MS grad applications has submitted the LOR undersigning as "Assistant Senior Professor." Is the undersigning incorrect? and will it hamper my overall application? ...
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Too many academic references for grad school applications

I am applying for graduate school and asked three of my professors to write me reference letters to all 3 schools I'm applying to. Turns out, one of the programs is a professional program and only ...
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  • 109
-2 votes
1 answer
173 views

How to tell a supervisor that I got a PhD position without his recommendation letter?

I was applying for a Ph.D. position and my supervisor wanted me to apply to a few of his collaborator's labs which subjects or work never attracted me. Also, he always wanted all his students to apply ...
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  • 1,928
2 votes
1 answer
262 views

How essential is having my advisor's letter for postdoc application (and, in future, for tenure-track positions, etc)?

I am a PhD student in Economics at one of the top five universities in India. I am on the job market now, applying for postdocs pretty much anywhere in the world (as long as there are people with ...
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0 votes
1 answer
87 views

I'm applying for a job for an Asst. Prof in Canada, and not sure of the protocols for reference letters. Am I supposed to send them, or my referees?

The language in the job posting says, "Applicants must arrange for these and three letters of reference to be sent directly to." I have already requested three referees to directly email ...
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8 votes
3 answers
394 views

Potential PhD applicant contacts me, mentions someone I know, can I contact such colleague?

A potential PhD applicant has contacted me for an informal chat about a PhD project I am offering. The candidate mentions he wrote an MSc dissertation under the supervision of Prof. X. I happen to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
272 views

Professor has not responded to request for letter of recommendation after a month, what to do next?

I am applying for Masters programs and I am trying to get my letters of recommendation squared away. One of the professors I asked has failed to respond to my emails. I sent her an initial email a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Possible options for an unhappy graduate student

I am a first year PhD student in Mathematics at a US university but I cannot adopt myself to the environment of my current program. I feel this program is not right for me. Unfortunately, I have to ...
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3 votes
0 answers
110 views

Is a letter of recommendation from a member of defense committee helpful and acceptable?

I am an assistant professor in a developing country. Previously, in 2019, I graduated from a university in my home city. In my Ph.D., I was able to publish 3 JCR papers with impact factors 6 or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
250 views

Applying for a job with former PhD supervisor - what to do about references?

It looks like I'm about to apply for a postdoc position to go back to my former PhD supervisor, with only one PI in between. Normally as a Postdoc going for a 2nd (or 3rd depending on how you count it)...
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  • 7,672
1 vote
2 answers
122 views

Asking For Letters of Recommendation

I am applying for multiple internships over the summer and most of them require 2 LOR's, is it okay to ask one professor to write me a LOR for each? I am a freshman and don't have many teachers who ...
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2 votes
2 answers
225 views

How to handle requests to draft your own grad school recommendation letter when the application explicitly forbids this?

As discussed previously, having applicants draft their own recommendation letters (or at least provide inputs) seems to be quite a common practice. However, I have noticed that a few (American) ...
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  • 389
0 votes
0 answers
136 views

What to say to admissions committee to mitigate impact of missing recommendation letters?

I have just finished applying to 8 graduate programs this Fall, all of which had deadlines on Dec. 15th (today is Dec. 23rd). It has been pretty smooth except for one thing I'm concerned about. I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
81 views

Is it appropiate to ask for a recommendation letter in a visiting institution?

I expect to finish my BSc in Mathematics this year so I am going through the process of applying to Master Programmes. Apparently, if you want to study as an international student a letter of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
167 views

about the number of recommendation letters

I submitted the required documents in order to apply for a postdoc position in Germany. In the application form they had asked for at least two referee's contact details. I put the details of two ...
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1 vote
1 answer
60 views

Can editor be reference in hiring

I think it is clearly true that an editor of a journal can be a reference for the author of the paper he is managing since he could know the quality of the paper very well. So this question may seem ...
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  • 493
0 votes
1 answer
115 views

Can hiring committee directly contact editors of journals

Normally, a hiring committee gets references from those an applicant provides to them. However, in some cases, I wonder if a hiring committee can directly contact the editor of a journal who is in ...
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  • 493
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

How to ask for a recommendation letter from your current professor without ruining your chances to extend your contract?

I am currently a postdoc in a research group and I would like to move to another group and leave the current one. I would like to ask my current PI for a recommendation letter since another PI is ...
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  • 526
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

Letter of recommendation writer didn't reply follow-up messsages

I am an undergraduate student studying in the U.S. and applying to graduate programs. One of my reference letter writers agreed to write me a letter, and we have talked about my application plans ...
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  • 745
3 votes
2 answers
171 views

What is the faculty member who I presented my undergraduate dissertation to called?

Currently, I am falling short on recommenders for my PhD applications in the United States. I don't want to ask the professors with whom I only took a few classes as I know those letters could be weak....
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0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Suggesting edits in recommendation letter

I asked a professor months earlier for a recommendation letter for a summer school, he accepted but in turn, he asked me to draft my own recommendation letter, I did that since I was only applying for ...
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2 votes
2 answers
230 views

Should I include 'Fixed-term' in writing professor's title?

I am an undergraduate student applying to graduate schools. One of my recommenders is my math professor. On the university's webpage and outlook email, his title is 'Fixed Term Assistant Professor'. ...
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  • 745
-1 votes
1 answer
108 views

Asking for a recommendation letter, when I am only close with Professors that handle practice classes

I started my studies in fall 2019. On my second semester covid hit, and all classes were turned online. Even after restrictions started to be lifted and classes can be held offline, a lot of classes (...
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26 votes
4 answers
7k views

Are "short bios" at the end of a letter of recommendation the new thing?

I noticed that a recent teaching faculty candidate's LORs from an institution outside the US all had not-so-short and shamelessly hagiographic "short bios" appended onto the end. One went ...
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