38

Tell him that you do intend to participate as previously agreed, but that funding for the summer was an important consideration. If he is at all reasonable, then that should be enough. If he is offended, then he isn't being reasonable. If he offers you summer funding, then consider that, of course, but he should have little controlling say over a volunteer. ...


26

When I write letters for undergrads (in math, in the U.S.), I usually aim to speak exactly and only about things I know from first-hand experience. For that matter, transcripts (whether high-GPA or low) are usually part of the application, so second-hand comments from me add little. Now and then, I am surprised to learn that a student of whom I think quite ...


20

This answer may be limited to the US and other places where letters of recommendation have quite a bit of importance. I realize that this isn't a universal. If you think that a student is performing beyond what the grades would indicate you could, and should, say that. You don't need to explain bad grades, nor assume that the student's chances are lessened ...


19

From the information you provide, your request looks reasonable. This is probably just a misunderstanding, and definitely a terrible (over)reaction from the prof: sending your private email to other lab members is not done. Talk to your prof. (as soon as possible) to find out what happened.


11

Speaking as a postdoc: as others have suggested, there are some very good reasons to diversify your network - and you have run into one of them. Explain yourself, and give the prof a chance to explain and apologize. Try not to burn any bridges with him, but start looking elsewhere immediately. That he forwarded your email to everyone in the lab group ...


11

It's at least a little rude to send a request for a recommendation letter without mentioning your plans. Of course, forwarding your email to the whole group is orders of magnitude ruder. He had previously wrote, 2 months ago, that he was happy to write me a recommendation letter. For any summer internships, or did he maybe think you were asking about grad ...


6

Personally, I'd worry about this strategy for use for a permanent position. A bit less for another postdoc. Your papers speak for themselves without reinforcement by a letter writer except in, perhaps, exceptional cases. I think the purpose of a letter of recommendation is to go beyond the product you produce and speak about your total fitness for a position....


4

To add onto other answers, especially @Buffy, I will share my recent experience as a graduate student in a similar situation. I will highlight where the conflict arose, and how you might proceed. The Situation It was about February when I started preparing an application for a well-known, although by no means 'prestigious' summer research internship/...


3

I suppose that you’re just going to have to work with the letters you have. You should let your letter writers know what the target program is so they can potentially tailor it to the best of their ability. In any case, the point of the letters is mostly to indicate your research potential. This can definitely be indicated regardless of discipline.


2

When it is clear as is the case here that the professor is more interested in their success than your success, it time to look for another mentor. It is perfectly legitimate for undergrads to look around to broaden their research horizons. Indeed, if a professor is sufficiently secure to believe their work is very interesting, she or he will not fear ...


2

I'd try to find another professor Whether or not you were rude, your professor acted in a way that is totally unacceptable. He betrayed your trust by sharing your private correspondence publicly, and he publicly shamed you in a very passive aggressive way. If it were me, I'd find another professor as soon as possible. He sounds like a sociopath. If you can't ...


1

Broadly speaking selection for PhD's these days is fundamentally premised on completion risk: a good risk is someone who looks like they are: Eligible to apply; Adequately prepared* for the demands of the program; In the case of research degrees - able to complete the research proposed given the time and resources available; Likely to produce quality* work (...


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