Letter-of-recommendation writing policy
I am happy to provide letters of recommendation for students so long as there is a standing relationship so that a personalized letter can be written. Generally, this includes students who have worked or volunteered as a graduate or undergraduate student in the laboratory, or students who are in or previously took courses with me and came to numerous office hours and/or participated in projects. I can also serve as a reference for jobs. If you are not sure, just ask! See “Step 1” of the process below.
I will only consider requests that are made at least 3 weeks prior to your first letter deadline. (This applies to “Step 1” only. “Step 2” should be completed at least 1 week before each individual deadline).
I will not submit more than 10 letters for any single individual. (Most students ask for ~3-6).
Applying for a Letter of Recommendation
The first step in requesting a letter is to complete this form:
I will use this information to determine whether I will write a letter for you or not. You should follow up in email or office hours with her after submitting the above form to confirm either way. This form should be submitted only once per year, or letter of recommendation season.
The second step is to fill out the specific details for each individual LoR submission here:
You will need to submit this form multiple times, for every individual letter you wish me to submit. e.g. if you want to apply to 3 programs, you need to submit it 3 times.
What you will need:
To complete these forms you will need to gather this information:
- Name and type of opportunity (scholarship, fellowship, grad application, etc.)
- Information about the LoR submission process, including deadlines and links for submission
- An updated resume or CV with your current GPA
- Records (e.g., dates, grades, etc.) of your achievements and experiences when working with me and/or EDG
Do I waive my right to view my letters?
Universities give students the option to waive their rights to view letters of recommendation, or not. Many students don’t realize that the vast majority of applicants currently DO waive their rights. Your choice is visible to your letter writers at the time of submission and therefore may influence their comments. While it doesn’t matter to me either way, your choice may also be visible to the admissions committee for the program to which you apply. As a result, your letters may carry more or less weight in the review process (i.e., someone might wonder: was the letter writer fully candid or not?). If you are concerned about what I may include in my for you letter, feel free to ask!
Following up as deadlines approach
Using the above forms creates a centralized record, such that I can get everything in on time in an organized fashion! A couple requests to keep things moving smoothly on my end:
- Only have the program send an email to me once when you are applying. If I need a renewed submission link, I will ask you for it. Getting lots of repeat emails from different students/universities can make it very hard to find the right one at the right time.
- Please remind me to submit your letter only once 7 days prior to the deadline. You should also remind me again the day before and the day of the deadline, if it is not yet submitted.
- Do not send excessive reminders, which can actually make it more difficult for me to identify the most urgent requests from students efficiently.
- It is your responsibility to check to make sure the letter was recorded correctly by the target agency.