Once a student submits his or her phase one application, an automated email will be sent to the faculty mentor(s) that the student listed in the application. Faculty mentors will be expected to email their letters of recommendation as a PDF to Gina Pappas (firstname.lastname@example.org), following the instructions sent to them in the automated email, by the phase two application deadline of Tuesday, September 26, at noon.
The letter of recommendation should evaluate the student’s qualifications to carry out the proposed project and assess the appropriateness of the project’s scope within the context of the discipline. Letters should also describe the faculty-student mentoring relationship in some detail (e.g., how often will the mentor and student meet, what are the mentor’s expectations for the student) and why this plan is appropriate for the project. Brevity and lack of detail in the faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation may raise questions about the degree of faculty support for the project. Faculty mentors will be expected to review student proposals before submitting their letters.
The Student Fellowships Committee invites you to include in your letters any information you feel comfortable sharing regarding the strength of the applicant relative to the cohort. Some recommenders have opted to do this in the past and the committee has found this explicit information very helpful. You may include this information in whatever way feels appropriate. Some faculty may choose to rank order, others may choose to write something like, “Student A and B are both excellent and I cannot rank one over the other,” and others may choose to tell us who they feel is least competitive. Whatever information you feel comfortable sharing would be appreciated by the committee. That said, the committee would like you to understand that, while the committee will take this information very seriously, they will make their decisions based on the entire application package. For example, if the committee determines that an application is weak and poorly done, they are unlikely to fund that student even if he or she is the faculty mentor’s highest priority.