Guidance and Advice
Letters of RecommendationMost awards require faculty letters of recommendation. Carefully consider whom you ask to write on your behalf. Recommenders should know you very well and be able to talk about more than your classwork; they should be able to write about your research, goals, personality and other qualities not reflected by transcripts and resumes.
Recommenders should be faculty members who are familiar with your academic performance, extra-curricular involvement, and character, and can articulate why you are a viable scholarship candidate. Non-faculty recommendations may be accepted; however, they are not typically viewed as strong endorsement letters.
Your recommenders should also be able to talk about various aspects of your professional, academic, and personal background. For example, it is helpful to have one letter about leadership experience and one about research, rather than two letters from your research lab.