Letters of Support: Instructions for Letter Writers


A letter of support from the faculty mentor (affiliated with the host center/institute), and a letter of support from the student’s advisor(s) should be submitted to the student’s program. The deadlines for these letters are determined by each program, but will allow sufficient time for the program to complete the nomination by the November 13, 2017 nomination deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate the program's deadline date to the letter writers.

Letters must adhere to page length requirements. Letters that exceed these requirements may result in return of the nomination without review.

Faculty Mentor Letter(s)

At least one letter of support is required from a mentor. If there are two mentors, the second mentor may write a letter of support, but a second letter is not required.

Maximum 1 page.  The mentor letter should address the following:

1. How long you have known the student and in what context.
2. The innovativeness of the student's project.

  • Will this project build on an existing project or collaboration(s), or will the project explore new, innovative directions and collaborations?
  • What fields will the student's project combine?
  • How will the student combine them?

3. The potential for the student to make a significant contribution to his/her field and to other fields.
4. How your collaboration with the student will contribute to his/her scholarly development and research.

Advisor/co-advisor letter

Only one advisor letter of support should be provided. If there are two co-advisors, the letter may be co-authored.

Maximum 2 pages. The advisor letter should address the following:

1. The independence, originality, and overall academic quality of the student.
2. The potential for the student to make a significant contribution to his/her field.
3. The interdisciplinary nature of the research.
4. How the research will integrate disciplines not currently represented in the student’s graduate program.
5. How affiliation with the host center/institute will benefit the student.