Why It’s Important
A fellowship recommendation letter is an important document in supporting students applying for these prestigious positions and the letter is an important part of the package and should never be just casually written or taken lightly.
A strongly supportive fellowship recommendation letter can make all the difference in defining an applicant’s suitability for their particular fellowship by using the writer’s knowledge and involvement and in then putting that information to a document for a committee to use while comparing with other applicants. Even with an outstanding academic record, students without strong fellowship recommendation letters will often not win the fellowship they desire.
Things to Take into Consideration
- At the outset, you have to ask yourself if you feel comfortable in writing a fellowship recommendation letter for a particular student. There may be a number of issues surrounding and putting doubts in your mind. If you feel that you can’t write anything positive, you’re not sure that you’re the best choice, were asked in an unprofessional manner or you don’t have time, be polite and decline, offering an alternate choice.
- Providing specific information about the student, their attitude towards learning, commitment, professionalism and leadership skills. Highlight their motivation.
- How you’re acquainted with the applicant, describe how you know them and in what context. How long they have been your student. Compare them to other students in the same field and highlight how they stand apart from them.
- Refrain from using simple summaries or using unsupported praise. Also stay away from writing about any work or accomplishments that are in the past, try and keep your attention to highlighting material from as current a time frame as possible.
- A fellowship recommendation letter should not contain anything that has only faint praises or implies any criticisms. Just saying that a student did as expected would imply a committee to think the student in indistinguishable from the next student.
Many companies and websites will all have a fellowship recommendation letter sample that is available for you to look through to take ideas from.
How to Write the Fellowship Recommendation Letter
Use an official letter head and ensure you current contact details are clearly written with the current date. You can make a review of your letter of recommendation draft. Always address the letter to the head of the committee if known or to the committee as a whole. You should be looking to write between two to three pages of material using the pointers from above to carefully tailor the fellowship recommendation letter to characterize a student the committee won’t forget.Recheck through the entire document making sure there are no spelling mistakes and that the students name has been spelt correctly (especially important if using your own template). Finally, sign the fellowship recommendation letter making sure to include your signature as well as your full title or titles.
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