Advice for Candidates
Most national fellowships applications require three or more letters of recommendation. Faculty are the most frequently sought-after writers, as they are best positioned to attest to your academic prowess. Some foundations are also eager to hear from work or internship supervisors, coaches, leaders of community organizations, or others who can attest to your personal character, leadership qualities, or dedication to the foundation's mission. It is important to carefully consider what the foundation wants to know about you, and who can most clearly and convincingly discuss those things. The Director of Fellowships can help you sort out who in your circle might be best positioned to write for you.
Most foundations require a traditional, narrative letter. They may want it printed on letterhead and signed, or they may require that it be cut and pasted into an online portal. Some ask recommenders to answer a series of specific questions, using a downloadable form. Before asking someone to write you a letter of recommendation, find out the kind of format that is required.
Are you preparing to request letters of recommendation? An article recently published in the Chronicle for Higher Education offers a useful perspective on how to ask for strong letters. Read How to Ask for a Recommendation
Suggestions for Recommenders
If you have been asked to write a recommendation letter for a national fellowship, please read these Suggestions for Writers of Recommendation Letters. If you have any questions about the process or what is required by a specific fellowship foundation, please contact the Director of Fellowships by phone or email.