Reference Letters

Note: All applications require letters of reference.

The number and type of references required vary by award type and activity:

  • Research Awards – 3 reference letters
  • Teaching and Teaching/Research Awards – 3 reference letters, at least one of which evaluates your abilities as an instructor
  • Travel-Only – 1 reference, plus names and addresses of other referees who can be contacted by CIES, if necessary.

Submission of References

  • The applicant is responsible for notifying referees of their request for letters and for ensuring those letters are submitted to CIES by the deadline.
  • Applicants must register their referees in the online application. Applicants should refer to Application Instructions in Embark for guidance on completing this two-step process. References must be submitted via the online application.
  • Share a copy of your project statement with your referees.
  • Referees should keep an electronic copy of letters they submit.
  • Do not exceed the indicated number of references for the type of award you have chosen. Additional references submitted will not be considered.
  • All references must be in English.
  • Referees should be able to evaluate your professional work, including teaching effectiveness; the abilities you bring to your project; your ability to adapt; and the merits of the proposed project.
  • To help demonstrate the breadth of your scholarly reputation, at least one reference should be from a colleague in your field who is outside your home institution.
  • If you apply to a teaching or teaching/ research award, one reference should be from someone who can comment on your abilities as an instructor, such as your department chair, dean, or other appropriate individual at your home institution.
  • If you have recently moved to a new home institution, one of the reference letters should be from your previous institution.
  • If your doctorate or master’s degree is recent or you are early in your career, one reference should be from the supervisor of your graduate program.
  • Be aware that anyone who provides an applicant an invitation letter cannot be a referee for the same applicant.