All applications require two letters of recommendation. Recommendations evaluate your professional work, including the abilities you bring to your project; your ability to adapt; the merits of the project; and your teaching effectiveness. You are encouraged to provide your recommenders with a copy of your project statement.

  • Applicants must register their recommenders in the online application, and are responsible for ensuring their letters are submitted via the online system by the application deadline.
  • Recommenders submit their letters directly to the online application, and may not submit them outside the online system.
  • Letters can be submitted before or after you submit the application, but must be submitted by the application deadline.
  • All recommendations must be in English.

Who may serve as a recommender?

  • Letters should be from those who know you and your work well, and can address the points below.
  • Generally, you should obtain one letter from a colleague or supervisor at your current place of employment. The second letter should be from a colleague within your discipline and can be from outside of your current place of employment. This can include colleagues with whom you have collaborated on research in the last several years in the U.S. or abroad.
  • If you are applying for a teaching or teaching/research award, one of your recommenders should be able to provide an evaluation of your teaching.
  • If your institution or employer recently changed, one of the letters should be from someone at your previous institution or employer.
  • Anyone who serves as a recommender may not also provide the applicant with an invitation letter.
  • For applicants currently finishing their doctoral (or equivalent terminal) degrees: If you are applying before your final degree requirements are complete, one of your letters must come from your committee chair, addressing your degree progress and expected date of conferral, which must be on or before February 1, 2021 unless otherwise noted in the award description. Additional documentation may be requested later.
  • References from relatives are not permitted.
  • Representatives of U.S. Embassy posts or Fulbright Commissions in the country of application may not serve as recommenders.
  • Representatives of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State may not serve as recommenders.
  • Representatives of the Institute of International Education may not serve as recommenders.

For Recommenders

Recommenders are asked to address the following points as they relate to the award or program to which the individual has applied.

  1. How you know the applicant and for how long.
  2. The applicant’s professional qualifications
  3. Depending on the “Type of Activity” (there may be more than one):
    • Teaching: Discuss the applicant’s teaching and interactions with students and colleagues in an academic setting. If you are in a position to do so, please discuss their pedagogical approach, course materials, and the effectiveness of their teaching. (The applicant should have forwarded a copy of their project statement to you.)
    • Research: Discuss potential significance of proposed research. (The applicant should have forwarded a copy of their project statement to you.)
    • Professional Project: Discuss potential significance of proposed project. (The applicant should have forwarded a copy of their project statement to you.)
  4. The potential for impact, including any outcomes and benefits to the applicant’s field and home institution.
  5. The applicant’s communication skills and their ability to function as a cultural ambassador for the United States, including the applicant’s collegiality, cultural adaptability, and sensitivity․
  6. Your overall assessment of the candidate․

Format Requirements

  1. Up to 3 pages
  2. On letterhead and signed (recommended)
  3. Only Roman characters are allowed
  4. File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document

Please retain an electronic copy of your submitted recommendation.