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Letters of Recommendation


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Rod Searcey

Instructions for Applicants

Candidates will need to request at least two but no more than three letters of recommendation to support their application to the program. Any application with less than two letters will be judged as incomplete and not considered in the selection process.

In the main menu of the application portal you should click on the field "Letters of Recommendation." Please identify and enter two or three recommenders to complete letters of recommendation on your behalf.

At least one of the recommenders should be your current supervisor in your place of employment. If an alumni from the program has nominated you to apply, we strongly suggest that you ask them to draft a letter of recommendation on your behalf. We take nominations from our alumni very seriously and they are reviewed favorably in the selection process. Please do not ask family or friends to draft letters of recommendation, they should be from professional associates who can speak to your experience and the impact of your work in advancing democratic change.

Once you enter the names and contact information for your referees the system will automatically send them instructions for completing the letter of recommendation. The instructions will include the program criteria, guidelines on writing the letter, the recommended format and link for upload. You will have the option of adding a personal note to the email generated to your referees. It is your responsibility to follow up with referees to inform them that you would like them to complete the recommendation. The letters of recommendation weigh heavily in the review process so it is strongly suggested that you provide as much direction to your referees as possible so they can write a letter that relates your professional experience to the program goals. Referees will receive an email confirming their letter has been received.

All recommendation letters must be received by Wednesday, November 16, 2016 to be considered part of your application file. Applications with less than two letters of recommendation will be judged as incomplete and not reviewed.


Checking the Status of your Letters of Recommendation

All letters of recommendation are due by Wednesday, November 16, 2016. It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up on the status of your letters of recommendation. You can access the application portal at any time to inquire about the status of your letters of recommendation and follow up with your recommenders directly to remind them of the November 16 deadline. You will receive an email when your letters of recommendation have been uploaded to the system.

Within the online system, when your letter of recommendation has been uploaded and received by the system you will see the following message next to the Status field:

"Your letter of recommendation has been received from this recommender and is complete. No further action for the applicant is required at this time."

If your letter of recommendation has not been uploaded to the system you will see the following message next to the Status field:

"This person has been contacted but no letter of recommendation has been received as of today."

The program team will not answer any requests concerning the status of your letters or recommendation.


Guidelines for Referees

The letter of recommendation is due by Wednesday, November 16, 2016. Referees should upload the letter via a link that will be provided to them by email.

Format for Letters of Recommendation:

  • Written on official organization letterhead
  • Be signed with your name, official position, and contact information
  • Be formatted in MS Word Document (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf), all other file types will not be accepted.
  • Uploaded as one file (please do not try to upload individual pages)


Letter of Recommendation Guidelines:

  1. The length of time you have known the applicant and the context of your relationship to the applicant.
  2. Your opinion of his or her background, qualifications, accomplishments, and experiences as they relate to the field of democratic development.
  3. Reflect on the candidate's English language comprehension
  4. Your views on the suitability of the applicant for a fellowship of this academic nature.
  5. How their work has impacted the field(s) of democracy, development, and the rule of law.
  6. Any other information you feel is important to share concerning the candidate.
  7. Please indicate if you are an alumnus of this program and why you believe the candidate is a strong fit for the fellowship based on your experience.



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