Recommendations from Girsh Blumberg

  1. Allow at least 2 weeks notice for the first request.
  2. Put the recommendation deadline in the subject line of all emails.
  3. Send me in a single email containing:
    • CV
    • Draft of your application essay, or at least 1-2 coherent paragraphs about why you are applying to this program and how it fits into your short and long term goals.
    • Unofficial transcript.
    • Information about the programs you are applying to:
      • list of URLs for the programs (if applicable)
      • list of deadlines for the letters
      • information about how to submit the letters (electronic submission strongly preferred)
      • any forms that need to be filled out (fill out all fields you can)
      • information about the competitiveness of the program may also be helpful (e.g. 1 winner out of 1000 applicants, or 50% acceptance rate, etc.)
    • Please ensure that all attached files have useful names, e.g. YourName-CV.pdf and YourName-transcript.pdf.
  4. Multiple recommendations. If you are applying to multiple programs with multiple deadlines, please get all of your information together in advance of the first deadline, so that all recommendations can be submitted in a single sitting. It can be mind-boggling to receive multiple automatic emails requesting recommendations for different programs, spread out over several days or weeks. Please be organized and click the web buttons to generate those automatic emails to the recommender all in one sitting, so that the recommender receives all the recommendation requests within a short time frame. Then you can send me a quick email saying “You should have just received 5 automatically generated recommendation requests from Universities A, B, C, D, and E. Please let me know if you didn’t receive any of these.”
  5. You are responsible for sending reminders. While I will try to let you know when I have submitted the recommendation, you are ultimately responsible for checking to make sure your application is complete. If the deadline is fast approaching, please send polite reminders, ideally in the same email thread so that all relevant attachments & information remain together.
  6. Attention to detail. Your care in sending organized emails with useful subject lines and comprehensive information, as well as your ability to write grammatically-correct, coherent paragraphs about your goals and your work, form a part of my impression of your ability to communicate. Clear communication is essential for success in science. I am reluctant or unable to recommend people who do not demonstrate that they are clear thinkers and communicators.