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Recommendation Letter for Fellowship Writing Guide 2023

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After graduation or post-graduation, your next biggest question would be ‘what’s next?’ As a fresher, you would find it really difficult to land a job since you lack industry skills. This is when you can utilize a fellowship to improve your prospects. This blog explains everything you need to know about fellowship, recommendation letter for fellowship and getting qualified for it in 2023. We have included specific sections explaining: 

  • What is a reference letter for fellowship? 
  • How to write a recommendation letter for a fellowship? 
  • How to make use of a sample letter of recommendation for fellowship program? 

What Is a Recommendation Letter for Fellowship? Why Is It Important?

A fellowship recommendation letter is a formal letter, usually written by a professor, employer, or mentor who personally knows you, to attest your character, academic skills and strengths or professional abilities for a fellowship program. 

Why Is a Reference Letter for Fellowship So Important?

A reference letter is a very important document when you apply for a fellowship program for the following reasons. 

  • It enhances the credibility of the candidate’s application since it provides an outside endorsement of his/her achievements, strengths, and character. 
  • It illustrates examples from real-life scenarios. In a recommendation letter for research fellowship, the referee can quote anecdotes or personal stories that demonstrate the candidate’s potential for success, character and work ethic. 
  • It gives an objective evaluation of the candidate’s potential, strengths and aptitudes based on the referee’s association with him/her. 
  • It enables the selection panel to have multiple perspectives on their potential candidates. Each candidate is to include at least three LORs from different persons. 
  • It enables the selection panel to compare a particular candidate with other applicants based on the various areas highlighted in the recommendation letter for fellowship doctor.

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

Five Questions That Will Help You Write a Comprehensive Fellowship LOR

Before writing a fellowship LOR, you need to have clarity on a number of areas. This is very important since a comprehensive and concise recommendation letter is essential to win the fellowship. The following questions will help you have a broader perspective. 

What is the objective of this fellowship?

Knowledge of the goals and objectives of the fellowship will enable you to customize the LOR accordingly.

Why does the applicant deserve this fellowship?

Find out the applicant’s qualities, skills, strengths, qualifications, experience etc. and check how closely each of them meets the requirements of the fellowship. This will help you highlight why the candidate deserves the fellowship. 

What are the fellowship requirements?

Learn more about the fellowship by visiting the website or reading the program brochure and perusing the requirements carefully. You may specifically look at the application deadline, duration of the fellowship, eligibility criteria etc and verify that your candidate meets them. 

What specific experiences have you shared with the candidate where you could witness the candidate’s potential?

Think about any project work, extracurricular activities, or personal discussions where both you and the candidate were present and you could witness the latter’s potential. 

What is your overall impression of the candidate?

Considering all the various factors, how likely are you to recommend him/her for this fellowship program?

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

What Do Admissions Officers Want to See in Recommendation Letter for Fellowship?

The admission committee, while reviewing the fellowship recommendation letter, will look for the following aspects. So, ensure that your letter does not lack them. 

  • A third-person point of view about the candidate’s personal qualities, character and social commitment. 
  • Authentic endorsement of the candidate’s accomplishments, skills, strengths and qualifications. 
  • How does the candidate differ from other applicants in terms of his/her potential for success, unique qualities, exposure and qualifications? 
  • Unique perspective that other application materials do not provide, for instance, the referee’s personal experiences with the candidate. 
  • Professionalism in the letter. It means the letter is well-written and error-free. A letter written on official letterhead with the referee’s signature will weigh in favour.

How Long Should Your Reference Letter for Fellowship Be?

Your fellowship LORmust be short and concise and at the same time comprehensive supplying all relevant information that the selection panel looks for. An ideal LOR, for instance, the sample recommendation letter for fellowship program shared here, would be about 500 words. However, make sure that it does not come short of 400 words. 

Sample Letter Of Recommendation For Fellowship Program

We have a great collection of sample fellowship letter of recommendation. As a valued reader, we greatly appreciate you taking the time to download and read through these samples. 

Dear Selection Panel of XXX Fellowship Program

I am deeply delighted to write this recommendation letter to express my earnest support for Miss Jennifer as she is applying for the XXX fellowship program. I have known her in the capacity of a supervisor at XXX Ltd and have closely observed her professional strengths, academic excellence and personal values. I am certain that all of these make her the right choice to be considered for the XXX fellowship program.

At XXXX, she worked as an intern documentation specialist and reported to me on her daily work updates. She was always punctual and committed to her work. She showed a genuine passion to learn things that she was not very familiar with. Unlike other internees, she possessed exceptional problem-solving skills, creativity and critical thinking. These qualities aided her to become an independent documentation specialist even before the internship period was over. I remember one special incident where I could closely evaluate her outstanding capability to apply skills and knowledge acquired from learning at work. Due to a technical glitch with the documentation software we used at work, there were multiple duplicate entries. This caused the system to send wrong notifications to stakeholders. Jennifer devised a quick workaround to stop the incorrect notifications from being sent. Appreciating her on this, the CEO noted that the issue if persisted would have caused a bad reputation for the entire company. As a token of appreciation for her extraordinary achievement, she was offered a permanent role in the company.

Furthermore, Jennifer demonstrated commendable leadership skills throughout her tenure at XXX. She was passionate about organizing teams and events and always made sure that her team consisted of diverse individuals. She mingled easily with people who had different ethnic, linguistic, political or religious backgrounds. This was a very good positive quality that I witnessed in her and something which endeared her to everyone. She was the first name that the management considered when it came to delegating tasks, motivating team members and fostering team building and collaboration. Although she was technically hired for the role of documentation, she very often contributed to the professional development of employees in the organization.

As someone who has supervised Jennifer; worked closely with her and observed her professional growth and personal values, I am fully confident and 100% certain to recommend her to this fellowship program. I have no doubt that she will utilize this program to the best of her abilities and add value to it.

Please do not hesitate to email me or telephone me if you need any further clarifications about Jennifer from my side.

Yours sincerely


Download Fellowship Recommendation Letter Sample PDF

Guidelines for Using Samples

The recommendation letter sample for fellowship application is meant to ease your writing and preparation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind while using these samples. Here are some guidelines for you. 

  • Read the sample letter of recommendation for fellowship program before and after your writing. Before writing to help you brainstorm points and after writing to help you validate your own writing. 
  • Read at least two different samples to get different perspectives. Each referee is unique and will incorporate different perspectives into their writing. 
  • It is strongly advised not to modify a sample recommendation letter for fellowship program we share here or you find elsewhere to make yours. 
  • Use the samples to brainstorm and gather your own points. Use the sample as a starting point to write your own LOR. 

How to Write a Winning Recommendation Letter for Fellowship? The Simple Steps

Gather details:

Gather as many details as possible about the fellowship program as well as the applicant. You may ask the candidate to provide you with details about the program, timeline, eligibility etc. Also, pull out records about your association with the candidate. 

Write the introduction:

Begin the LOR with a powerful introduction that explains the purpose of the LOR, and your relationship with the applicant.  Mention your designation as well as the length of your association with the candidate in the introduction.

Share unbiased evaluation:

Provide an objective assessment of the applicant such as his/her potential to succeed in the fellowship, academic qualification/professional experiences and any other area that you think is relevant in the context.  

Back up with examples:

 Share specific examples of the candidate’s strengths, achievements or accomplishments. Highlight how those instances will translate into the expectations of the fellowship program. 

Give your personal opinion:

Next, share your overall personal opinion about the candidate based on your association and observations. Show how strongly you would recommend the candidate and believe that he/she has the potential to do the fellowship successfully. 


Coming to the conclusion, give a small summary of everything you discussed in two or three lines. End with a strong endorsement of the candidate’s suitability for the fellowship program and your recommendation.


After you are done with the writing, read the letter a few times. Look for errors. Ensure that correct punctuation and grammar are used. Ensure that there is a smooth flow from one sentence to the next. 

Mention that you are willing to be contacted for any further verification at the end of the letter. Include your email address and phone number for follow-ups. 

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

Who Is Eligible to Write Reference Letter for Fellowship?

Most fellowship programs would only accept recommendation letters written by someone who has closely associated with the candidate in an academic or professional setting with an official designation. For instance: 


 A professor who taught you at the college. 

Academic advisors:

An academic advisor under whom you did your thesis, project or research 


 A coach under whom you got trained in a sport or any other extra-curricular activity during your college time.

Community Leaders:

A community leader under whose jurisdiction you volunteered during your academic training. 


A mentor under whom you did an internship. 

For reference letter for postdoctoral fellowship, it’s recommended to stick to getting it from a higher authority, for instance, HOR or principal. You may check out the recommendation letter for postdoc position sample before proceeding to write it. 

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

Final Checklist

Are you ready to submit your fellowship recommendation letter? Here is a final checklist to validate your letter before submission. 

  • Does your recommendation letter have a positive tone? 
  • Does your fellowship LOR strongly recommend your purpose? 
  • Does the LOR comply with all the requirements of the fellowship program? 
  • Does the LOR highlight your skills, strengths, and aptitudes to deserve this particular fellowship program? 
  • Have you compared your write-up with a fellowship recommendation letter sample and ensured compliance? 
  • Has the LOR been proofread? 

Do’s and Don’ts in Writing Fellowship LOR

The following Dos and don’ts will help you write a powerful and winning fellowship recommendation letter. 


  • Solidify your points with specific examples that give context, relevance and evidence for the skills or accomplishments being claimed.
  • Maintain a friendly and professional mix of tones. Avoid using too complicated language or slang.  
  • Throw a light on the applicant’s relevant achievements and qualifications that will make him a better bid for this particular fellowship program. 
  • Be objective and honest when you give your evaluation of the candidate. Avoid attributing qualities that you are not aware of.
  • Customize the LOR to the particular fellowship program by aligning the candidate’s qualities with the program requirements. 


  • Avoid writing the LOR in a hurry. If you are too busy to write, let the candidate know in advance so they can make other arrangements. 
  • Avoid mentioning any personal information about the applicant that may have a negative impact on him/her in future.
  • Avoid talking about points that are irrelevant in the context. Instead, focus on the applicant’s relevant accomplishments and qualifications. 
  • Don’t get too personal or emotional about the candidate even if you have a personal bond with him/her. Give a detached assessment. 
  • Don’t use a generic template that could apply to anyone. Write a 100% unique and bespoke fellowship letter for your candidate. 


Did you write your recommendation letter for fellowship? 

The steps, tips and information we shared in the blog would help you write a customized and winning fellowship LOR. 

Given the high competition there for securing fellowships, a perfect LOR is unavoidable. So, don’t take the process of fellowship LOR writing for granted. 

If you have any doubts, feel free to get in touch with us any time. 

Wish you all the best in your efforts to obtain the best fellowship. 



I am Anjit.V.S, a freelance writer, overseas education consultant and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, I have written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide. Many of the prominent study abroad counsellors in India refer me to their students for SOP, LOR, admission essays. personal statements and other similar documents. Not just the academic documents but whatever content needs you have, stay assured. Perfectly impeccable services are delivered.

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