For Recommenders

Suggestions to Recommendation Writers

We have attempted in the links below to give you advice about what various scholarships are looking for in their applicants and to demystify the internal Duke process and what we are asking of recommenders.  We do offer feedback on letters, if that is helpful, but need time before a given deadline to do so. For questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at ncs-ousf@duke.edu or by phone at 919-660-3071. 

If your student is planning to apply for multiple scholarships with similar deadlines, we do not need multiple letters.  We can often use one general letter for our endorsement processes.  Fulbright is the exception these are directly uploaded to the Fulbright website. In the early stages, we are looking for your assessment of the students’ future potential both in terms of their academics and the mark they will make on the world. However, please note that each scholarship is looking for a slightly different mix of three primary characteristics: academic merit, leadership, and future promise or ambassadorial potential. In the end, the final letter will need to directly address the specific criteria of a given scholarship. The criteria and complete timeline for each scholarship is contained in the links below—our “process sheets” for recommenders.

All students have waived their rights to see your letter and it is against OUSF policy to accept letters drafted by the student and signed by their faculty.  

We are hearing from foundations that gender bias is a common problem in letters they receive.   Lehigh University has a good website addressing the issue and we commend it to you.  

Fellowships for Rising Seniors, Alumni, and Grad Students

Fellowships for Sophomores and Juniors