logo Beinecke scholarship

Thank you for taking the time to write a letter of recommendation for a nationally competitive scholarship application. Yours is a valuable contribution to this formative process and we appreciate your advocacy on behalf of the applicant.

Please be aware, it is a matter of NCS policy that applicants must waive their right to see your letter of recommendation. We also cannot accept letters authored by applicants; the endorsement must be from the letter-signer.

At any time in the process, from brainstorming the first draft to finalizing your letter, we are delighted to help. Please contact if you would like to discuss further or for questions or concerns.

  • Superior standards of intellectual ability
  • Scholastic achievement
  • Personal promise
  • Plan to enter a research-focused master’s or doctoral program or MFA in the arts, humanities or social sciences
Endorsement Required?Yes. This is a multi-stage process.
Number of Recommendation Letters 3 total:  Two academic letters, one identified as “Preferred” and one leadership letter (this may also be an academic, but must speak directly to leadership)


Application Timeline
Endorsement Application Deadline

NCS will convene a faculty committee to decide which applicant will go forward to compete at the national level.

January 17
Endorsement Decisions Announced Late January
National Deadline February 8





Submit your letter by email to It should be a signed PDF on letterhead. If your applicant is endorsed, Duke will submit your letter to the national committee on your behalf.

Please address your letter to the “Beinecke Selection Committee”.

  • How does the applicant meet the Beinecke criteria?  What is outstanding about their scholarship and/or character?
  • How does their graduate study plan fit into their future ambitions?
  • What examples can you share that illustrate your strong endorsement for the candidate?
  • How does this applicant compare to other people you have taught/supervised?

Applicants are instructed to let you know as soon as they learn the decision of the campus endorsement committee. Endorsements are usually made by NCS before the end of January.