For Mentors: Guidelines for Writing Letters of Support
To ensure that our program meets the highest standards in selecting fellowship awardees and to enhance the review process, we encourage potential mentors to use the following guidelines when writing a Letter of Support for your fellowship applicant. Your letter should address (3) three areas: 1) The Applicant, 2) The Project, and 3) Your Role As Mentor. Following these guidelines will increase the likelihood that the applicant’s application is successful.
- The letter should be 1) submitted on institutional letterhead, 2) signed by the mentor and 3) addressed to the CPRTP Director, Professor Shine Chang
- Please address these criteria with respect to the applicant:
- Potential for conducting research
- Evidence of originality
- Adequacy of scientific background
- Quality of research or publications to date
- Commitment to cancer prevention research
- Need for further research experience and training
- State how you would rank the applicant’s overall ability and potential. Top 10%? Top 25%?
- Include a paragraph describing how the applicant’s proposed project relates to the CPRTP objectives for their mechanism.
- If your applicant is applying for the summer program, indicate how this project will be a gateway into an R25T application and dissertation project or postdoctoral research agenda in Cancer Prevention.
- If your applicant is applying for an R25T postdoctoral fellowship, indicate how the applicant’s aims differ from the parent project’s aims.
- Please also indicate any degree of overlap of this applicant’s aims with those of other trainees in your lab.
- Please Note: The review committee takes under serious consideration how the proposed project develops the individual applicant’s research path in Cancer Prevention.
- Include a paragraph describing the overall plan for completing the project
- Are sufficient data available for the applicant to successfully undertake the project?
- Is the time frame described in the application realistic?
- Describe other available resources to support the project and the applicant.
- Describe alternative resources available to supplement the applicant’s fellowship if the proposed project is high-risk.
Your Role As Mentor
- Describe the degree of mentoring capacity you currently have
- How many trainees at each level (predoctoral, postdoctoral, other) do you advise?
- How often will you meet with the applicant?
- Describe your plans for working with other mentors. How does your expertise compliment theirs?
- In a separate paragraph, please outline your previous mentoring experience
- List any dissertations you have chaired
- Mention number of postdoctoral trainees you have advised, what their important projects are and where they are today.