Oh, referee!

August 11, 2016

Sanjay Pulipaka’s article on not asking applicants for academic posts to submit references was spot on (“A humble request: don’t ask for letters of recommendation”, Opinion, 4 August).

I had a similar experience with one of my supervisors at university. He requested my undergraduate grade records prior to giving me a reference and in another email he warned me that the PhD I wanted to apply for was very competitive. Having known him for four years, my mind translated his comments directly as I wouldn’t have received a positive and helpful reference or recommendation from him.

I turned instead to a company that I previously volunteered for. They did not ask me for my undergraduate history; they knew what I was capable of and agreed straight away to provide me with a recommendation should I need one. In the end, I did not pursue the PhD programme, but not many people have the plan B option that I had and looking for one can be a very frustrating and undermining process for people’s aspirations and goals.

Elis Ademova
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Kenny Dalglish

Agnes Bäker and Amanda Goodall have found that academics who are happiest at work have a head of department who is a distinguished researcher. How can such people be encouraged into management?

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump