How to recommend a research mentor for a faculty position?

  • #1
Hi all!

I'm an undergrad in physics in the USA, and a research professor I've been working with for the past ~2 years is applying for an open faculty position at an Australian university. She hasn't asked me to recommend her in any way, and I know that in all likelihood the word of some undergraduate from some American school may not mean much to the department hiring for the position, but I'd like to write a recommendation letter both as an expression of gratitude (though I don't intend to tell her about it) and also because I do think she would be a wonderful candidate for the job. Is there any advice on how I can best go about doing this? Some things that they would care about that I can speak to as an undergraduate research student of hers? I'd also like to know if there are any potential ways my word could hurt her, since I am doing this without telling her, and wouldn't want to accidentally sabotage her application through carelessness.

Also, this is a university I happen to be currently applying to for PhD studies. Not because she's moving there, but simply because there are research groups in the department I'd be interested in working with.

Advice here would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Don't do it. In the best case it leads to confusion why you would send something like that, in the worst case it makes your professor look odd in a negative way. Letters of recommendation have to be from someone "more senior" or at least in an equivalent position for very senior people.
 
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  • #3
Don't do it. In the best case it leads to confusion why you would send something like that, in the worst case it makes your professor look odd in a negative way. Letters of recommendation have to be from someone "more senior" or at least in an equivalent position for very senior people.
Thanks. After some thought and consulting with friends in other areas I've decided to refrain for the reasons you've stated.
 
  • #4
Choppy
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For what it's worth, you can always write a formal letter directly to her thanking her for her mentorship once your project is completed. This might not have much of a direct impact on her career, but it's still nice to get positive, unsolicited feedback from students.
 
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