LOR for PhD – What you should know

A letter of recommendation or LOR for PhD is an important document required for getting admission into PhD programs of foreign institutions. While scores, transcripts, and other key documents are mostly factual, the LOR is an independent objective analysis of applicants. PhD courses usually require two recommendations. These provide committees with an overview of the applicantā€™s core strengths, skills, and accomplishments.

LOR for PhD : Guidelines:

An excellent sample LOR for PhD highlights at least three attributes of the aspirant ā€“ a social attribute and two subject-linked or technical attributes. Here are some notable tips:

  • The LOR should be 1-2 pages long with 5-6 paragraphs.Ā 
  • Referees should start the LOR by introducing themselves and the aspirant.
  • Referees should also discuss how they are professionally related to the applicants and from when, in the first paragraph.Ā 
  • The next paragraphs should be divided into three segments with each highlighting a particular skill or quality of the aspirant.
  • Referees should emphasize analytical abilities, subject knowledge, time management skills, dedication, responsibility, research abilities, etc.Ā 
  • The conclusion will sum up the qualities of the aspirant while ending with a solid recommendation to the university for accepting the application.

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Sample LOR for PhD:

The following sample LOR for PhD is one of many ways of writing it.

I am pleased to get the chance to recommend (name of applicant) for the PhD position in (course/study area name) at your institution. I have taught (name of applicant) for the last (tenure in years) in the areas of (subject areas). I will be delighted to witness him/her excelling in this particular field.

The topic (title) proposed by him/her is vital for the modern-day scenario and needs extensive research. It will be beneficial for all the industry stakeholders in the (sector name) and also academicians who can access real-time insights on the subject.

(Name of applicant) has completed a research project over a period of (duration) on (name of project) under my supervision. I have witnessed his/her work efficiency, critical thinking abilities, and inquisitiveness regarding various findings. He/she also has brilliant communication skills and the ability to mentor and guide peers.

(Name) has a down-to-earth nature and respects others while adhering to rules and regulations. His/her independent or group work on research projects and studies has been immensely satisfying. He/she is an analytical thinker and is stimulated by new academic challenges. This trait makes him/her strive for innovative solutions to real-world problems with a strong desire to improve the world around.

Hectic timelines, various constraints, tough work conditions, multitasking, and dealing with multiple people along the way, are things that he/she can tackle with ease while delivering work seamlessly. With these positive abilities, he/she will be an asset to any institution.

(Name) has improved consistently every year and is a deserving candidate for an opportunity to work in the field of (topic name). I would be delighted if my recommendation helps him/her obtain admission in the (course name).Ā 

If you have any queries regarding research, academics, or other areas pertaining to (applicant nameā€™s) candidature, please feel free to reach me at the following phone or email address. I am usually available on the phone between Monday and Friday from (time to time, i.e. 11 am to 4 pm).


(Name of Referee)


Phone Number:

Email ID:

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