ISRSF Director's Message to Recommenders and Letter Guidelines

Dear Recommender,

Thank you for agreeing to write a recommendation letter. The applicant is applying for a multi-year full scholarship as an Arryman Scholar sponsored by ISRSF. Your contribution to the applicant’s dossier will have a very significant impact on the selection committee’s assessment. Please feel free to write your letter in English or Indonesian.

The applicant is applying to do an MA-PhD in economics and policy at SOAS University of London. It is a very rigorous program that requires students to have very strong analytical-intellectual skills, a solid quantitative background, a track record of excellence in their studies to date, and the determination and commitment to complete doctoral coursework, research, and a dissertation at one of Europe’s leading universities.

The applicant pool will be very strong and only the very best candidates will be selected.

Please find attached some guidelines to assist you in preparing your recommendation. Your signed and dated letter should be in WORD or PDF format. The deadline for all letters is January 31st, 2023 at midnight WIB.

Please note that your letter must be strictly confidential. We urge you not to share a copy with the applicant. It should be sent to ISRSF only using the upload link in an email sent automatically to you when the applicant submits his or her application

Thank you again for taking the time to write a thoughtful recommendation for the applicant. ISRSF sincerely appreciates your contribution to this scholarship process!

Best Regards,
Irfan Hutagalung
ISRSF Director

Recommendation Letter Guidelines

The Arryman Scholars Initiative at ISRSF is oriented toward training researchers and educators in economics and policy who will be productive publishers in their field.  Upon graduation they commit to becoming researchers within the IFAR Consortium.  They will not be returning to their current position or institution.

In your letter of recommendation, please try to address as many of these topics below as possible.

How long and in what capacity you have known the applicant?

What is your overall assessment of the applicant’s suitability for studying for an MA-PhD degree in the Arryman Scholars program?  How would you rank this applicant compared to other potential MA-PhD candidates you have taught or recommended in the past?  Would you place this applicant in the top 25%, 10%, 5%, or 1%?  Please explain the basis of your ranking?

What makes you think this applicant has the capacity to develop into a publishing researcher in the area of economics and policy?

Could you kindly tell us about the particular strengths of this applicant?  Issues you might address include:  Are they well organized, focused, and know where they are headed professionally?  Do they think in ways that are logical, systematic, and analytical?  Are they well read in relevant literatures?  Do they have experience successfully researching and writing major works?  Do they have a track record of completing academic tasks on time?

Are there any weaknesses you want to mention – perhaps areas that the applicant needs to work on or develop more?  We appreciate your frank assessment in this regard.

Finally, what is your view of this person at a personal level?  Are they mature, focused, disciplined, and organized?  Do they communicate well and get along with others?  Are they able to adapt to the challenges of long periods of study abroad?

Please feel encouraged to share any other information or insights that you feel will help the selection committee in recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of this applicant.