Letters of Recommendation

Writing letters of recommendation is an important part of my job, one that I take seriously. Because I am asked to write a large number of letters each year, my assistant, Laura Doughty, and I have a firm set of guidelines. Below are links to the instructions you must follow if you want me to write a recommendation for you.

 

Graduate School Applications

Medical School Applications

Summer Research Programs

 

Fellowship and faculty candidates can extrapolate from these guidelines.

***Please do not resend links or send multiple reminders.***

Contact Laura <ldoughty@mit.edu> if you have questions.  Your cooperation in following the rules below is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Cathy Drennan

 

Graduate School Recommendations

1. Make sure I know you well enough to write a letter before asking.

2. If you do want me to write you a letter, you will need to ask me by November 1st. If I say yes, then I will need electronic copies of ALL of your information by Thanksgiving. If I don’t have all the information, I can’t write a letter and you will have to find someone else. Please copy my assistant, Laura Doughty, on all email requests: ldoughty@mit.edu.

3. Once I have agreed to write a letter, please share/email me before Thanksgiving a digital folder [no paper versions please] that is labeled with your name and contains the listed items below. The stamped and pre-addresed envelopes (if applicable) should be the only paper items I receive as part of this process. If you are applying to multiple places, please give me all requests at once, and all before Thanksgiving.

a. Your C.V.

b. A transcript with your GPA

c. Your personal statement (a draft is okay)

d. A master table of all the schools to which you are applying in the format below. Make sure to list the applications chronologically with the earliest due date listed first.

Due Date

School

Program

Type of Form

Address or Notes

12/15 Harvard Chemical Biology Paper Form* [Students please note: even paper forms need to scanned and shared electronically.] Return to me
1/3 Berkeley Chemistry Online Only Letter of recommendation writers will receive an e-mail with the link to upload.
1/15 Scripps Chemistry No Form
(send letter)

Please address the letter to:

The Scripps Research Institute
Kellogg School of Science and Technology

10550 N. Torrey Pines Rd,
TPC-19
La Jolla, CA 92037

 

e. *All forms. Please fill out your information and type in my contact information:

Name: Catherine L. Drennan
Position: HHMI Investigator and Professor of Chemistry and Biology
Department: Chemistry and Biology
Institution: MIT and HHMI
Mailing Address:
Room 68-680, MIT
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 253-5622
Fax: (617) 258-7847
E-mail: cdrennan@mit.edu

f. Pre-address and stamp the envelopes for mailing. Place a return address in the upper left hand corner which reads:

Prof. Cathy Drennan
MIT Room 68-680
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Medical School Recommendations

1. Make sure I know you well enough to write a letter before asking.

2. If you do want me to write you a letter, you will need to ask me by March 15th. If I say yes, then I will need electronic copies of ALL of your information by April 15th. I write letters in April and if I don’t have all the information, I can’t write the letter, and you will have to find someone else. Please copy my assistant, Laura Doughty, on all email requests: ldoughty@mit.edu.

3. Once I have agreed to write a letter, share/email me by April 15th a digital folder that is labeled with your name and contains the listed items below.

a. Your C.V.

b. A transcript with your GPA

c. Your personal statement (draft is okay)

d. A master table of all the schools to which you are applying (see above format under Graduate School Letters). Make sure to list the applications chronologically with the earliest due date listed first.

Summer Research Program Recommendations

NOTE:  Recommendation Limit is Five Programs

1. Make sure I know you well enough to write a letter before asking.

2. If you want me to write you a letter for programs with deadlines in mid-January/early February, you will need to ask me by December 15th. If I say yes, then I will need electronic copies of ALL of your information by January 1st. I write letters during the semester break and if I don’t have all the information, I can’t write the letter, and you will have to find someone else. Please copy my assistant, Laura Doughty, on all email requests: ldoughty@mit.edu.

3. Once I have agreed to write a letter, email me by January 1st a digital folder that is labeled with your name and contains the listed items below.

a. A brief (paragraph-long) description of the kinds of programs you are applying for and what you hope to gain from your summer experience.

b. A master table of all the programs to which you are applying (see above format under Graduate School Letters). Make sure to list the applications chronologically with the earliest due date listed first.