University of Oregon


Note to Referees



We appreciate your candid and confidential assessment of applicants to our summer research programs. We want to make it as convenient as possible for you to send us your evaluations. Please submit them in any form that is convenient for you. As you prepare your letter, please keep in mind that the programs are quite intensive and that not all students succeed in any given summer; so, your frankness is important for ensuring that summer interns have successful experiences and that our selection process is fair.


In selecting summer interns, we seek talented, motivated, adventurous, and hard-working undergraduates who would benefit from what our program has to offer, and who perhaps would not otherwise have such opportunities. We are very interested in enhancing the diversity and talent of the next generation of life scientists in the research community. We want to help train creative career research scientists to become explorers rather than rule-followers. Please give us your assessment, in any form that is convenient for you, imparting a good sense of the applicant’s traits that are germane to the summer research experience. Please include a sentence describing how well you know the applicant and how well qualified you feel you are to offer this evaluation.


We hope you can briefly address some of the following features of the applicant, to the extent that you are familiar with them.

  • Character, integrity, curiosity, adventurousness, creativity, openness to new and diverse thoughts and people, sense of humor, breadth of interests, world view, motivation, independence.
  • Maturity, attitude, self-awareness, self-confidence, ability to take setbacks in stride and recover quickly, ability to understand own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Native abilities, talent, and intellect.
  • Interpersonal skills, ability to get along and work effectively with others, ability to set and achieve goals, to create change, to inspire confidence, and to accept, understand, and respond to criticism gracefully.
  • Work habits, self-discipline, self-management, ability to handle a busy load, laboratory skills, ability to follow protocols, ability to intelligently modify protocols to meet new applications.
  • Communication skills in written and verbal contexts.


We appreciate any further information you can provide that will give us a sense of whether our program would make a significant difference for the applicant, and in what ways the applicant might gain from successfully completing the program.


Submission instructions:

We want to make it as convenient as possible for recommenders to send us evaluations. Please submit them in any form that is convenient.

Note: We occasionally receive letters with insufficent information to identify the referee (correspondent). In your letter, please include your full contact information, and email from an .edu account or other professional address.


Upload (strongly preferred): Each recommender identified by the applicant will be emailed instructions for uploading the letter of recommendation. This option is only available for recommenders having an .edu account.


Email: If you choose to email, please include the applicant’s name in the subject line. You may send an attachment in any format or include your letter in the email body.


Slow Mail:

University of Oregon

META Center AORTA Program

Department of Biology

1229 University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97403-1229


Please do not use expensive delivery services. We do not have a deadline for submission, and a few days will make no difference.


FERPA waiver

Please note that we treat every letter of recommendation as strictly confidential. Letters are made available only to potential host faculty and the program director. However, under FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380), applicants have the right to inspect letters of recommendation written on their behalf unless they voluntarily choose to waive that right. Our admission deliberations and decisions are not influenced by the presence or absence of such a waiver. If you would like the student applicant to submit a FERPA waiver form, you can download a form in pdf format here, have the applicant sign it, and email it with your letter of recommendation.




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The META Center for Systems Biology is a National Center for Systems Biology funded by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health


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