Tips for Strong Letters of Endorsement

Published by Division 45 on

Tips for Strong Letters of Endorsement (LOE)

General Comments

Thank you for the time and thought you have put into identifying and endorsing this person for APA Division 45 Fellowship. It is important to recognize that Division 45 Fellowship is an honor that is bestowed on individuals for outstanding practice, service, teaching, and/or research/scholarship in the field and go beyond impacting a given area, but rather influence the entire field related to the psychological study of culture, ethnicity, and race.

To be nominated, the individual must be a current Division 45 in good standing for a minimum of two years, and must posses a doctorate from an accredited institution for at least 10 years prior to nomination.

As you craft this letter of endorsement for your nominee, communicate clearly, concretely, and persuasively about the contributions of your nominee. Further, present strong evidence that the nominee played a key role in the accomplishments of those contributions. Your opinions are not a powerful as direct evidence of stellar performance.

Structure of Your LOE

  • The opening paragraph should strongly and clearly endorse the nominee. Provide a few summary statements of the major contributions of your candidate.
  • Specify your relationship with the candidate. That is, how do you know the candidate.
  • Include 4-6 paragraphs detailing the specific contributions the nominee has made to the field.
    • Provide clear examples of those contributions and how they have impacted the field. These examples could include research, teaching, service, interventions, programs, assessments, consulting activities, intellectual property, to name a few, that the nominee made to the wider profession.
    • Highlight, when appropriate, how this individual contributed to or served Division 45 (e.g. , committee membership, program reviewer, workshop facilitator, conference presenter, etc.).
    • Include publications in scholarly journals; highlight contributions to appropriate trade associations, important whitepapers and technical reports, interviews in and publications in scientist/practitioner or professional journals.
    • Identify whether the nominee has written or edited any widely read text/books in the field.
    • Be specific and when possible, include metrics, facts, or other objective data to support your statements of impact. They are much more persuasive than your opinions, beliefs, or personal views.
  • The closing paragraph should summarize the key reason(s) why this nominee merits consideration to become a Division 45 Fellow.

Additional Points to Consider

  • Your endorsement should be clear, direct, and indisputable. It should be based on facts rather than opinions and specific contributions rather than general accolades.
  • Remember all nominees will have strong backgrounds and possess glowing letters of endorsement. Focus on what makes your nominee unique. Why does your nominee merit Fellowship status? The more cogent story you can tell about this individual, the higher the likelihood the Committee will understand why you believe this person should become a Fellow.
  • Do not just repeat what is stated in the nominee’s vita/letter.
  • Do not write a letter as if the nominee is applying for promotion or tenure.
  • Strive to highlight specific examples and documented contributions to the field that this individual has made.