Recommendation Letter Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of an applicant to the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Your frank appraisal of the applicant and his or her fellowship project proposal will greatly help us in our selection process.

Letter of Recommendation Guidelines

We would greatly appreciate your candid comments on the following:

  • the length of time and context in which you have known the applicant
  • your opinion of his or her background, qualifications, accomplishments, and experiences
  • your appraisal of the proposed project and the applicant’s ability to complete it on time
  • your assessment of the project’s potential for advancing democratic theory and/or practice
  • the suitability of the applicant’s project to the mandate of the Reagan-Fascell program
  • any other information you feel is important to share concerning the candidate

Please Note: If you are a former applicant for a Reagan-Fascell fellowship and approached by an applicant to write a letter of recommendation, please ask the applicant to enter an email address for you other than the one you used to apply for a Reagan-Fascell fellowship.  This will allow our online system to accept you as a reference for the applicant.

Additionally, as a matter of integrity, the Reagan Fascell Program considers it important that referees assess applications in their own words.  Applicants are advised not to give their referees suggested drafts for their letters of recommendation.   The program has noticed instances where two or more recommendations for the same candidate contain identical or very similar language.  Indications that recommendation letters are not the original work of the referees submitting them will count against the candidate.

Submitting Your Letter of Recommendation

Applicants have been asked to apply for a fellowship using our Online Application System. As a referee, you should receive an email from containing a user name and password to log in to the Referee Portal of the Online Application System. The Referee Portal will list the guidelines mentioned above and will provide instructions on how to upload your letter of recommendation for a specific applicant.

The deadline to submit your letter of recommendation was NOVEMBER 15, 2017. Letters of recommendation must be submitted in English or accompanied by an English translation. Please format your letter in MS Word Document (.doc) or Adobe PDF (.pdf).

For questions or further information, please email