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Application Instructions

Guidance for Recommenders

Thank you for supporting a New American's application to The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans (PD Soros), which is a national merit-based competition. Letters of recommendation educate and contextualize the achievements and choices of each applicant for the screeners and panelists, which is particularly important because the Fellowship receives nearly 1,200 applications from applicants in all types of fields - everything from science, to music, to computer science, to archeology - and from applicants from a diverse range of cultures, backgrounds and places.

  1. The application and recommendation deadline is 11:59 pm EST on November 1, 2015. A candidate's application files are not released to reviewers until they contain all three of the required letters. If you will be unable to provide a timely letter, we would encourage you to alert the candidate as early as possible so that she or he will have time to identify an alternate recommender.
  2. Please encourage the candidate to provide you with a copy of their essays. The application essays, particularly the first, are unique to the PD Soros application. Reviewing their essays may be useful in contextualizing their accomplishments.
  3. A helpful letter of recommendation will accomplish some of the following:
    • Highlight how an applicant meets the Fellowship's criteria, which emphasize creativity, initiative, originality and sustained accomplishment.
    • Explore the applicant's commitment to the Bill of Rights and Constitution, or more broadly, their sense of citizenship in a community.
    • Contextualize the challenges, opportunities and choices that an applicant has faced, whether they are cultural or educational.
    • Educate the reader about an applicant's field or sub-field, and the level of an applicant's strengths and work within that context.
    • Describe the extent of the applicant's promise of significant contributions to US society, culture or their respective academic field.
    • Explain the relevance an applicant's graduate training to his or her long-term career goals, and of potential value in enhancing his or her future accomplishments.
  4. Submission Process for Recommenders:
    • You will receive an email from the application system when an applicant registers you as a recommender. Please check your spam folder if you have not received it. Clicking on the link provided in the email will bring you to a "Recommender Registration" page.
    • After registration, you will be brought to a home page, where you can click on the applicant's name and upload your letter of recommendation. If you are writing letters for more than one applicant, all of their names will be listed.
    • Please note: you should save your letter as a Word document or an unsecured PDF document, which you would then upload to the application system. You will not be able to type the letter directly into the system.
    • To return and view/edit your recommendation before the deadline, you can visit campus.embarkapply.com and login with your email and the password you created in registration.