Student Academic Grants and Awards

Sample Letters of Recommendation for the Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a very prestigious national awards competition.  Its purpose is to recognize and encourage future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have the potential to make significant contributions to research.  About 300 scholarships are awarded each year; virtually every candidate will have a GPA of 3.9 and higher, have demonstrated significant interest in the sciences, math, or engineering, and have engaged in sustained, ongoing research.

The selection committee will look for evidence of academic excellence, intellectual independence, and sincere motivation to pursue scientific research in the application, and your letter should emphasize the ways in which the candidate displays such qualities. Goldwater Scholarships recognize students who intend to make significant contributions to research through their graduate and professional activities. You may find it helpful to sit down with the candidate and discuss his or her academic work, extracurricular activities, and future education and career goals.  Applicants should also provide you with drafts-as they revise-of their applications. 

Here are a few samples: