Guide for Referees

The SUPA Graduate School requires a confidential reference 1 on students applying for PhD funding. Your reference should be on the headed paper of your institution or with the official stamp of your institution. Please sign your letter of reference if possible. After an application is received, you will be sent an email containing a link to the SUPA upload facility where you can upload your letter of recommendation online.
Note that all references must be uploaded by 23.59 GMT on 7 th February 2017 in pdf format.

Listed below are the points that the SUPA Graduate School would like you to consider when composing your
  1. In what capacity have you known the applicant, and for how long?
  2. If the applicant has yet to graduate, please indicate the degree result which, in your opinion, would most accurately reflect the applicant’s abilities.
  3. If the applicant has a degree from a non-UK University, please give an indication of the degree result and what it means.
  4. Indicate the applicant’s ranking compared to other students on the same course or compared to other students you have taught (for example, 5th in a class of 80 students; in the top 15% of students taught).
  5. Assess the applicant’s academic abilities, work or project experience, motivation and perseverance.
  6. Comment on the applicant’s responsiveness to supervision, ability both to work independently and to work with others.
  7. Indicate the applicant’s level of experience in the particular skills (such as laboratory experience) and research training needed to embark on a PhD.
  8. Indicate how confident you are that the applicant is likely to complete successfully a PhD.
  9. If appropriate, comment on any postgraduate study already undertaken or in progress.
If you have difficulty with the upload facility, please contact All correspondence must quote the applicant's name and their Application Code.
Note that all references must be uploaded by 23.59 GMT on 7 th February 2017 in pdf format. (SUPA Prize Studentship only)
Thank you for your co-operation in this matter. Your reference will greatly assist the SUPA Graduate School in reaching a decision on this application.
Best wishes
SUPA Central Admin
To report a technical problem, please email:

1 The Data Protection Act gives the subject of your reference the right to ask to see it. In responding to such requests we are required to weigh your interests as the referee against the interests of the applicant and then decide whether or not to release the reference. The applicant has the right to challenge any non-disclosure decisions that we make. This means that we cannot guarantee that the reference will not be disclosed. However, we will always seek your opinions and take them into account in any discussion about disclosure.