Forum:Who is an appropriate person to ask for references while applying for PhD?
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4.5 years ago
naive_user ▴ 70

Hi,

I am a bioinformatician working in genomics industry for the past 5 years and is now making up his mind for PhD in Germany. I am going through the essential requirements for the same and one of which is providing references from atleast 2 persons.

Now, while I understand that it would have been easier to get in touch with teachers/supervisors (from the master's course) right after completing master's but now since it has been quite some time (or years), I am wondering about the following:

  1. While I am sure that my mentors from the master's course would be delighted to provide reference, would it be rightful to ask them for it at the first place? This is because, I am not in touch with them and they hardly have any idea what I am into now and why I am going for a PhD. Of course, I can call them and explain but still wouldn't that have any impact on the weightage of my reference from the point of view of the person screening the PhD application? In short, should I instead seek help from people who know me from the industry?

  2. Will it be fine to get references from people who were my seniors in the Master's course, completed their PhD and now working in industry (in a good position) and provided they know me very well? Do their reference email/letter would be considered as good as a reference from a person from the academia? How do the references are judged?

PhD Germany Bioinformatics Forum • 1.1k views
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I guess the best option would be to ask your current boss (the one in the genomcs industry you're working) for a recommendation letter .

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That may not go over so well in India (where I see OP is from).

That said it may depend on the boss in question. If (s)he is broad-minded and wants to help further your career, then that would be the way to go.

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I would go for diversity. In ideal case, both 1 and 2 + definitely somebody from your current job, ideally boss.

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4.5 years ago
Ram 34k

I would go for at least one person that has supervised your work, one who has maybe been a mentor to you (and watched you learn and grow) and a close colleague. Gives people perspective that way.

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