Feb 16, 2010
50
0
0
Status
I work in a lab where there is a collaboration between 2 labs. The PI will write me a fantastic letter. However, I'd like to get another letter from a post-doc + a prof from the other lab.

I am very close with the post-doc because we always work together, but one problem is that he is from France and is not very fluent in english. The prof in the collaborating lab is the dean of medicine at my school and he knows me fairly well also.

My plan is to ask the prof (dean) for a letter and ask my post-doc if he has another else to add to the LOR. Do you think this is a good idea? Is this even allowed because there would be 2 names in 1 LOR?

I am also worried that the post-doc might find this somewhat offensive because he might feel that I'm asking the prof for a letter because he's higher up in the school system.

Thanks.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,246
29,066
281
Status
Academic Administration
Sometimes we'll get a letter that is signed by two people or where the higher ranked person will consult with the lower ranked person and incorporate comments made by the underling in the letter.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,622
10,435
281
Inside the tesseract
I think it's more common to ask the postdoc when the PI doesn't know you well enough to write a meaningful letter. In such a case, the PI often cosigns the more informative letter written by the postdoc. This does not seem to be the case for you. I'd stick to the higher status writers.
 
Feb 16, 2010
50
0
0
Status
Sometimes we'll get a letter that is signed by two people or where the higher ranked person will consult with the lower ranked person and incorporate comments made by the underling in the letter.
Thank you for the reply.

My other question is, is it okay for an applicant to send in 2 letters from the same lab? Inmy case, it would be my PI (who wrote me a wonderful 3 full pages of LoR) and the dean of medicine who is a collaborator for the same project?

I just feel like they can both write me amazing letters. I am worried that they will comment on the same qualities.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,246
29,066
281
Status
Academic Administration
Thank you for the reply.

My other question is, is it okay for an applicant to send in 2 letters from the same lab? Inmy case, it would be my PI (who wrote me a wonderful 3 full pages of LoR) and the dean of medicine who is a collaborator for the same project?

I just feel like they can both write me amazing letters. I am worried that they will comment on the same qualities.
It does seem redundant to have 2 letters for what is essentially the same work.
 
Feb 16, 2010
50
0
0
Status
It does seem redundant to have 2 letters for what is essentially the same work.
Thank you LizzyM for answering my question.

So do you suggest not getting a letter from the dean? I doubt they will say the same thing about me because I have known the PI for numerous years all throughout high school and university. So I'd think that he has more personal things to say about me and my research capabilities.

As for the dean, he doesn't know me as well but if I get the post-doc to complement what the dean said, I think it will be more of my work ethic + personality letter.

Or do you suggest getting a letter from a class that I took in university?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,246
29,066
281
Status
Academic Administration
Med schools expect at least one letter from someone who has taught you in a classroom setting because information from someone who has seen you in that environment is valuable.

Did you know the PI outside of the lab before you went to work for him? If he is your neighbor or a friend of your parents', it is not as good as if he only knows you only in a professional capacity. Sometimes we worry that a person who has a personal relationship with the applicant will not be objective and candid when describing a candidate's suitability for medical school. If you think that your PI will have nice, personal things to say about you, it would be better to get a letter from the dean and hope/suggest that the dean consult with his post-doc from France in writing the letter.