Oct 12, 2013
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I wanted to ask what you guys would do in my shoes. My PI for two years passed away this year. I shadowed and did research for him for a ton of hours and his LOR would have helped me tremendously. He was a pioneer in his field and very well known. It's one of the main ECs and now the one person who knew me really well is gone. I'm still going to list it on my application but I won't have his LOR to back me up. I could ask a LOR from another person in the lab but they didn't know me as well. Any suggestions/recommendations?


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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Sorry to hear about this, but the PI is gone, so you need to canvas all other people in the lab with the preface of "Do you know me enough to write me a GOOD LOR?"

If not, find someone else who will.



I wanted to ask what you guys would do in my shoes. My PI for two years passed away this year. I shadowed and did research for him for a ton of hours and his LOR would have helped me tremendously. He was a pioneer in his field and very well known. It's one of the main ECs and now the one person who knew me really well is gone. I'm still going to list it on my application but I won't have his LOR to back me up. I could ask a LOR from another person in the lab but they didn't know me as well. Any suggestions/recommendations?


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OP
23premes
Oct 12, 2013
476
238
Status
Sorry to hear about this, but the PI is gone, so you need to canvas all other people in the lab with the preface of "Do you know me enough to write me a GOOD LOR?"

If not, find someone else who will.
Hmm, ya, unfortunately, I worked directly under him. I can ask other people there to write me a letter but I doubt it will be any good so I will ask elsewhere. Any tips about putting this on the application though. I'm just thinking if it would look suspicious if I say I shadowed him for over one year in the ER but I don't have any direct proof, other than getting a colleague of his to vouch for me.


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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,528
76,099
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
It's OK. Life intrudes sometimes, and the Admissions people can't track down every supervisor you worked for during ECs, either. You could write a blurb that you worked in his lab until his untimely death. Perhaps you could also ask for a letter from his Chair or one of the lab people, at least, testifying that you were indeed in his lab.



Hmm, ya, unfortunately, I worked directly under him. I can ask other people there to write me a letter but I doubt it will be any good so I will ask elsewhere. Any tips about putting this on the application though. I'm just thinking if it would look suspicious if I say I shadowed him for over one year in the ER but I don't have any direct proof, other than getting a colleague of his to vouch for me.


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Apr 23, 2013
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Hmm, ya, unfortunately, I worked directly under him. I can ask other people there to write me a letter but I doubt it will be any good so I will ask elsewhere. Any tips about putting this on the application though. I'm just thinking if it would look suspicious if I say I shadowed him for over one year in the ER but I don't have any direct proof, other than getting a colleague of his to vouch for me.


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Adcoms don't really verify activities for everyone, there really isn't time. Maybe they do if they're suspicious about something. I had a major volunteer activity that I couldn't get a letter for because the organization actually went bankrupt, closed, and I couldn't get back in touch with my supervisor. No one has asked for any proof.

If you respectfully mention that your PI passed away, that explains why you don't have a letter and there's really no reason to think you'll have a problem beyond that.