Leverhulme Trust: how to choose the right referee

Category: Research news

23 October 2015

Nominating a suitable referee for a grant application can be tricky, but luckily Leverhulme Trust have come to our rescue with some handy advice on the topic!

Please see the Leverhulme website for the full text, or if you're running low on time, consult their 6-tip cheat-sheet provided below:

  1. Do ask your referees before nominating them - it sounds obvious, but lots of applicants don’t ask their referees before naming them on the application form.
  2. Consider naming referees from overseas, if that’s appropriate for your application. As long as they are familiar with your work and your research plans, there’s no reason not to name referees from outside the UK.
  3. Can colleagues offer advice on who can be relied upon to write a prompt and considered reference – and who is more likely to rush something out at the last minute?
  4. Check that your referees will be available during the assessment process. Most schemes offer guidance on when we expect to take up references – will your referees be available in that time period?
  5. Choose referees who you know will have the time to do a good job: a rushed reference is rarely a strong one.
  6. Ensure that referees know what’s required of them. We regularly receive references that are little more than a character reference for the applicant and a general statement of support – not detailed enough to be of use in the assessment process.

New to the grant application process and/or have questions about the above? Please contact the ARU Research Services team – we're here to help!

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