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Reference Letters

In order for reviewers to view all portions of the application, we are requesting that reference writers submit their letters electronically using the links to the right. Thank you for your assistance in making this electronic review process successful.

We recognize the considerable time and thought required of professionals in providing letters of recommendation for students and postdoctoral associates. We have provided this on-line form to guide your evaluation for the WHOI Postdoctoral Scholar awards. The selection process is very rigorous and competitive. Applicants are required to provide three written references. It is helpful if the letter of recommendation provides an indication of the relative ranking of the candidate within his/her peer group and field of scholarship.  Letter writers are encouraged to complete both the on-line form with the ranking, as well as upload a more detailed reference letter using the links to the right. Please note that references submitted not using the on-line or upload process will not be accepted.

The following information may be of some assistance to you in deciding on the candidate's suitability for the program. Awards are made annually on a competitive basis to recent recipients (within the past three or four years) of Ph.D. degrees. Applications are welcomed from doctorates in the physical and biological sciences and engineering who wish to become acquainted with oceanography, and hopefully to be stimulated to apply their skills toward a better understanding of the nature of the oceans. Applications are also accepted from recent graduates in oceanography who wish to broaden their background and gain experience through exposure to the broad spectrum of the ocean problems being studied at WHOI. Each awardee is encouraged to pursue his or her own research interests in association with a member of the resident research staff.

Letters of Recommendation are a key factor in the Fellowship Committee award decisions. For each of the past ten years, we have received between 100 and 170 applications for the nine to fifteen available awards. There are five scientific departments at WHOI: Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Biology, Geology and Geophysics, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, and Physical Oceanography. Each of the departments has a representative on the Fellowship Committee; thus, a multi-disciplinary group is reviewing applications for final selection.

Thank you for the time and effort you have devoted on behalf of the applicant and in assisting us in the selection process.


References for Applicants to the Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship Award can be completed online and/or uploaded using the reference submission links, in the related links box to the right.

Completed references will be accepted until Midnight EDT on October 15th. Specific questions about the fellowship should be addressed to the WHOI Postdoctoral Coordinator at:

Further information may also be obtained by writing directly to:

The Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee
Academic Programs Office, Clark 223, MS #31
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1541
Telephone: (508) 289-2950

Please note: E-mailed and faxed references will not be accepted; references must be submitted on-line.

Announcement of awards will be made in December.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization.