The Nance Lab

Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Washington
Box 351750
3781 Okanogan Lane NE 
Seattle, WA, 98195-1750

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon

©2017 by Nance Lab. Proudly created with

Recommendation Letters

Who do you write letters for?

I am happy to write letters for students I have taught in at least one class (more than one class is always preferable) or for students who I’ve advised, mentored, had in my lab, or worked with via Women in ChemE or other outreach activities.

When should I email you to ask about writing a letter?

Please make your request four weeks prior to the deadline. Anything closer to the deadline is not likely to be met. All recommendation letter requests should be directed to

Do you say no to some letter requests?

Yes, I do. I put significant time into my letters to write individualized, high quality, specific, and detailed letters. Additionally, these letters carry my name and ability to evaluate applicants, therefore the integrity of these letters is important to me. If I do not feel as though I know you well enough, or if I feel as though I cannot write you a strong letter, I will tell you so and suggest you find an alternative letter writer. 

Once you've confirmed you'll write a letter, what should I provide to you?


You will need to provide the following information:

  1. An updated resume or CV

  2. A cover letter, essay, or brief statement of interest for the position you are applying

  3. Any specifications required for the rec letter

  4. A bullet point list of things you would like me to mention in the letter.


I require this information regardless of the format of the recommendation request. This information helps me align my letter with your application, which better allows you to present a consistent and well-rounded message.

If I graduated many years ago, can I still request a letter from you?

Yes. I will ask for some updated information, but I'm always happy to write a letter for a former student, trainee, or mentee. Ideally, you will have kept in touch during the time period since we last directly interacted, but independent of that, I will still be able to speak to characteristics relevant to the recommendation letter for the time period I directly interacted with you.