Download instructions for letters of support here.
Successful applicants will ultimately be required to submit two letters of support: 1) an initial letter confirming their institution is aware of their application and 2) a second letter, which will be requested in the final round, documenting the institution’s commitment to support the applicant’s participation in the program. Both letters should be written by the same person: either the applicant’s current supervisor or a higher authority at the applicant’s institution who can attest to both the applicant and the institution’s commitment.
For the initial application, the letter writer should simply use the following template: “If [insert applicant’s full name and title] is selected for the AGU LANDInG Academy, [insert name of department, college, agency or institution] will collaborate and/or commit resources as necessary and detailed in the applicant’s broadening participation project proposed for year two of the Academy.”
Candidates who are selected for the final round of interviews will be asked to submit a second, more detailed letter of support. That letter is intended to ensure institutional support for the applicant’s participation in the program, including attendance at quarterly in-person summits and monthly meetings, and the applicant’s proposed broadening participation leadership project.
A successful applicant’s institution should understand the importance, benefits and scope of participation in the Academy. Fellows will spend about 50 hours of instructional contact over two years and additional effort should be expected to prepare for meetings, travel and project implementation.
Because applicants may not fully understand their institution’s DEI needs at the time of application, and therefore cannot anticipate the full scope of the project they may develop, we do not expect the second letter to include a fully scoped plan for change. Instead, the letter should reflect 1) that the applicant has engaged in a conversation with their institution’s leadership about program expectations, and 2) that the institution is generally committed to supporting the applicant’s participation. Clarity and understanding of the institution’s commitment at the start will ensure success down the road.
Questions that applicants should discuss with their letter writer include:
- Consider your own interests in effecting change to inform and shape your request for resources. For example, are you most interested in changes that support student or faculty success, institutional policy or practice changes, etc.?
- Consider the types of support most likely to be of value to you in participating in the Academy including time to attend and prepare for meetings, complete assignments, participate in activities and develop and implement a project, etc.
- What kinds of support would be necessary and valuable to advance your plan for change?
- How can your institution best support you in your DEI leadership development and efforts?
- For example:
Would your institution consider offering an adjustment in effort (e.g., teaching, service or scholarship reduction) to afford your time to participate in Academy meetings and activities, and to develop and implement a broadening participation leadership project?
- What fiscal resources might your institution be willing to provide in support of implementing a future project?
- What other resources might your institution commit to support you in proposing and implementing a project (e.g., space, event planning, administrative support)?
- How will your institution recognize the value of your participation? For example, will your participation count toward meeting expectations for future promotion or leadership opportunities?
- Will your institution support you in requesting data needed to inform identifying areas of need for enhancing DEI success on your campus?
- Will your institution allow and support your communication and collaboration with other stakeholders within and beyond your institution?