Morris K. Udall and John S. McCain III
Native American Graduate Fellowship in Tribal Policy

Apply - Information for References

Native American Graduate Fellows are selected primarily on the basis of their personal commitment to Native health care and engagement serving Native communities; their scholarly excellence, experience, and qualifications; and their potential to make a significant contribution to the field of Native health care. Successful applicants will demonstrate strong communication skills, high academic achievement, maturity and responsibility, and leadership potential.

Letters of recommendation must be received by email no later than May 17, 2024.

Writers of recommendation letters may email signed PDFs directly to

In your recommendation letter:

  • Address the applicant's values, interests, goals, and/or ambitions that demonstrate interest in Native health care.
  • Discuss the candidate's intelligence; academic performance; analytical, research, and writing abilities; and other characteristics.
  • Give examples of the applicant's leadership; community involvement; and participation in Native American cultural events, Tribal community activities, or Tribal government.
  • Describe a significant contribution that the applicant has made to his or her Tribal community or to Indian Country.

A strong recommendation letter will

Help the selection committee understand in what capacity and context you know the applicant: as their Tribal leader or community member, research supervisor, through volunteer activities, professional experience, and for what length of time. Whenever possible, indicate that you know the applicant personally. Summarizing activities listed on the resume/curriculum vitae (CV) or reviewing the transcript is not particularly helpful to our readers.

Provide concrete evidence of the applicant's leadership and service activities. The more specific the examples, the better. The most effective letters use narrative technique to highlight the applicant in action, as an innovator, activist, volunteer, researcher, or teaching assistant, and convey the applicant's enthusiasm and dedication.

Convey to readers the scope of responsibility the applicant assumed; readers look for evidence of results. What impact did the applicant's actions have?

Address the Native American Graduate Fellowship criteria specifically. Readers look for sustained participation in Tribal activities; assumption of leadership roles; evidence of initiative, maturity, and responsibility; strong writing and research skills; and coursework or research that complements their activities and career goals.