My situation is the following (from an European University):

I did a semester project as part of my Master studies (MSc), which went very well (highest grade possible). The project involved theory and computer simulations, and was about 2 months long (full-time position, not paid, actually part of the curriculum).

This was +1 year ago (finished early October 2013), and since then, my former supervisor (PostDoc researcher) left academia to pursue another career path in industry. I contacted him to publish the results in academia in June, and that's why I know his current situation.


  • Should I ask for a recommendation letter from my former supervisor?

A long time has past (+1 year) since the completion of the project, given its short duration (2 months).

Besides that 2-3 emails back in June, I have had no contact with him, and I'm afraid it would come as very cold to ask for the letter directly.


  • What are good ways to ask for a letter in such a situation after little to no contact?

I could really use that letter, as I am at the very beginning of my career, and don't have many other options to get references


Wasn't sure about asking here or over at Academia, but since I will be applying to industry positions, I thought it would be best to post my question here.

  • I don't know about Europe, but I think professors should feel obligated to give objective recommendations when requested by a student. Just be polite and professional.
    – user8365
    Oct 27, 2014 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


Well I would ask, I mean worst case they say no.

The best way I can think of would be a fairly boiler plate. "Hello [name and title], I work with you some time ago on [project]. I was wondering if you would be willing to give me a letter of recommendation based on that experience."

Only write that as you would say it, and add any details you feel are relevant. Assuming the individual remembers you in a positive standing I don't see why they wouldn't be willing.

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