Letters of SupportLetters of Support — What’s the Big Deal?

This is an important milestone for you.  The deadline for the proposal is looming and you are way behind.  Just before the submission you realize that you completely forgot to follow-up with the folks for whom you asked to write some Letters of Support.  Not a single one has gotten back. Now it is like herding cats and there may not be enough time…

It is a common situation, that is, putting secondary tasks off such as having Letters of Support written for you while you are neck deep in a proposal.  And some people may have told you they aren’t very important.  But that’s just not the case.

The fact is that any element of your proposal may very well be seen as important to a reviewer, if not the crucial item that enabled your proposal to squeak into fundable territory despite all of the supreme competition.  So we behoove you to take this seriously and take care of these in the beginning instead of putting them off.  Furthermore, we would urge you to draft the Letters of Support yourself, or at least offer to.

 

Quick Points to consider including in a Letter of Support (LOS):

– A brief description of the letter writer’s organization and his/her role in it

– How the project relates to the organization’s mission

– What the organization is agreeing to do for the project

– Explicit, enthusiastic support for the project

 

There’s no reason to make the letter long — should always be less than a page.

 

Here is an EXAMPLE:


 

LETTERHEAD

 

DATE

 

Dear XXXXX:

 

Paragraph 1: Description of project and its strongest parts…

Example: It will be my pleasure to collaborate with you on your new and exciting project involving the role miR-145 in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle hypertrophy. I think that your provocative observations to date, that miR-145 is, contrary to emerging dogma, increased in your diabetic non-obese rat model are very significant as we attempt to elucidate the causative factors in the development, worsening and potential reversal of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes and its patient population-specific (obese vs. non-obese, metabolic syndrome vs. non-metabolic syndrome) characteristics.

 

Paragraph 2: Your specific role in the project, as well as documentation of your ability to perform in that role…

Example: As you have seen, my lab has recently successfully used the LNA-modified antimiRs, including antimiR-145 to downregulate miR-145 expression in rats. We are of course more than willing to aid you and your lab in conducting the experiments using antimiR-145 in any way that you need. Likewise, we have been performing in vivo blood flow measurements using microspheres, especially coronary and skeletal muscle (hind limb) in rats and mice, for over 10 years. We have all of the equipment, the reagents necessary and the technical expertise to do these measurements in your animals and will gladly perform the measurement and teach your lab how to do them.

 

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to our continued collaboration.

 

Sincerely,

XXXX, Degree

Position

Department

University or Company

Address


 

For a couple of ScienceDocs Consultants who would be happy to review your LOS or otherwise write one for you, please visit Dr. Petra or Dr. Brewer .  To request this service, please visit our quote page.

 

For further information: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/grants-contracts/letters-support

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