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Reference Letters

Reference Letters should be submitted by 11:59 PM ET on February 5, 2024.

Letters of Recommendation For Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellowship Awards

Reference writers should submit their letters electronically using the link provided in the email sent to them.  If you have not received an email, please check that the applicant has entered your information into the reference section and pushed the "send to recommender" button. Also, as this is a generated email it often gets flagged as spam, so you should check there as well. Thank you for your assistance in making this electronic review process successful.

We recognize the considerable time and thought required of professionals in providing letters of recommendation. We have provided this form to guide your evaluation for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) Fellowship Awards. Letter writers are encouraged to complete both the on-line form with the ranking, as well as upload a more detailed reference letter using the links to the right.  Please note that references submitted not using the on-line or upload process will not accepted.

The GFD Program is geared for pre-doctoral students. The selection process is very rigorous and competitive. Applicants are required to provide three written references. It is helpful if the letter of recommendation provides an indication of the relative ranking of the candidate within his/her peer group and field of scholarship. The following information may be of some assistance to you in deciding on the candidate’s suitability for the program.

The ten-week Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program is held annually at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a private research and educational institution located 80 miles south of Boston, on Cape Cod Massachusetts. Up to ten competitive fellowships are available for graduate students. Since 1959, the GFD Program has promoted an exchange of ideas among the many distinct fields that share a common interest in the nonlinear dynamics of fluid flows. These fields include classical fluid dynamics, physical oceanography, meteorology, astrophysics, planetary atmospheres, geological fluid dynamics, hydromagnetics, and applied mathematics. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

The GFD Program brings together graduate students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds, providing an intense research experience for the students and a vigorous discussion of concepts that span different disciplines. For the graduate student fellows, the centerpiece of the program is a research project that each fellow pursues under the supervision of the staff. At the end of the program, each fellow presents a lecture and a written report. The research project undertaken by a fellow forms a very important part of the GFD Program and provides a good opportunity for a graduate student to explore a research topic at an early stage in his or her career. In order to make progress on a research project within the relatively short duration of the program, fellows should be highly motivated and adept with the basic mathematical tools and general physical concepts important in geophysical fluid dynamics.

The program begins with a two-week course of pedagogical lectures that introduces a central topic in GFD and reviews current research and applications. Throughout the program, staff members and shorter-term visitors give lectures and research seminars on both the particular topic of the program and on diverse subjects within GFD. The principal lectures and the fellows' reports of their research projects are subsequently published in a proceedings volume which is also posted on the GFD website.

Successful applicants will receive stipends and an allowance for travel expenses within the United States. Fellows are expected to be in residence for the full ten weeks of the program. The annual application deadline is February 5, and awards will be announced by April 1. We particularly encourage applications from women and members of underrepresented groups. More information about the GFD program can be found at:

Letters of Recommendation are a key factor in award decisions. Thank you for the time and effort you have devoted on behalf of the applicant and in assisting us in the selection process.

Completed references will be accepted until February 5. Specific questions about the fellowship should be addressed to the WHOI GFD Coordinator at:

Further information may also be obtained by writing directly to:

The GFD Steering Committee
Academic Programs Office, Clark Laboratory, MS #31
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1541
Telephone: (508) 289-2950
Fax: (508) 457-2115

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization