Two interns reviewing information on a computer monitor
Graduate Access Programme participants discussing a research project
(Image credit: Phil Brooks)

Guidance for UNIQ+ referees

This page provides guidance to individuals who have been requested to provide a reference for a UNIQ+ Research Internships applicant.

Please note, the information on this page was written for the 2023 UNIQ+ programme and will be updated in January 2024 to reflect any changes for UNIQ+ 2024.  

What is the reference for?

The UNIQ+ Research Internship programme offers an experience of graduate study at the University of Oxford. It is aimed at those from areas of low progression to postgraduate study.

What should I include in my reference?

Referees are kindly requested to submit a reference letter to assist the University in making a full assessment of each application. Please read the guidance below, which provides a suggestion of what to include in your reference letter and instructions for sending your reference. 

We ask that referees comment on the academic ability and potential, and general suitability of the applicant for participation in the UNIQ+ Research Internships programme at Oxford, and any other information you may consider relevant. Please ensure that the applicant's name is clearly visible in your reference letter.

If possible, please include the following in your reference letter:

  • the name of the applicant, so that we can attach your reference to the correct application;
  • the duration and extent of your familiarity with the applicant;
  • the specific course the applicant is/was on;
  • their academic achievements and academic potential;
  • their relevant skills and academic experience (eg academic writing, laboratory skills, etc);
  • their suitability for participating in a graduate access programme at Oxford; and
  • their relevant personal characteristics (eg independence, innovation or determination).


In the event of a subject access request, your reference may be disclosed to the applicant. If you wish your reference to be treated as confidential, please select this option in the reference form. If you are submitting your reference letter directly by email and wish it to be treated as confidential, please clearly indicate this at the top of the letter.

How do I submit my reference?

If you have been registered by the applicant as a referee, we will send you an email containing instructions on how to submit your reference. Please submit your reference by 12:00 midday UK time on Friday 17 February 2023.

You will be sent an email with a link to a form through which you can upload your reference as a PDF attachment. You can convert Microsoft Word (or similar) documents into PDF format by selecting 'Save As' from the file menu and selecting 'PDF' from the drop-down 'save as type' field. If the applicant has let you know that they have requested a reference, but you have not received the reference request, please check your junk/spam email (the email will have been sent from

If the applicant has registered your personal (rather than a professional or institutional) email address, please explain the reason (eg if you have retired or left an academic position) in your reference letter.

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