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Motivation letter-fellowship Postdoctoral position

minasafa 1 / 1  
Mar 24, 2020   #1

The application for Postdoctoral position in the Institute for the Near East

Hi dear Sir/Madam,

Thanks if you can take a look at my letter attached here.

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to you in response to the advertisement of Postdoctoral position in the Institute for the Near East. I have finished my PhD program under the supervision of XXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXx at the XXXXXXXXX. My dissertation is titled " Dynastic Rivalries in the Fourth Century A.H and its Reflection on the Resources of 4th-6th A.H (Model making: Arsacids and Sassanids)", which I defended in April 2017. I am interested in searching on emerging and empowering Dihgāns, a social class in Sasanian era, and their role in transmitting the history, narrations, and myths of pre-Islamic History of Iran to post-Islamic historical sources. I believe that I would be able to accomplish this research because my previous researches and experiences on the role of Dihgans in keeping the lineages and the dynastic rivalries of Iranian governments after entering Islam, particularly in using the Pahlavi, Persian and Arabic sources in M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, are tightly beneficial in researching on the topic.

Relevant to the advertised position, I have researched on the influenced role of a Persian social class in the Sasanian era, Dihgan, in the politics and dynastic rivals of the first Iranian governments after entering Islam into Iran, in my Ph.D dissertation and the book and two articles published after that. Through my research until now, I reached to a theory that there is no interruption in the social structure and culture of Iran before and after Isalm, especially between Sasanian era and first centuries of entering Islam contradictory to some theories like Focoult Discourse. In relation to my past expertise and experiments, I want to work on the way of forming and development of Dihgan class in the Sasanian era and the role of this class on keeping the history and myths of ancient Iran as an unofficial source. I will follow my theory about the unchangeable feature of culture and social structure of ancient Iran with description and analyzing the data found in Sasanian and Islamic sources.

Furthermore, I have taught some courses: Sasanian History, Aryans, Elamites and Achaemenids History and Entering Islam into Iran until the end of Alâvids dynasty as a lecturer at the XXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXX, Tehran, Iran, from Sep 2019 until now. Also, I taught Iranian Studies, the Cultural History of Iran, the Ancient History of Iran at the XXXXXXXXXXXX from Sep 2018 to June 2019 as a lecturer. Besides, as shown in my CV, I have high ability and experience to work with a team, which I participated in some projects like '' documenting and studying cultural-religious signs on southern Iran's rock-arts", and found a restoration company of ancient traces of Iran.

I have enclosed a copy of my curriculum vitae, research and conference proposals and one sample publication. If you require any further information, please call or write me an email.

I look forward to hearing back from you and am available to discuss the position further in an interview. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,

khangdu8897 2 / 3  
Mar 24, 2020   #2
Hi Minasafa,

I hope my comments will support your essay.

In the 3rd paragraph, you should mention the experience of working as a team and what you have learned during that time. Although you have shown in your CV, the reader will not understand your values, experiences,.... Instead of listing the courses you have taught, you could try to deepen in how your past experience is relevant to this position. For that, the reader will be able to see the overall picture of yourself. For example:

Having experience in teaching various subjects ....., I am capable of contributing to your fellowship programme by......

Best of luck!
Holt [Contributor] - / 8,804 2614  
Mar 24, 2020   #3
You have spoken of what you hope to gain throughout the letter. This created a one sided presentation. You speak only of yourself. You do not speak of what you can contribute to the postdoctoral position as a researcher. You do not make any clear reference to whatever academic contribution you can make towards the possible education of your students. You have only spoken of what you can gain, there is no give and take in the discussion. Try to balance the letter between you and the program. Just like with all postdoctoral positions, this is only a temporary placement. As a research assistant, how does your own research tie in with the professor you will be assisting ? You have to show that your learning process is not yet complete, and you have something more to learn from the professor whom you will be working alongside with.

You are casting a very wide net with your ambitions and desires as a postdoctoral researcher. You need to narrow it down to a research topic that you can specifically complete within the given time frame. This is not a permanent position. This is a temporary assignment. Yet the way you discuss things, it would appear that you are going to be taking on a main researcher role, which I do not believe to be the case. Adjust the content accordingly. You need to show how your work combines with the existing program of research at the institute. Right now, it appears that you will be doing independent research instead of collaborative work. You only focus on the demands you have for the program, you do not share how you can improve the existing program. The essay needs to be totally rewritten in my opinion. Just to make sure you properly share information that could help make you appear as a strong candidate for the position.
OP minasafa 1 / 1  
Mar 28, 2020   #4
Many thanks for your worthwile comments.

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