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Research group position - PhD application cover letter

dopamine88 1 / 1  
Mar 9, 2019   #1
Hello people,

I have prepared the first draft of the cover letter for a PhD position in a neuroscience project at XXX. I do fulfil all the requirements for this position. However, I am not sure if I explained my points properly in the cover letter which has a space limit of 1page. It would be really great if someone can check the grammatical errors in this letter. Please let me know your honest opinion of this letter and also suggestions if I need to improve anything in this letter. Thank you so much in advance for your help!!!

Here is the cover letter,

to become a part of your research team

Dear Dr. XXX,

I am writing to apply for the PhD student position on "XXX" in your research group at the XXXX, as advertised on the XXX website. I am a Biotechnology master's graduate with more than three years of research experience. I am extremely interested to do my PhD studies at the renowned XXX since it would offer the best scientific training with state-of-the-art facilities to broaden my technical skills and excellent development opportunities to achieve my goal of becoming a neuroscientist.

I am a highly self-motivated person who is passionate about biology research work and has a thirst for new scientific knowledge. By working on a wide range of research at various research laboratories in COUNTRY X and COUNTRY Y, I gained hands-on experience with several molecular biology, cell culture and histology techniques. I am also experienced in confocal microscopy and image analysis. In each role, I was appreciated by my supervisors for working independently and producing results within the deadline. I have proven to my superiors a capability for enthusiastically learning and establishing new methods successfully in a short time. Working collaboratively on various projects along with many international researchers has provided me with outstanding team-work and communication skills.

I gained a great interest in neuroscience when I first studied about neurological diseases in my MSc curriculum. This led me to do my MSc thesis on neural stem cells in which I l found that there is an interaction between Tlx and Hes1 in the regulation of adult neurogenesis. I feel neuroscience is a fascinating field as many things about the brain are not revealed including how the brain maintains its identity/ plasticity with increasing age. Investigating about the nuclear architecture in the long-term maintenance of neural identity/plasticity and brain aging is a remarkable research which will help us to understand the involvement of various factors in the age-related neurological diseases to develop preventive and effective therapeutic approaches. I am quite impressed by all your research findings and I would be privileged to do my PhD studies under your supervision.

Utilizing my existing skills and learning further new techniques, I believe I would always meet your expectations in this role. I am so looking forward to becoming a part of your research team. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,


Holt [Contributor] - / 8,801 2612  
Mar 10, 2019   #2
Vicky, the cover letter for such an important and complicated application should not be purely paragraph based in presentation. Use the paragraph presentation to introduce your background and a few minor skills. All major career accomplishments and skills should be presented in an easy to scan bullet point / outline format. That way the attention of the reviewer is immediately drawn to your notable skills and potential to contribute to the team as opposed to having to read the text of what you accomplished and how you can help better the research team.

You have good credentials presented here, you just need to make sure that the potential that you have is immediately impressed upon the reviewer. That is best done by using the bullet points presentation for all your notable skills. Remember, this is a summary of your actual resume. Therefore, you should use only information that will entice the reviewer to give your application a chance. Don't make him wade through all these words, hit him with the relevant skills and talents that you hope to bring to the team instead. That way he might remember the highlights of your application when it comes time to consider the (final) candidates for the position.
OP dopamine88 1 / 1  
Mar 10, 2019   #3
Hi Holt,
Thank you so much for your valuable comments. As you advised, I will try to list my skills using bullet points in this cover letter. But I am afraid that it will take more than one page then. Also, I will try to shorten this cover letter a bit.

Sorry, do you find any grammatical errors in this letter?

Thanks again.

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