Cover letter Samples & Templates

How to Draft a Postdoc Cover Letter (with an example)

Your job search must produce a strong CV and persuasive cover letter while applying for highly competitive postdoctoral opportunities. Postdoctoral positions, constrained position often found in academic settings, offer the training and experience necessary for a variety of professional options. A strong postdoc cover letter effectively conveys your qualifications, experience, and academic ability, whether you intend to apply to the present university or are exploring positions on a larger scale. We describe postdoctoral positions in this article, go over how to create a postdoc cover letter, and offer advice along with a template and a sample to assist you.

What exactly is a postdoc?

After earning a Ph.D. or a comparable doctoral degree, students may seek postdoctoral positions, which are primarily found inside universities. Even though postdoctoral researchers typically work in academic or educational settings, they are not students. Postdoctoral roles are often available as entry-level jobs for researchers to hone their abilities at research institutes and private businesses. Postdoctoral jobs are beneficial for a variety of career pathways, including graduates seeking employment in specialized businesses, persons looking to advance their research careers, or people wanting to teach in academic settings. These are contract jobs, typically with terms of one to six years.

Postdoctoral researchers do their independent research using the knowledge they have acquired through their Ph.D. studies. In addition to managing their research, researchers may also oversee students and Ph.D. candidates, depending on the organization funding the position. The majority of postdoctoral posts are in STEM subjects and come after PhDs to help you develop the knowledge and experience you’ll need to pursue a career as a researcher or stay in academia.

What is a postdoc cover letter?

A postdoc cover letter is a document submitted by a candidate applying for a postdoctoral position in academia or research. It serves as an introduction to the candidate and highlights their qualifications, research experience, and career goals. The purpose of a postdoc cover letter is to demonstrate the candidate’s fit for the specific postdoc position and their potential to contribute to the research or project at hand. It allows the candidate to showcase their expertise, research interests, and any relevant publications or accomplishments. A well-written postdoc cover letter should effectively communicate the candidate’s enthusiasm, skills, and alignment with the goals of the institution or research group they are applying to.

What is the purpose of a postdoc cover letter?

The purpose of a postdoc cover letter is to introduce yourself as a candidate for a postdoctoral position and highlight your qualifications, research experience, and career goals. It serves as a way to showcase your expertise, research interests, and potential contributions to the research or project at hand. The postdoc cover letter allows you to demonstrate your fit for the specific postdoc position and convince the hiring committee that you are the right candidate for the role. It provides an opportunity to convey your enthusiasm, skills, and alignment with the goals of the institution or research group you are applying to. A well-crafted postdoc cover letter can make a strong impression and increase your chances of securing a postdoctoral position.

How to draft a postdoc cover letter

If you intend to apply for postdoctoral employment, it is important to learn how to construct a postdoc cover letter and Resume. These documents offer important context for who you are as a person and why you contribute to a given research project or program. The steps to preparing a cover letter for a postdoc position are as follows:

1. List your contact information

It is customary in the majority of businesses to start your cover letter with contact details. If you get to the interview stage, these details make it simple for employers to get in touch with you. Standard components of a cover letter include your full name, mailing address, contact information, and email address. Making sure that this information corresponds with the information on your CV enhances cohesion and conveys a professional image.

2. Use an appropriate salutation

If you are applying for postdoctoral positions, you might be applying to people you already know in the field or you might look up the applicant’s name. You might be able to find out the name of the person to whom you should address your cover letter, for instance, if you’re looking for a position at the same school where you earned your Ph.D. Typical recruiting managers for postdoctoral positions are the principal investigator or the supervising professor.

3. Compose an introduction paragraph.

The first paragraph of your cover letter should give some background information on you and why you chose to write it. The first paragraph serves as your introduction to a prospective employer and should include information about the position you’re looking for, how you found out about the opportunity, and a quick summary of your background and prior work. You may, for instance, indicate the subject of your Ph.D. research and the institution where you attended classes.

Tailor your cover letter to the specific postdoc position and institution you are applying to. Highlight how your skills, research interests, and expertise align with the requirements and goals of the position.

4. Describe your training and experience.

You have space to discuss why you’d make a good postdoc in the primary part of your cover letter. Write about the facets of the position that are most pertinent to your prior research using the employment posting as your guide. A synopsis of your most recent research also shows how your experience relates to the position you’re applying for.

5. Add pertinent information to the conclusion.

Your cover letter should conclude with pertinent information regarding where to obtain your CV, a summary of your qualifications for the position, and a statement about your availability. You should express gratitude to the reader for their time at the conclusion. Finish the letter by signing off professionally and adding your name.

Conclude your cover letter by expressing your enthusiasm for the position and your interest in further discussing your qualifications. Provide your contact information and express your willingness to provide additional materials or references if needed.

6. Check your cover letter for errors

You should read and double-check the data before submitting your cover letter to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. For instance, you might be able to cut your cover letter short so it fits on a single page or you might find spelling mistakes you previously missed. To make sure your cover letter is as polished as possible, ask a friend, relative, or mentor to review it.

Ensure that your cover letter is free from grammatical errors, typos, and formatting issues. Proofread it carefully and consider seeking feedback from mentors or colleagues to ensure its clarity and coherence.

Guidelines for Composing a postdoc cover letter

Make sure you give the recruiter all the details when you create a postdoc cover letter. They are more likely to read a brief letter outlining your qualifications, experience, and reasons why you would be a good fit for the position. The following advice should be kept in mind when composing a postdoc cover letter:

Prepare by conducting preliminary research on the company or site.

When writing a customized postdoc cover letter, it is essential to research the company that is posting the position. For instance, a university might focus on a certain area of study along with what you’ve studied. You can more effectively explain why you’re an appropriate candidate for the job by conducting your research.

Personalize your cover letter for each application.

The talents you offer and the way you discuss the research and specialization of the research team in your efficient postdoc cover letters are tailored particularly for each job application. Starting every postdoc cover letter with the same sample but personalizing the way you address each prospective employer helps them understand your value to them. Talking about the specific specializations of their research or institution shows more effort and interest.

Tailor your postdoc cover letter to the specific postdoc position and institution you are applying to. Highlight how your skills, research interests, and expertise align with the requirements and goals of the position.

Describe in depth your experience and research.

Hiring managers for postdoctoral employment want to hear about your expertise as a researcher because the position is centered on high-level professional research. While other job letters might mention experience, a postdoc cover letter should emphasize how your prior research relates to your current work. Senior researchers can evaluate your potential contribution to a study based on the data you offer.

Highlight your previous research experience, including your doctoral work, publications, presentations, and any grants or awards you have received. Emphasize how your research aligns with the research interests of the institution or department.

Demonstrate your fit for the position

Discuss how your skills, expertise, and research interests make you a strong candidate for the postdoc position. Highlight specific projects or collaborations you would be interested in pursuing if selected.

Discuss your future goals and aspirations

Describe your long-term career goals and how the postdoc position fits into your career trajectory. Explain how the research and training opportunities offered by the institution would contribute to your professional development.

Emphasize your contribution and potential impact

Clearly articulate how your research and skills can contribute to the advancement of the research project or department. Highlight any unique perspectives or approaches you bring to the table.

Keep it concise

Aim for a one-page postdoc cover letter, focusing on the most relevant and impactful information. Be clear and concise in your writing, avoiding excessive jargon or unnecessary details.

Templates for a postdoc cover letter

You can use the templates provided below to help you create your postdoc cover letter:

Template 1:

[Name in full]


[Telephone number]

[Email address]


[Name of the recipient]

[Name of organization]

[Address of the organization]

Dear [recruiting manager],

[Explain why you are applying, and why you are interested in the postdoc role, and make references to prior experience. At this stage, you can also explain any affiliations you may have with the institution or group.]

[A summary of current research]

[Explain how your prior research and the lab’s area of specialization suggest you would be a suitable fit for the postdoc position]

[End with a summary of your most valuable abilities and experiences, identify how your CV can be located, and provide contact details for more information]



Template 2:

 [Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]


[Recipient’s Name]

[Recipient’s Position]

[Institution/Organization Name]

[Institution/Organization Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to apply for the postdoctoral position in [field/department] at [Institution/Organization Name]. I recently completed my Ph.D. in [field] at [University/Institution], and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing research and collaborate with esteemed researchers at your institution.

[Paragraph highlighting relevant research experience and expertise, including publications, grants, awards, and collaborations.]

I am particularly drawn to the research being conducted at [Institution/Organization Name], especially [specific project or research area]. The innovative approach and interdisciplinary nature of the research aligns perfectly with my research interests and expertise. I believe that my skills in [specific techniques/methodologies] would be a valuable addition to the team and contribute to the advancement of the research objectives.

[Paragraph discussing future goals, career aspirations, and how the postdoc position fits into your career trajectory.]

Thank you for considering my application. I am confident that my passion for research, strong analytical skills, and dedication to academic excellence make me a strong candidate for this position. I have attached my curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for references. I would be delighted to discuss my qualifications further and provide any additional information you may require.

I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the exceptional research environment at [Institution/Organization Name]. Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Template 3:

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]


[Recipient’s Name]

[Recipient’s Position]

[Institution/Organization Name]

[Institution/Organization Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the postdoctoral position in [field/department] at [Institution/Organization Name]. As a recent Ph.D. graduate in [field] from [University/Institution], I am eager to apply my research skills and contribute to the cutting-edge research being conducted at your institution.

[Paragraph highlighting research experience, including key projects, methodologies used, and outcomes.]

The postdoctoral position at [Institution/Organization Name] strongly resonates with my research interests, which lie at the intersection of [specific research areas]. I am particularly impressed by the collaborative and multidisciplinary approach taken by the research team, as it aligns perfectly with my research philosophy. I believe that my expertise in [specific techniques/methodologies] would enable me to make valuable contributions to ongoing projects and drive innovative research outcomes.

[Paragraph discussing the potential impact of your research and how it aligns with the institution’s objectives.]

Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for references. I would be delighted to further discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to the research endeavors at [Institution/Organization Name].

I am excited about the possibility of joining the esteemed research community at [Institution/Organization Name] and contributing to its research excellence. I look forward to the opportunity to showcase my skills and expertise. Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Note: Please remember to customize these examples based on your qualifications, experiences, and the specific requirements of the postdoc position you are applying to.

Example of a postdoc cover letter

A good sample of a postdoc cover letter is provided below to help you draft your own:

Lauren Winters

Lane 122, Bristol, England



Dr. Samantha Winston

325 Manor Road, Bristol University, Bristol, England

Dear Dr. Winston,

I’m writing to you to let you know that I’m interested in the vacant postdoc lab job at Bristol University. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my postdoctoral research as a member of your team as a recent graduate of the university’s doctoral program with a focus on biochemistry for agriculture. You might recall that we first spoke at the celebration for graduates at the end of the last academic year.

My primary goal in doing this study was to examine how well-suited biochemicals are for commercial use in aeroponic farming systems. I worked on creating safe aeroponic systems for usage with different crops on a commercial level as part of my research. My work involved applying strategies to increase yield in aeroponic settings using biochemical growth agents that are suitable for humans to consume because the abuse of land and resources in agriculture for profit is a big concern.

As a part of a larger research team, I intend to carry out more research to develop this idea. I would be extremely grateful for the chance to carry out my ongoing research at Bristol University as your laboratory is one of the top institutions for biochemicals and agriculture. I think that by offering a fresh viewpoint on sustainable agriculture solutions for your next initiatives, my specialized knowledge may prove valuable.

I am very committed to delivering top-notch research in an outstanding atmosphere as a self-driven student with more than a decade of research experience. My experience managing grant proposals, mentoring, and conducting research, in my opinion, might all be useful in your lab. I’ve included my resume and am accessible almost every day of the week to talk further about my skills and research. If you have any other inquiries, don’t be afraid to ask.


Lauren Winters


In conclusion, writing a postdoc cover letter requires careful attention to detail and a clear presentation of your qualifications, research experience, and alignment with the institution’s research objectives. By following the guidelines mentioned above and utilizing specific examples, you can effectively communicate your expertise, passion for research, and commitment to academic excellence. A well-crafted cover letter will highlight your unique contributions and demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for the postdoc position.

Remember to tailor your letter to the specific requirements of the position and institution, and make sure to proofread it thoroughly for any errors or inconsistencies. With a compelling cover letter, you can enhance your chances of securing a postdoc position and embark on an exciting research journey in your field of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions about postdoc cover letters

  • What should be included in a postdoc cover letter?

A postdoc cover letter should include your contact information, a salutation addressing the recipient, an introductory paragraph stating your intent and the position you are applying for, a body section highlighting your qualifications, research experience, and alignment with the institution’s research goals, and a closing paragraph expressing your interest, gratitude, and availability for further discussion.

  • How long should a postdoc cover letter be?

A postdoc cover letter should typically be one to two pages long. It should be concise, focused, and highlight your most relevant qualifications and experiences.

  • How should I format my postdoc cover letter?

The cover letter should be written in a professional and formal tone. Use a clear and readable font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and maintain consistent formatting throughout the document. Include your name, address, email, and phone number at the top, followed by the date and the recipient’s contact information.

  • How can I make my postdoc cover letter stand out?

To make your postdoc cover letter stand out, tailor it to the specific institution and position you are applying for. Research the institution’s research areas and objectives, and align your qualifications and experiences with their requirements. Use concrete examples and achievements to demonstrate your expertise and potential contributions.

  • Should I include references in my postdoc cover letter?

It is not necessary to include references in your postdoc cover letter. Instead, you can mention that references are available upon request. However, make sure to have a list of references prepared separately, in case the employer requests it later in the application process.

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