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Research Associate   Cover Letter

Research associate cover letter (with examples).

We live in the Age of Information, where mountains of data dominate the landscape. In every sector of the economy, you will find an ever-growing collection, production, and analysis of data because businesses use information to determine almost every decision they make. In some of these cases, research associates are needed to help manage critical information.

Research associates are generally experts with graduate-level degrees in a specific field who conduct research on behalf of an organization such as a university, a consulting firm , or a government agency. Research associates use their knowledge to ensure whatever goals of the organization are met within the accepted parameters of their field.

The skills of a research associate are critical to the success of the organization . Therefore, if you are a research associate looking for work, you must effectively communicate what your skills are and how they can help an organization. The best way to do this is through a cover letter .

A research associate cover letter will tell your story that shows why you are the most qualified candidate. You will show how you have passion for the position and how your past experiences resulted in success.

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Parts of a Research Associate Cover Letter

A cover letter will highlight a particular skill and experience that qualifies you as the best candidate. What's more, your writing will reflect your personality, which will add an emotional presence to your application. The trick is to organize your message in a compelling way.

You are, or want to be, a research associate. This means you must be a methodical person. Therefore your cover letter needs to have a logical flow of information to reflect this attribute. Engage the reader with relevant skills, such as data analysis , and show how these skills were effectively put to the test.

Remember, a cover letter is different from your resume . You need to show you have an energized ambition for the research associate position.

To build this presentation, arrange the cover into four parts:

Heading. The heading provides contact information and clarifies your audience. Try to address the letter to a specific person to stand out.

Opening statement. The opening statement strikes a balance between why you are interested in and qualified for the position without putting the reader off.

Body. The body of your cover letter will provide tangible information that shows why you are the best candidate for the position and highlights your interest in the organization. It is important to be conscious of your word count. Most cover letters range between 200 and 400 words, and the body is generally two paragraphs long.

Closing statement. Balance between assertion and modesty as you conclude your case for yourself . Provide a call to action so that you can keep the conversation going.

Research Associate Cover Letter Heading

The heading of a research associate cover letter must look professional as it provides contact information and a greeting.

Do your best to find out the name of who you are addressing. As a research associate, you may work under a specific person. They might even be the one who wrote the job description. Carefully read the description because they might provide an email contact.

If all else fails, provide the company’s basic contact information and address the letter to the hiring manager .

An example of a good heading for a research associate cover letter will look:

Warren Wigglesworth 24 Hours Ave New York, New York 11211 [email protected] (555) 555 - 5555 Janet Smith Global Money Market Director Global Corp, Inc. 1138 Lucas Street New York, New York 10005 Dear Ms. Smith,

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Research associate cover letter opening.

You want to begin your letter in a way that shows you are, or have the potential to be, a top-notch research associate.

You could start a cover letter by stating how you came across the prospective position. Though this tactic is fine for more general occupations, you will have a hard time standing out. It also risks giving the impression that you have not made an extra effort for your letter.

Instead, get right to the point and entice the reader by giving them something that shows your value as a research associate. Your opening should leave the reader wanting to learn more. Focus on your interests or skills that connect back to the needs of the organization.

There are a few routes you can take to stand out:

Be professional . Your tone should not be casual or familiar, but rather sets the expectation of how you plan to communicate with your boss . This doesn't mean you must be stiff. Add human elements to your language, but make sure they are relevant and appropriate.

Use information that proves your worth. You are someone who deserves further inquiry. Show you can provide what the job requires. This can be a prior experience with positive results or a statement that exudes passion for the position.

When you write your opening statement, always consider the interest of the reader. An effective opening statement should say, “I’m worth your time, and here’s why.”

Here is an example of an effective opening statement for a prospective research associate:

Dear Ms. Smith, Recent policy changes have dramatically impacted the global money market. Your organization needs someone who can navigate this turbulence. I am happy to say not only do I have the skills necessary for the Research Associate position at Global Corp., but that I thrive in the very environment you provide.

Research Associate Cover Letter Body

The body of a cover letter is where you solidify why you would make a great hire. You build a case for yourself and execute it at the same time.

Be careful about word length. Again, most cover letters are 200-400 words long. The body of your cover letter should be about two paragraphs. The first one will show how a past experience highlights the successful use of your skills. The second paragraph will then lead into your interests in the position and the organization.

You also have the option to make bullet points. In any case, you want to use your knowledge of the research associate position to inform the story you tell.

When you write the body of your cover letter, you want to do the following:

Tell a story with results. This is your second paragraph. Your resume already lists your professional background , so your cover letter is the opportunity to be unique. Tell a story that focuses on a specific accomplishment and highlights relevant skills and quantifiable improvements.

Refer to the job listing. This is your third paragraph. Explain how as a research associate, you will fulfill the responsibilities of the position. Try using buzzwords found in the job description to tie your message together.

Be passionate to create engagement. The story you tell should show a driven employee who is willing to work hard. Research associates are expected to handle large loads of data. For some, this process can seem daunting, so you want to make it clear that it is the kind of work that inspires you .

The body of a research associate cover letter should stand out. Even if the person is only skim-reading , they should clearly see that you are the type of person who has proven themselves to do effective research and understands the organization’s needs.

Here is an example of the body to a research associate cover letter:

As a research associate for the University of California, Berkeley, I was tasked by the economics department to lead a project analyzing the effect interest rates had on the money market before and after the 2007 - 2009 Global Recession. My work thoroughly collected thousands of data points that were organized with an algorithm I wrote alongside professors in the computer science department. The results were then categorized and analyzed to prove several contemporary hypotheses. It was some of the most gratifying work I have done in my life, and I wish to take my skills one step further. Global Corp. provides me the best opportunity to continue growing and working alongside some of the best minds in the industry. I am particularly inspired by your organization’s approach to recontextualizing past data for modern needs.

Research Associate Cover Letter Closing Lines

Finish on a high note. The closing statement should only be a couple of sentences long that accomplish three things:

Restate your qualifications and interest with passion. Make it clear that you are a fully qualified and invested candidate.

Provide a call to action. With a balance of humility and assertion, leave an opening for further discussion.

End with a professional sign-off . Some examples include:

Best Regards

Yours Truly

When the reader is finished, they will want to reach out to you because they see a potential hire. Your closing statement wraps up the picture you paint as the best candidate for the research associate position.

An example of a closing statement would look like this:

The challenges of the global money market are not impossible to solve, but it will take the type of agile dedication I have to find sustainable answers. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my capabilities further. Sincerely, Dr. Warren Wigglesworth

Example of a Research Associate Cover Letter

Dr. Warren Wigglesworth 24 Hours Ave New York , New York 11211 [email protected] (555) 555 - 5555 Janet Smith Global Money Market Director Global Corp. Inc. 1138 Lucas Street New York, New York 10005 Dear Ms. Smith, Recent policy changes have dramatically impacted the global money market. Your organization needs someone who can navigate this turbulence. I am happy to say not only do I have the skills necessary for the Research Associate position at Global Corp., but that I thrive in the very environment you provide. As a research associate for the University of California, Berkeley, I was tasked by the economics department to lead a project analyzing the effect interest rates had on the money market before and after the 2007 - 2009 Global Recession. My work thoroughly collected thousands of data points that were organized with an algorithm I wrote alongside professors in the computer science department. The results were then categorized and analyzed to prove several contemporary hypotheses. It was some of the most gratifying work I have done in my life, and I wish to take my skills one step further. Global Corp. provides me the best opportunity to continue growing and working alongside some of the best minds in the industry. I am particularly inspired by your organization’s approach to recontextualizing past data for modern needs. The challenges of the global money market are not impossible to solve, but it will take the type of agile dedication I have to find sustainable answers. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my capabilities further. Sincerely, Dr. Warren Wigglesworth
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Research Assistant Cover Letter: The Ultimate Guide

Research Assistant Cover Letter

You should never underestimate the power of a good research assistant cover letter. Whether you are seeking to gain some research experience to bolster your applications for medical school and MD-PhD programs or seeking to get a coveted research assistant position, your cover letter is one of the key components of your application.

Research assistant cover letters can be tricky to write, but I'm going to guide you through this process. In this blog, you will learn why a cover letter is important, how to write your research assistant cover letter, learn tips to make your cover letter stand out, and get to read cover letter samples, including one with no research experience! Whether you're a premed or not, this ultimate guide will help you get your desired research position.

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Article Contents 17 min read

Why get involved in research.

Research is certainly one of the ways to build up your medical school application and impress the admissions committees with your extracurriculars for medical school . However, it is also your chance to build up professional skills and knowledge in the field of your interest. Admission committees appreciate applicants with a research background because these students demonstrate interest in actively shaping medical and scientific progress.

Since the research process is challenging and enriching, these students develop critical thinking skills and confidence to challenge the status quo. Research fosters patience and stamina. It provides freedom to experiment and a space for constructive criticism. If you are looking to gain research experience, do not limit your search to strictly medical positions. Pursue disciplines that interest you. Research skills can often be transferred to a variety of fields.

Unique research experiences will also make you stand out in your medical school applications. As you might already know, one of the most common medical school interview questions  you’ll be asked is how you can contribute to the diversity of the incoming class – research is your chance to add another unique experience to your application.

Research experience is highly valued by some of the top medical schools in the world. For example, over 90% of Ivy League medical schools’ matriculants have research experience. According to the latest data, 99% of  Stanford Medical School  matriculants have research and lab experience. Research is especially valuable if you are looking at MD-PhD programs.

Firstly, you should always send a cover letter in addition to your CV as part of your job or volunteer application, unless otherwise expressed by the recruiter. Even if you have had the chance to explain your motivation for applying in the application form or email, you should still include a separate cover letter. This letter is an additional opportunity to present yourself as the perfect candidate for the research position.

The primary goal of a research assistant cover letter is to intrigue your potential employer enough to invite you to an interview. Whether you’re an experienced researcher or an undergraduate student looking for research experience, your cover letter is the “face” of your application. Most likely, your cover letter will be the first document your potential colleagues read about you. A perfect research assistant cover letter should include the following:

Your cover letter must compel the reader to read your CV and other application components, if applicable. "}]" code="timeline3">

Simply put, your cover letter should explain why you are the most suitable candidate for the position. Your letter must demonstrate how you meet the criteria for the research position and what makes you a unique candidate. Additionally, this letter is your chance to show off your communication and language skills. Remember, research reports require the ability to articulate clearly and succinctly. Your strong technical research abilities must be accompanied by excellent verbal and written communication skills.

How to Write Your Cover Letter

Let’s examine what steps you need to take to create an outstanding research assistant cover letter.

Research the Position

First and foremost, when you write a cover letter for a research assistant position, you must know exactly what the position entails, what expectations your potential colleagues have of the new hire, and how this research position might develop in the future.

If you found a position as a job posting, it would certainly be wise to study the job description closely. It usually gives you some important, albeit surface, information. You can start by carefully studying the position summary, duties and responsibilities, qualifications, requirements, etc. However, this is usually not enough. Whether you found this position as a job posting or not, it is important to do your research.

Your cover letter needs to show that you are the best possible match for this research position. The job description you have found can only give you so much. You need to find out how your research interests match with this institution’s research program, what the recruiters are really looking for, and how it can help you in your future career as a medical professional or a researcher.

Start by researching the institution or department you’re applying to online. Research their programs, their research profile, and the research interests of their staff. Often you can find important information about the institution’s latest research ranking and their research projects on their website. It could also be interesting to read reviews written by people who have worked in the institution to which you’re applying. Do take these with a grain of salt, but some of these reviews can give you insights into the program’s expectations.

Another way to find out more information about the position is to contact the institution or the department. There is usually someone who can answer your questions, such as an administrative assistant, recruiter, or someone directly involved in the research project. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the job, the department, or the institution.

Avoid asking specific questions that will be covered in an interview such as “how much does the job pay” as this will send the impression that you're only interested in the position for the pay, and not because it's what you really want to do. Calling to inquire about the job may also make your name stand out among dozens of applicants for this position. The recruiters may make a note that you personally called and showed enthusiasm about the job.

Before you call, make sure you prepare a list of questions. Beware that your phone call may turn into an unofficial interview, especially if you talk to someone involved in the research process. Be ready to speak about yourself in relation to the position and prepare to answer some of the most common interview questions like “ Tell me about yourself ?”, “why do you want to work with us?” and so on. These are common introductory questions that allow the interviewer to get some insights about you as a potential colleague.

If you are a current undergraduate student, you can also try speaking to your classmates and any TAs you know who may have worked in the research lab you are applying to. You can ask them what they enjoyed and what they found challenging about the work, allowing you to learn from a first-person perspective what it is like to work in that lab.

It might seem like a lot of work, but researching the position, the institution, faculty, and staff will give you a competitive edge. Whoever reads your research assistant cover letter and CV will be able to tell the depth of your research. Your dedication and curiosity will really show in your application and distinguish you as a serious applicant from the rest of the hopefuls. It is also great preparation for the interview stage.

A research position cover letter should be no longer than a page. Your language must be succinct and clear. You must be able to demonstrate that you can express your ideas fluently and clearly – do not use informal language or include any fluff. Your cover letter is not the place to give a detailed account of every research position you have held.

Remember, your letter may go through several readers and not all of them may be researchers, so do not use overly technical language. Your letter must capture the interest of any reader, while further details of your research experiences and education can be included in your CV. If you want to accompany your cover letter with a stellar CV, check out our blog on how to write a CV for graduate school .

For your cover letter, use a classic font such as Times New Roman or Calibri sized 11 or 12 and break your letter into paragraphs. This order of paragraphs is not set in stone, but it may give you some ideas about how to structure your letter:

Remind the reader why you are a good fit for this job and restate your interest in the position. "}]">

Are you planning to apply to medical school? Check out how research can help you:

How to Stand Out in Your Research Position Cover Letter

When you prepare your cover letter, you need to reflect on what makes you a unique candidate for the research position to which you’re applying. To do this, think about what may differentiate you from the competition and try to anticipate what other candidates may offer.

First of all, try to analyze and have a clear understanding of your depth of expertise in this field. Do you have a high research profile? Have you had much research experience in this field? If your answer is yes, then it might be a good point to include in your cover letter. Perhaps you have demonstrated passion for this research field, and you want to commit your future to this area of research? Or maybe you want to stay and work in this particular institution? Perhaps you completed your undergraduate degree there and know the ins-and-outs of their labs? Try to think of yourself in relation to the position, your potential colleagues, and the department. You might find more connections upon a deeper inspection.

Another great selling point is your ability to access research and funding networks and organizations. If you have had success in applying to and receiving research grants or organizing fundraisers for your research projects, be sure to include this in your cover letter. A colleague who can increase funding for a research project is an invaluable addition to any team.

If you do not have a strong research background in this field, do not worry. Try to think of your personal research experience – do you have a diverse background? Does your particular blend of experiences give you a unique perspective? If you have had research experience in a variety of disciplines, it might be your competitive edge!

What if you have not had the chance to gain research experience? Maybe you have had a limited amount of opportunities for research? You can talk about this in your cover letter by expressing enthusiasm to be exposed to research. In this case, try to focus on your biggest successes and most relevant qualities. You might possess a qualification that would be highly relevant to this research position even if you’ve never had a serious research experience. Have your abilities to multitask been praised by previous employers? Have you received awards for teaching excellence? Are you particularly skilled with technology and computer software? All these qualities and accomplishments may help you impress the reader. Try to market yourself, your skills, and qualifications in relation to the position – you might have something other applicants don’t.

How to Look for Research Positions if You Have Little to No Experience

If you have little to no research experience, but want this experience for your medical school application or to be eligible to apply for a research position you really want – here are some tips:

1. If you’re out of school, finding out about research positions and opportunities is quite difficult. Oftentimes, research positions are not posted externally. Even within the institution, professors and PIs tend to select students they have taught to help them in their research projects.

With this said, there are things you can do to search for these opportunities. One of the most common ways to find a research position is to email professors in the departments you would like to join as a researcher. Whether you are still a student or a graduate, explain in your email that you want to volunteer in the lab. Do not mention money – state clearly that you want to gain research experience. Without experience, a paying research position is almost impossible to get. Start as a volunteer and see where it takes you.

  • Your cover letter should include your most recent successes. Talk about your most recent or current jobs.
  • You should present evidence that would support your relevancy for the position in the first half of the letter. Support your pertinent qualifications with examples of achievements from your previous or current roles (i.e. awards, distinctions, publications, etc.).
  • Illustrate your successes with brief but solid examples, explaining why you would be a good fit for this position.
  • Concentrate on achievements and qualities that make you unique, rather than simply listing the job description’s criteria.
  • Your cover letter should indicate that you spent much time researching the position, the faculty, and the institution. Demonstrate how well you know the role and the research context when explaining your career motivations.
  • Ensure your letter is error-free and clearly written. A grammatically correct and succinct letter is professional and shows the reader you are capable of communicating effectively in writing.

Things to Avoid in Your Research Assistant Cover Letter

  • Do not summarize your CV or give too much detail. Remember, the reviewer already has your CV so it's not appropriate to list items that are available elsewhere in your application. You must be selective about the qualifications and responsibilities you emphasize.
  • Do not leave out examples when you make statements about the relevancy of your skills and experiences.
  • Never send the same cover letter to more than one employer. Do not cut and paste from one letter to another. Your reader will be able to tell your lack of research and career focus.
  • Do not use jargon and overly technical vocabulary. You might want to come off as a knowledgeable candidate for this position but try to stick to a professional tone and language as much as possible.
  • Do not concentrate your cover letter on what the employer can do for you. Instead, focus on what you can do for the employer and the research project.
  • Do not make statements that are too general. For example, do not say “I’ve always wanted to work in this research field” – rather, show that you have worked in this research area and that you are passionate about this field. Do not write that you want to work for this institution or with this PI because they are famous all over the world. You must include other reasons for wanting to work with them. Searching for validation might make the wrong impression and eliminate you from the competition.

Some Important Don'ts for Research Assistant Cover Letters:

Do not make statements that are too general "}]" code="timeline2">

Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample #1

Dear Dr. Smith,

With this letter and enclosed CV, I would like to express my strong interest in the Research Assistant position you have available in the X department. I am a recent master’s graduate with experience in facilitating successful clinical trials. My graduate research involved working with clinicians and patient populations. Before my master’s, I graduated from a premed program at X university with the highest honors.

This research assistant position is a perfect combination of my educational background and my clinical experience. During my master’s degree, not only was I able to read, analyze, and interpret information from professional journals, technical procedures, and government regulations, but I also participated in clinical procedures directed by my PI, Dr. John Johnson. I completed and maintained case report forms as per FDA guidelines and reviewed them against the patient’s medical record for completeness and accuracy. I was heavily involved in assisting my superiors with the clinical process. I collected, processed, and shipped blood and urine specimens at scheduled patients’ visits. I was in charge of ensuring that all laboratory results were given to appropriate doctors for review of clinical significance, then filed the results in the patient study binder. My dedication to research and my team earned me the Research Assistant Excellence Award. Today, I am still in touch with my PI and my colleagues, with whom I have maintained professional and friendly ties. After recently graduating from my master’s degree, I am looking to apply my skills and knowledge to your research project.

Aside from learning a set of clinical and laboratory skills, working in research has trained my other competencies. My research position involved working in a team of researchers from different disciplines and nationalities. This experience significantly improved my ability to communicate as I often found myself explaining complex concepts to people outside of the medical field. Working with such an international team taught me to problem-solve and find quick solutions. For example, one aspect of the project involved collaborating with team members in Japan. We had a hard time communicating due to the time difference. I suggested to my colleagues and PI that we create a message board online where we could quickly ask questions and send documents back and forth; this board was available both on mobiles and computers, allowing for easier communication between our two teams at any time. This initiative improved our productivity and speed, as well as allowed us to quickly communicate practical solutions to any problems that came up during research. This successful collaboration resulted in the university funding our research project for one more year.

My interests and responsibilities outside of research would also make great contributions to your team. I am particularly impressed with your Institution’s commitment to improving patient experience in deprived communities. As an active volunteer at my local Street Heath Community Clinic, your dedication to providing healthcare to all in need is very inspiring. I am also drawn to your department's interdisciplinary approach. As a master's graduate, I learned the value of combining academic and clinical research. I know from experience that thinking beyond your discipline will only improve your research approach and results.

I am confident that my clinical research experience, my in-depth educational background, and interests make me an ideal match for this position. I would appreciate any opportunity to discuss my expertise in more detail at the interview and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Author’s signature

What makes this cover letter strong:

1. Uses a personal address.

2. States right away that his/her educational and research background are relevant.

3. Gives solid descriptions of his/her duties, experiences, and successes in the most recent research project.

4. Uses specific examples to show his/her soft skills, including superb communication skills.

5. Mentions that he/she was able to secure extra funding for a research project.

6. Includes interests outside of research that make him/her relevant to this institution.

7. Restates his/her interest and shows confidence in closing remarks.

Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample #2 (No Research Experience)

Dear Dr. Roe,

I am writing to you regarding the Research Assistant position available at the Biological Sciences department at X University. As a second-year pre-medical student at X University, I strive to gain in-depth, comprehensive research experience, and the position of an assistant in your research project may become my stepping stone into the world of scientific discovery and progress. I am certain that my academic and professional experiences make me the perfect candidate for this research position.  

Research demands high attention to detail and accuracy. As a sophomore student majoring in biochemistry, I understand the great responsibility of scientific research. I have been exposed to the intricate nature of scientific discovery and trained to think like a future researcher. Not only have I achieved grades in the 80th percentile in all my premed courses, but my lab experiences have taught me how to build a hypothesis and develop a method of inquiry. During lab work, experiments did not always work the first time. I sought feedback from my supervisor about how to refine my technique, always striving for better results. My attention to detail allowed me to reach great heights in my premed coursework and I am ready to apply the skills I have learned to a serious research project.

My interests and competencies reach beyond academia and can help me become a valuable member of your research team. As a member of the student council at X University over the last two years, I am in charge of developing successful state and federal grant applications. Last year, I was successful in obtaining a municipal grant that was used to renovate computer labs in the Y building on our campus. Additionally, my organizational skills are further demonstrated by the fundraising events I have helped organize with the student body. While research demands high levels of scientific expertise and knowledge, research also requires paperwork and financial support from the state – my background can help advance our research in this regard. 

While I have not had the chance to participate in professional research, I have substantial professional experience in keeping records and updating databases while working as an assistant to my mother in our family's grocery store. In addition to working with numbers at the till, I was in charge of keeping records of deliveries. This responsibility taught me to keep neat and accurate records while working with a lot of information – a skill that’s greatly valuable while documenting the research process and findings. 

Working at the grocery has also trained my ability to interact and get along with a variety of people. Through cooperating with people of different languages and cultures, I developed outstanding comprehension and communication skills, which help me not only in my academic work but also in my personal life. Research is not a lonely endeavor – rather, it is a cooperative effort where communication and patience are key. My professional background will certainly make me a suitable member of any research team, and I would be honored if you gave me a chance to showcase my talents.   

I look forward to discussing my candidacy with you further. If you would like any additional information that will help me gain this position, please let me know. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Author’s Signature

Check out our video for a quick recap:

In truth, the recruiter may decide to go with a candidate with more research experience than you. However, your cover letter is exactly the place where you can address any lack of experiences found in your resume or CV. This letter is an opportunity to reinforce yourself as a candidate, rather than highlight your flaws.

If you do not have specific research experience appropriate for the position, perhaps you can augment your candidacy by demonstrating other qualities that your recruiter is seeking for in their potential colleague. For example, you can demonstrate that you are a fast learner with experience in reading and analyzing complex information, or that you have experience in organizing and executing fundraising activities.

A cover letter is your chance to be more than a list of experiences and accomplishments. You can make them come alive and describe how they are relevant to the specific position to which you’re applying. CVs can be a few pages long, it's a lot of information for reviewers to sift through. Instead, they prefer an easy to read, one-page document that summarizes an applicant’s main accomplishments, experiences, and overall suitability for the role. Keep in mind that hiring departments may not even review your CV if they are not first impressed by your cover letter.

Your cover letter is an addition to your CV, and you need to show you can concisely focus on the strongest experiences you have had. A well-written cover letter demonstrates your ability to write and prioritize information clearly, which is something you must do as a researcher. Even though most job criteria have more than 3 qualities or skills they look for, it is important to stay succinct in your cover letter.

Remember, you cannot just list the skills but must show that you have them by using concrete examples of encounters and interactions you have had. Including examples will limit the number of skills you can include in your cover letter to a maximum of 3, as it is usually not possible to talk about more than 3 in any detail at all. So, reflect on your experiences and pick a maximum of 3 that you have solid examples for.

Your cover letter must be easy to follow and easy to read. Consider ordering your experiences in chronological order so the reader can follow the timeline of events easily. Include your most recent experiences.

Brainstorming experiences, creating an outline, writing, revising, and finalizing your cover letter may take a while, so think about giving yourself at least 1 week. Pay attention to the deadline to submit your job application and give yourself enough time.

Once you have created an outline and thought up experiences, you want to write your body paragraphs first, using a few sentences to describe each experience and what you gained from it that will contribute to this research position. You can then write succinct concluding and opening paragraphs. You want to ensure you read through your cover letter at least twice and correct any instances of unclear phrasing. Your first revision should be designed to change any wording or examples that are not as effective. Your second revision should finalize all the elements of your cover letter and include a check of grammar and fix any typos.

No, they don’t! You could have picked up relevant skills for a research position through academic experiences, but also through extracurriculars, volunteering, other work, or even personal experiences. For example, playing on a sports team teaches you a lot about perseverance, reliability, and teamwork. You can definitely include these types of experiences if you feel they are relevant.

To get an idea of what kind of experiences you should include, start by looking at the job posting. The job description should indicate the main criteria the recruiters are looking for in their candidates. Make a list of all the examples you can think of that relate to those criteria, and then choose a few that best highlight a variety of skills. Make sure to include the most recent examples in your cover letter.

If you’re an undergraduate student, start looking for research positions in your school. They may be posted in science department classrooms, on the departments' website pages, or around the lab spaces. It's also important to pay attention to your professors, perhaps they have mentioned that they are involved in a research project right now and are looking for a student assistant. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask them if they are looking for any help.

If you’re no longer a student, you can always reach out to your past professors and ask if they need any help with research. Make inquiries in local medical centers, hospitals, and other institutions. You will need to explain your situation and ask if they are looking for any help. Be aware that many entry-level positions are not paid well. Sometimes you may be required to help for free, but this will all depend on the position. If you have volunteered or shadowed a physician, you should reach out to them and ask if they are involved in research and could use your help.

If you are a serious researcher, you can look for research positions on job websites. These positions usually require an in-depth research background. If you are simply looking to gain some experience to build up your medical school applications, this option may not be for you. Some research projects last years and med schools can be skeptical of applicants who spend too much time on research and not enough time gaining clinical experience. They might wonder how well you will transition to patient interaction and clinical work.

You should avoid using any funky fonts, colors, or formatting in your cover letter. It is a professional document not suitable for experiments. So, stick to the standard font types and size, professional tone, and appearance.

You can certainly include these great achievements as long as they add to the overall narrative of your cover letter. Be sure to show what kind of skills and qualities your accomplishments helped you develop. Make your achievements come alive on the page.

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statement of purpose for research associate job

Professional Research Associate Cover Letter Examples for 2024

Your research associate cover letter must demonstrate your ability to conduct comprehensive literature reviews and compile detailed reports. Highlight your proficiency with data analysis tools and methodologies vital for the role. Emphasize your collaborative skills and experience in publishing findings with a team in peer-reviewed journals. Showcase your commitment to maintaining high ethical research standards and keen attention to detail.

Cover Letter Guide

Research Associate Cover Letter Sample

Cover Letter Format

Cover Letter Salutation

Cover Letter Introduction

Cover Letter Body

Cover Letter Closing

No Experience Research Associate Cover Letter

Key Takeaways

Research Associate cover letter

Embarking on your job search, you've realized a standout research associate cover letter is a must-have. It's tempting to rehash your resume, yet your cover letter should showcase your proudest professional moment in a captivating narrative. Striking the right balance between formality and originality, without falling into clichés, can be a challenge. Moreover, fitting your compelling story into a concise one-page document might seem daunting. Let's navigate these hurdles together for a cover letter that lands you that dream interview.

  • Step your best foot forward in the research associate cover letter introduction;
  • Be inspired by other professionals' certified cover letters;
  • Structure your research associate cover letter to feature what matters most;
  • Close off your research associate cover letter to make a memorable impression on recruiters.

But where to start writing? Upload your resume into Enhancv's AI, which will prepare your research associate cover letter (all you need to do is personalize it, and you'll be good to go).

If the research associate isn't exactly the one you're looking for we have a plethora of cover letter examples for jobs like this one:

  • Research Associate resume guide and example
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  • Graduate Research Assistant cover letter example
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Research Associate cover letter example


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  • Emphasize specific accomplishments relevant to the role: The cover letter mentions orchestrating the data management for oncology studies, creating a fundamentally sound database, and improving data accuracy and participant tracking by 30%, directly showcasing key achievements that align with the responsibilities of a research associate.
  • Demonstrate understanding of industry regulations: The mention of maintaining IRB compliance highlights the applicant's knowledge of crucial regulatory processes, which is essential for roles involving clinical research.
  • Showcase collaboration and communication strengths: By noting the facilitation of inter-departmental collaborations, the cover letter underscores the candidate's ability to work well within a team and communicate effectively, which are critical skills for coordinating research projects.
  • Make a connection to the prospective employer: Expressing enthusiasm for joining the prospective employer's team and offering to discuss ways to contribute to their ongoing success demonstrates a proactive and engaged attitude, suggesting a good cultural fit.

Designing your research associate cover letter: what is the best format

Let's start with the basics, your research associate cover letter should include your:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph
  • Closing statement
  • Signature (that's not a must)

Next, we'll move to the spacing of your research associate cover letter, and yes, it should be single-spaced ( automatically formatted for you in our cover letter templates ).

Don't go for a old-school font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman), but instead, pick an ATS-favorite like Chivo, Volkhov, or Raleway, to stand out.

Our cover letter builder is also set up for you with the standard one-inch margin, all around the text.

Finally, ensure your research associate resume and cover letter are in the same font and are submitted in PDF (to keep the formatting in place).

P.S. The Applicant Tracker System (or ATS) won't be assessing your [job] cover letter, it's solely for the recruiters' eyes.

The top sections on a research associate cover letter

Header: Include your name, address, phone number, email, and date, which provides the necessary contact information for the recruiter to follow up with you and gives a professional look to your cover letter.

Greeting: Address the letter to the hiring manager or the head of the department by name if possible; it shows you've done your research and are serious about the position.

Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself with your current role or most relevant qualification, and express your interest in the research associate position, demonstrating enthusiasm and a genuine interest in the field of research.

Body (Experience and Skills): Highlight your research experience, technical skills, and any relevant scientific projects, emphasizing your contributions and the impact you've made, which are crucial for the role of a research associate.

Closing and Call to Action: Summarize your qualifications, reiterate your interest in the role, thank the recruiter for considering your application, and include a proactive statement about wanting to discuss how you can contribute to their team, showing initiative and eagerness.

Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Research experience in a related field: Demonstrates practical skills in conducting experiments, data collection and analysis, which are fundamental to the role of a research associate.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking abilities: Essential for evaluating research findings, interpreting data, and providing actionable insights based on empirical evidence.
  • Proficiency in relevant laboratory techniques or software: Shows that the candidate can quickly adapt to the technical demands of the role and contribute to ongoing research projects with minimal training.
  • Publication record or involvement in academic writing: Suggests the ability to effectively communicate research findings and contribute to the scholarly output of the team or institution.
  • Collaborative skills and team orientation: Research associates often work as part of a team, so demonstrating successful experiences in teamwork indicates a capacity to contribute constructively to joint research efforts.
  • Attention to detail and diligence in documenting research: Critical for ensuring accuracy in research outcomes, maintaining lab notebooks, and complying with regulatory requirements, which are all pivotal for credible and reproducible research.

What greeting should you use in your research associate cover letter salutation

A simple "Hello" or "Hey" just won't work.

With your research associate cover letter salutation , you set the tone of the whole communication.

You should thus address the hiring managers by using their first (or last name) in your greeting.

But how do you find out who's recruiting for the role?

The easiest way is to look up the role on LinkedIn or the corporate website.

Alternatively, you could also contact the organization via social media or email, for more information.

Unable to still obtain the recruiter's name?

Don't go down the "To whom it may concern path". Instead, start your cover letter with a "Dear HR team".

List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Specific Title of the Addressee, e.g., Director of Research],
  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],
  • Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],
  • Dear Members of the [Team or Department Name] Team,
  • Dear [First Name] [Last Name],

Introducing your profile to catch recruiters' attention in no more than two sentences

The introduction of your research associate cover letter is a whole Catch 22 .

You have an allocated space of no more than just a paragraph (of up to two sentences). With your introduction, you have to stand out and show why you're the best candidate out there.

Set out on a journey with your research associate cover letter by focusing on why you're passionate about the job. Match your personal skills and interests to the role.

Another option for your research associate cover letter introduction is to show you're the ideal candidate. Write about how your achievements and skills are precisely what the company is looking for.

However you decide to start your research associate cover letter, always remember to write about the value you'd bring about. Making it both tangible (with your metrics of success) and highly sought out.

That one achievement in your research associate cover letter body

The lengthiest part of your research associate cover letter is the body.

Within the next three to six middle paragraphs, present yourself as the best candidate for the role .

How can you do that without retelling your whole professional resume?

Select one key achievement that covers job-crucial skills and technologies (and is memorable).

Within the body of your research associate cover letter, aim to tell the story of how you achieved your success. Also, write about how this would help out your potential team.

Ending your research associate cover letter: a closing paragraph with a promise

If you're thinking of finishing your research associate cover letter with a "Sincerely yours" or "Thanks for the consideration," you need to read on.

End the final paragraph of your research associate cover letter with a twist:

  • a promise - of how you'd grow as a professional, part of the company, or improve organizational metrics;
  • a call to action - prompt interviewers with some follow-up actions if they are interested in your profile.

A personalized ending would surely help you to stand out by being a memorable candidate.

Which story should you tell in your research associate cover letter when you have zero experience

Candidates, lacking professional experience in the field - this one is for you.

Your research associate cover letter is an exercise of integrity, honesty, and, above all, spinning a positive narrative around your strengths.

And what better way to capture recruiters' attention than with your most job-relevant achievement (this could be from your internship or volunteering experience)?

Make sure to back up your success with transferrable skills that are relevant to the job (e.g. how your year, studying abroad, has taught you to be more motivated and handle multicultural environments).

Another safe card you can bet on is your career dream: in the body of your research associate cover letter, go into the details of how your ambitions would help make the company you're applying for better.

Key takeaways

Within this Enhancv guide, we've provided you with plenty of advice and inspiration on writing your research associate cover letter:

  • Always make sure your research associate cover letter is tailored to the role you're applying for to make a good impression on recruiters;
  • In your research associate cover letter include a header (with your name, the role you're applying for, date, and contact details) and an introduction of up to two sentences that highlight your key accomplishment or why you'd fit the role;
  • Focus your research associate cover letter body on one sole achievement through your career and all the valuable lessons, skills, and know-how you've learned (that are relevant to the role);
  • Ensure your research associate cover letter closing statement isn't generic and includes either a call to action or a promise;
  • If you lack professional experience, shift recruiters' focus to a relevant achievement (thanks to your academic or versatile experience) or toward your dreams and goals for professional growth.

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Research Associate Cover Letter Template

Kick-start your career and learn how to improve your cover letter with this downloadable Research Associate cover letter template. Download this cover letter sample for free or revise it in our HR-approved cover letter creator.

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

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Research Associate Cover Letter Template (Full Text Version)

Karen mcdoughal.

In response to the recent advertised position on Indeed.com, please consider my resume in your search for a ___.

You mentioned in your advertisement that you are looking for candidates that have the ability to____. I feel that with my bachelor's and master's degree in anthropology, and my 2+ years of market research experience, that I have all of these qualities you seek and much more. You will see from my enclosed resume that I match your requirements precisely. My prior work experience has given me a strong sense of client service and the ability to relate to others and be empathetic.

I am known for being a hard worker and fast learner and I feel that my strongest skills are:

  • Ability to write research proposals and various other research reports
  • Ability to analyze and find emerging patterns in data
  • Proficient knowledge of quantitative and qualitative software programs
  • Ability to conduct Listening Sessions, focus groups, and in-depth interviews

I consider myself to be a dedicated and dependable individual who possesses excellent verbal communication.

In summary, I have strong writing, research, and communication skills and I feel that your company is the type of organization in which I would excel. I am convinced that my background, experience, and qualifications would make me a perfect fit for your vacancy. I thank you in advance for considering my application and I would very much like an opportunity to meet with you personally to discuss my candidacy further.

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Milan Šaržík, CPRW

Milan’s work-life has been centered around job search for the past three years. He is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW™) as well as an active member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Careers Coaches (PARWCC™). Milan holds a record for creating the most career document samples for our help center – until today, he has written more than 500 resumes and cover letters for positions across various industries. On top of that, Milan has completed studies at multiple well-known institutions, including Harvard University, University of Glasgow, and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

Edit this sample using our resume builder.

Don’t struggle with your cover letter. artificial intelligence can write it for you..

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Personal Statements for Academic Jobs

Posted in: Advice , Applications , For PhDs

I first published this post in 2015, but I've given it a little refresh for 2020, based on my experience of having read many personal statements for academic jobs, and heard academic recruiters talking about what helps to make a personal statement impactful and interesting - and what doesn't. In a challenging jobs market it's more important than ever to put time, space and research into crafting a statement that showcases your achievements, potential, and passion for your field and for the role you're applying to

Before you start

It's very tempting to jump in straight away and start writing the statement, especially if the role is precisely in your research field, at your dream university and the deadline is midnight tonight. However, it's really important before you start writing the statement to do thorough research into the Department/Faculty/research group and university you are applying to. Look at the Department's research areas and research strategy and think about how your research interests align with these and can help them to achieve their aims. Consider who you could collaborate with (and name these people in the statement). Think about why they have the facilities, expertise and people you need to fulfil your research goals. Look at their REF results and student demographics and consider what interests and appeals to you.

Academic job descriptions can vary widely in how much information they give about the precise content of the job. If anything seems unclear or you would benefit from more information, do make use of the commonly-given opportunity to informally contact the recruiting manager (usually the Head of Department). This will give you the chance to find out more about the specific teaching/research responsibilities of the role and enable you to make contact and demonstrate your enthusiasm before you even apply. You could briefly talk them through the research projects you'd like to work on to see whether these fit with their aims.

Read any instructions carefully; for some positions clear instructions will be given about what to include in the personal statement, so do make sure you follow these. Read the job description and person specification carefully and think about examples from your experience to show that you meet these criteria.

Putting the statement together

Your statement needs to be tailored throughout to the particular post you are applying for. Realistically you may be taking material you have used from previous applications, but it's vital to reorganise it and rewrite it for the current application. It will be obvious if you have simply cut and pasted generic material.

What to include:

- A brief opening statement including information about who you are and what your current role is. Including a key achievement which demonstrates your suitability for the role and Department you are applying to can help to create early impact and draw the reader in. They will have lots of statements to read so emphasising your enthusiasm and how you can contribute from the start can get their attention in a good way.

- your reasons for applying to THAT JOB in THAT DEPARTMENT. If you are applying as an internal candidate or to a department where people know you well already, don't assume your reasons will be obvious. It's crucial to give clear and specific reasons to convince them of your interest; the research you have done into the role, department and institution help here. Think about why this particular post is the perfect one for you at this stage in your career.

- clear evidence and examples to show how you meet the criteria on the person specification. It's not enough to simply say 'I have excellent presentation skills'; what evidence can you provide for this? In terms of structure, you may want to avoid listing each of the criteria individually as this can be a bit tedious; think about grouping similar criteria together, or structuring your statement according to research, teaching, and administration, depending on the focus of the job. Try and use the phrases given in the person specification where you can; this will make it easier for a busy academic recruiter to see quickly that you have the required skills and experience.

- Some indication of your future research plans, including clear goals and potential funding sources. This doesn't need to be hugely detailed and lengthy, particularly as many jobs will ask for a separate statement of research interests , but it does need to be there. Link your own goals with the research strategy/goals of the department you are applying to wherever possible, and also consider how your research goals fit with the priorities of research funders.

- proof-read your statement carefully and check for grammar and spelling errors and typos. If you are like me you will need to proof-read a hard copy as well as an onscreen version

- save a copy of your statement to refer to if you are shortlisted

- be positive and confident about your achievements and future potential. Use lots of active verbs e.g. 'presented, liaised, designed and delivered' and where possible quantifiable impact measures, such as student feedback scores or the number of attendees at that conference you organised.

- get feedback on your statement from academic colleagues. You can also get feedback from the Researcher Career Development Adviser.

- upload a copy of your CV including full lists of publications and conference presentations. Check out the advice and CV examples from Vitae.

- keep the statement to two sides of A 4.

- simply repeat all of the detail in your CV, for example lists of publications or modules you have taught; emphasise a few key highlights, especially ones that relate to that particular job

- write in big blocks of text - break the statement down into short paragraphs. Subheadings can work well.

- get drawn into talking at length about your research interests. You will need to mention these, but make sure you focus on research achievements and future goals as well. It's important not just to say what your research is about but why it matters; what difference has it made to the field and to wider society? What difference could it make to that Department?

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Hi, Thank you for the information.Personal statements are an essential piece of the application administration. Your university personal statement ought to additionally clarify why you are keen on the subject that you are applying for and can likewise say different fields other than study you are great at.

Hi, this is nice article.

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Thank you for your comments Will.

Its good Article and gives good information for large population of society.

Best wishes to you

also pl refer our website

Dr Anil Gaikwad

Thank you, this is nice tips.

Nicely summarised and exactly hits the mark of a personal statement whether for research or employment.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

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Research statements for faculty job applications

The purpose of a research statement.

The main goal of a research statement is to walk the search committee through the evolution of your research, to highlight your research accomplishments, and to show where your research will be taking you next. To a certain extent, the next steps that you identify within your statement will also need to touch on how your research could benefit the institution to which you are applying. This might be in terms of grant money, faculty collaborations, involving students in your research, or developing new courses. Your CV will usually show a search committee where you have done your research, who your mentors have been, the titles of your various research projects, a list of your papers, and it may provide a very brief summary of what some of this research involves. However, there can be certain points of interest that a CV may not always address in enough detail.

  • What got you interested in this research?
  • What was the burning question that you set out to answer?
  • What challenges did you encounter along the way, and how did you overcome these challenges?
  • How can your research be applied?
  • Why is your research important within your field?
  • What direction will your research take you in next, and what new questions do you have?

While you may not have a good sense of where your research will ultimately lead you, you should have a sense of some of the possible destinations along the way. You want to be able to show a search committee that your research is moving forward and that you are moving forward along with it in terms of developing new skills and knowledge. Ultimately, your research statement should complement your cover letter, CV, and teaching philosophy to illustrate what makes you an ideal candidate for the job. The more clearly you can articulate the path your research has taken, and where it will take you in the future, the more convincing and interesting it will be to read.

Separate research statements are usually requested from researchers in engineering, social, physical, and life sciences, but can also be requested for researchers in the humanities. In many cases, however, the same information that is covered in the research statement is often integrated into the cover letter for many disciplines within the humanities and no separate research statement is requested within the job advertisement. Seek advice from current faculty and new hires about the conventions of your discipline if you are in doubt.

Timeline: Getting Started with your Research Statement

You can think of a research statement as having three distinct parts. The first part will focus on your past research, and can include the reasons you started your research, an explanation as to why the questions you originally asked are important in your field, and a summary some of the work you did to answer some of these early questions.

The middle part of the research statement focuses on your current research. How is this research different from previous work you have done, and what brought you to where you are today? You should still explain the questions you are trying to ask, and it is very important that you focus on some of the findings that you have (and cite some of the publications associated with these findings). In other words, do not talk about your research in abstract terms, make sure that you explain your actual results and findings (even if these may not be entirely complete when you are applying for faculty positions), and mention why these results are significant.

The final part of your research statement should build on the first two parts. Yes, you have asked good questions, and used good methods to find some answers, but how will you now use this foundation to take you into your future? Since you are hoping that your future will be at one of the institutions to which you are applying, you should provide some convincing reasons why your future research will be possible at each institution, and why it will be beneficial to that institution, or to the students at that institution.

While you are focusing on the past, present, and future or your research, and tailoring it to each institution, you should also think about the length of your statement and how detailed or specific you make the descriptions of your research. Think about who will be reading it. Will they all understand the jargon you are using? Are they experts in the subject, or experts in a range of related subjects? Can you go into very specific detail, or do you need to talk about your research in broader terms that make sense to people outside of your research field focusing on the common ground that might exist? Additionally, you should make sure that your future research plans differ from those of your PI or advisor, as you need to be seen as an independent researcher. Identify 4-5 specific aims that can be divided into short-term and long-term goals. You can give some idea of a 5-year research plan that includes the studies you want to perform, but also mention your long-term plans, so that the search committee knows that this is not a finite project.

Another important consideration when writing about your research is realizing that you do not perform research in a vacuum. When doing your research you may have worked within a team environment at some point, or sought out specific collaborations. You may have faced some serious challenges that required some creative problem-solving to overcome. While these aspects are not necessarily as important as your results and your papers or patents, they can help paint a picture of you as a well-rounded researcher who is likely to be successful in the future even if new problems arise, for example.

Follow these general steps to begin developing an effective research statement:

Step 1: Think about how and why you got started with your research. What motivated you to spend so much time on answering the questions you developed? If you can illustrate some of the enthusiasm you have for your subject, the search committee will likely assume that students and other faculty members will see this in you as well. People like to work with passionate and enthusiastic colleagues. Remember to focus on what you found, what questions you answered, and why your findings are significant. The research you completed in the past will have brought you to where you are today; also be sure to show how your research past and research present are connected. Explore some of the techniques and approaches you have successfully used in your research, and describe some of the challenges you overcame. What makes people interested in what you do, and how have you used your research as a tool for teaching or mentoring students? Integrating students into your research may be an important part of your future research at your target institutions. Conclude describing your current research by focusing on your findings, their importance, and what new questions they generate.

Step 2: Think about how you can tailor your research statement for each application. Familiarize yourself with the faculty at each institution, and explore the research that they have been performing. You should think about your future research in terms of the students at the institution. What opportunities can you imagine that would allow students to get involved in what you do to serve as a tool for teaching and training them, and to get them excited about your subject? Do not talk about your desire to work with graduate students if the institution only has undergraduates! You will also need to think about what equipment or resources that you might need to do your future research. Again, mention any resources that specific institutions have that you would be interested in utilizing (e.g., print materials, super electron microscopes, archived artwork). You can also mention what you hope to do with your current and future research in terms of publication (whether in journals or as a book), try to be as specific and honest as possible. Finally, be prepared to talk about how your future research can help bring in grants and other sources of funding, especially if you have a good track record of receiving awards and fellowships. Mention some grants that you know have been awarded to similar research, and state your intention to seek this type of funding.

Step 3: Ask faculty in your department if they are willing to share their own research statements with you. To a certain extent, there will be some subject-specific differences in what is expected from a research statement, and so it is always a good idea to see how others in your field have done it. You should try to draft your own research statement first before you review any statements shared with you. Your goal is to create a unique research statement that clearly highlights your abilities as a researcher.

Step 4: The research statement is typically a few (2-3) pages in length, depending on the number of images, illustrations, or graphs included.  Once you have completed the steps above, schedule an appointment with a career advisor to get feedback on your draft. You should also try to get faculty in your department to review your document if they are willing to do so.

Explore other application documents:

statement of purpose for research associate job

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Statement of purpose (SOP) done right! [with Samples]

Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Personal Statement forms a crucial element of the graduate school application process. For the uninitiated, a Statement of Purpose is an essay that introduces YOU to the Admissions Review Committee (AdCom). It contains your accomplishments, career plans, and reasoning of why you think a particular graduate program is the ‘right fit’ for you. 

Nearly every respectable graduate program in the world, be it a Master of Science, Engineering Management, MiM or MBA requires applicants to submit a Statement of Purpose while applying.

The AdComs put a lot of value on a candidate’s SOP, evaluating their ‘intent for applying to that program’ and whether it resonates with the University’s mission and objectives.

Jared Pierce, associate director of enrollment services at Northeastern University, says a strong statement of purpose can be the deciding factor in a graduate student’s admission.

“Your statement of purpose is where you tell your story about who you are and why you deserve to be a part of the [university’s] community. It gives the admissions committee the chance to get to know you and understand how you’ll add value to the classroom,” he says.

Clearly then, you will have to construct your statement of purpose which tells your “story” rather than list out your “achievements”

So, how do the applicants go about writing the SOP? Which experiences are viewed favorably by the AdCom, and what should be avoided. In this blogpost, I touch upon the effective strategies that if adopted, can transform your SOP into your story.

STEP – I: Decoding the types

Let’s start by clearing out a few things about the Statement of Purpose. They go by different names — Personal statement, letter of intent, letter of motivation, mission statement, elevator pitch, video sop…. The list is too long! Each of them serves a different purpose and should be written within the frameworks of the university guidelines.

Perhaps the first step you should do before you start writing your SOP is to prepare an outline and use it as a roadmap.

To be honest, this is not a very popular step with most of the students. They imagine that this “extra” step will add time and complicate their application process when in fact, creating an outline can not only help streamline one’s essay writing but can also go a long way in boosting the resulting essays’ effectiveness.

statement of purpose for research associate job

By organizing your thoughts in the form of short phrases and key terms, you will observe that your story unfolds more easily. Moreover, it also ensures that there are no gaps of information in what you are trying to convey. This translates to a more persuasive final SOP and, in most cases, fewer rounds of editing and revision.

Sample Outline A

  • Passion for chess – coaching and playing
  • Volunteer activities with Greenpeace 
  • Love of Shah Rukh Khan films
  • Managing literature conference at IIT, Mumbai
  • Love of biking – Sunday bike rides with “team”
  • Semester exchange in France 
  • Travel to 21 countries – Iceland, Russia and Peru highlights
  • Close relationship with grandma
  • Budding love of cooking
  • Love of Mumbai

Once a sample outline has been prepared, it is now easier to construct a structure for the statement of purpose.  

STEP – II: Break it down

Building upon the outline, each SOP needs to be structured so that it logically fits in the narrative.

Many clients that we have encountered confuse ‘structure’ with ‘chronology’. When asked to write a draft of the essay, they present their achievements in chronological order, thinking that this will give the essay a proper structure.

However, your experiences and how they have translated and shaped you into what you are today, may or may not be chronological. Thus, you have to start your essay with the most significant one and connect the dots from there.

The Admissions Review Committee is looking out for very specific things in your application. Unless you break it down, it will be an arduous task to explain them your story. And no one wants a confused AdCom guy in their life.

What is the Admission Committee looking for?

The simple answer would be – what makes you, YOU.

But if only things were so simple. What they are really looking for is how you fit into the overall scheme of things at the University.

Broadly, there are 5 factors they are trying to evaluate you on:

– Why have you applied for that particular program?

– What kind of skills do you have to succeed in that program?

– How do you want to leverage your university connections to network and contribute to the school community?

– How are your professional goals aligned with the program outcomes?

– Why are you the ‘best fit’ for the university?

Your statement of purpose or letter of motivation should talk in brief about all these points.

Even for the most practiced of writers, crafting a successful application essay can be an uphill task. So, trust us on this – Most of the SOPs that we read make us go….

statement of purpose for research associate job

Ideating and then organizing thoughts into outlines for essays will facilitate this process, as we illustrated in Part 1 of this guide, and now we will offer a few basic steps that will help you create and refine your drafts.

STEP- III: Tell your story

As we discussed it earlier, your statement of purpose is not merely an instrument to present facts from your life to the AdCom. Infact, it’s a platform to tell your story. Of who you are, and how has your experiences shaped you. You should therefore focus on narrative writing (which primarily describes) rather than expository writing (which primarily explains). In a narrative, the central facts about a situation are not just bluntly introduced, but are presented in a way that lets them speak for themselves and paint a rounded picture of an experience.

statement of purpose for research associate job

Consider the following examples:

My upbringing in a family full of entrepreneurs made me acquainted to data analytics early in life. When I supported my father’s organization, where they manually used to analyze data and predict delivery date & raw material ordering, I helped them develop an automated system with the use of pivot tables and slicers, that can be used together to visualize data and create easy to use dashboards.

Coming from a business background and having an undergrad degree in Information Technology, it was only natural for me to have a formidable combination of – entrepreneurial streak and technical expertise. My formative years were spent engaging in insightful dining table discussions with my father, pertaining to our business-related products and services. As a result, I was presented with several opportunities to understand the legal, commercial and technical aspects of our business. However, the opportunities that I loved most were the technically challenging ones that had the potential to impact our business positively. One such opportunity that I got was to review and remodel our existing data management system, which had severe limitations in terms of performance and scalability.

Which one of the above example do you think creates a more compelling image of the person you are reading about?

While example A is vague in terms of details, example B has a lot of specifics. It creates a holistic picture of the candidate and evokes imagery for the reader, which is more compelling. Thus, leaving out important details is detrimental to the health of the essay.

STEP – IV: Connect the dots

A good story is as good as its parts. Details, which are crucial to the development of the story, if left out does not reveal the entire picture and leaves the readers confused.

As you write your essay drafts, check each sentence to make sure that it includes a key part of the story you are telling. If you can remove a sentence and your essay still makes sense, that line is unnecessary and should remain deleted. However, if your narrative suddenly becomes unclear, that is your proof that the sentence in question is not superfluous and that you are on your way to creating a profoundly connected narrative.

Having a keen interest in operations research motivated me to work on my bachelor’s thesis: Efficient utilization of weight and volume capacity of a fleet of goods containers. The objective here is to build an algorithmic model for transportation of goods, cargoes, and shipments by utilizing the maximum load and volume capacity of the containers. The study is being carried out with a view to enabling the freight companies in reducing cost and enhancing operational efficiency. I have identified the constraints posed such as categorization of goods according to their suitability, shortest route according to the consignments, delivery of goods within the prescribed time, maximizing the profit and providing customer satisfaction, and successfully developed a mathematical model for the intercity transport, using shortest route and minimum cost per volume using traveling salesman and transportation concepts. Moreover, I am also trying to implement algorithm theory and computational complexity theory to solve the combinatorial problem considering the constraints faced.

Notice how the dots are getting connected.

1st sentence – Having a keen …. – Provides a justification to work on the bachelor’s thesis in Operations Research based on the interest of the applicant.

2nd sentence – The objective here is to build an algorithmic model…. – Clears the aim of the the project and gives idea to the AdCom about the scope of the project.

3rd sentence – The study is being carried out …. – End goal of the project is described.

4th sentence – I have identified the constraints… – talks about problem/constraint identification that the student is trying to resolve

… and successfully developed a mathematical model… -highlights the solution to the given constraints.

Leaving out any sentence written in this paragraph would be eliminating a key detail, and thus will confuse the reader about the project. In short, the story will be difficult to follow.

STEP – V: Create a ‘hook’ in the Introduction paragraph

Sometimes the most difficult part of writing a strong essay is determining the best way to start it. Even when you have a strong outline in hand, crafting those first few words or phrases can be challenging. To help you over this hurdle, we offer a few strategies for beginning your essays.

Maintaining a mystery

This is one of the best ways to grab the attention of the AdCom.

There are only a few rare moments in life, interspersed within our chaotic daily routines, during which we find our true calling. And those moments generally come like a blitzkrieg, inspiring us to make choices which define who we eventually become. I encountered one such moment, as a part of my internship with Bless Foundation, an NGO which strives to alleviate the sufferings of the underprivileged.

(Selected at University of South California, MS in Computer Science).

Do people shape cities or do cities shape people? Irrespective of the order of transformation, I am of the belief that city landscapes impact our daily lives in a significant way.

(Selected at TU Delft, MS in Architecture)

While watching the digitally remastered and coloured version of 1960 Bollywood classic ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, then shot in monochrome, I realised that I was less concerned about the cinematic brilliance but more about certain stats I read about the movie.

(Selected at Cornell University, MPS program in Applied Statistics)

The main stage was set while I enthusiastically waited in the crowd for Guns N’ Roses to surface from behind the spotlight. It was an absolute dream for me to witness the band live in concert, after having grown up and getting inspired by Slash and his musical eccentricities. As they emerged on stage and plucked the first strings, I was transported in a trance of hedonistic pleasure. Surprisingly, it was not the music that had the greatest influence that night.

(Selected at Stanford, MS in Computer Science)

In all of the above examples, the first few lines draw the reader into the essay and make him ask the question, what happens next? This approach is a sure shot way to indulge the AdCom into reading your application in full.

Strictly avoid: Clichés

Let’s be honest here. The AdCom knows when clichés are coming. And no one likes them. Consider this for example:

Being an ardent fan of the Marvel Universe, I believe that if we have the thirst for knowledge, ability to rectify the errors and better our skillset like Ironman and if we have grit, perseverance and will to do good for the mankind like Captain America, then we can win any battle and achieve something great. I tried to follow these ideologies while working on all my projects and technical papers.

My profound interest in mathematics, computers, and problem-solving became the basis for furthering a career in Computer science. In order to broaden my horizons of technical acumen, I joined Oracle after completing my undergrad. This allowed me to develop a clearer vision about pursuing a career in my field of Software Engineering.

It’s safe to say that introductions like these should be avoided at all costs as they have been read by the AdCom a million times. You don’t want to be the million plus one candidate.

Lead with your best

When you are pitching your application to the AdCom, it is highly recommended that you start your essays with your most compelling experience. Do not follow a template of chronological detailing of your academic records and professional achievements. Show your best foot forward. You do not always have to outline your history to create context for your narrative.

Example A (Student Version of her internship)

Due to these rewarding experiences and key learnings acquired from projects, I secured a position as a Developer at Barclays India, which has been exhilarating from the onset. In a span of four months, I underwent intensive training in several technologies like Java, JavaScript, Embedded JavaScript, Spring Framework, Servlets etc.

Example B (Gradsmiths version)

At Barcalays, internship not only meant exposition to multimillion-dollar client portfolio, but also getting intensive training in tools like Java, JavaScript, Embedded JavaScript, Spring Framework, and Servlets.

Example A exhibits significant backstory, but the most important parts that she learned new technologies was mentioned after the third line. In example B, this happens right in the second line, and is smartly packaged for the reader.

This introduction—just one sentence long, rather than four—introduces the reader to the individual’s high- level position right away and is therefore much more compelling and effective.

statement of purpose for research associate job

Step – VI: Don’t put extra information in your essays

Although it seems to be a no brainer, most students end up doing this. They provide irrelevant information in their essay, which makes it a boring read.

Consider this:

My final year project was ‘Analysis and Design of a high rise building with R.C Shear wall’. This project was done by 4 undergrads. In the initial phase, a 3-storied building is designed in ETABS software using Dead and Live load. In the next phase a 15-storied building with shear walls considering Earthquake and wind load is designed under G. A. Bhilare Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Pune. Seismic design parameters like story drift, lateral displacement was studied and shear forces, axial forces, bending moment were interpreted. This project increased my understanding of ETABS and improved my skills .

In the example above, there are too many details like the no. of storey of the building and name of the consultants, which are not required. It adds on to the word count and makes it a slow-developing paragraph.

Revised version

To gain more understanding of structures and the mechanics of forces at play, my final year project focused on the analysis and design of a high rise building with R.C Shear wall. In association with three other undergrads, we worked to design a 3-storied building, followed by its higher version in ETABS software using Dead and Live load. Carefully monitoring the shear walls considering Earthquake and wind load, we studied Seismic design parameters like story drift, lateral displacement. All this culminated under a sponsored industry project in collaboration with top architects of the city. This experience helped me to analyse complex structural models with loads, and design them in the most sustainable way, a skill which I am confident will prove beneficial during my graduate studies.

Step VII: Honour the word limit

Although we can assure you that no one will toss your application in the trash if your essays exceed the school’s stated word limits a little, in general, sticking as closely as possible to these limits is the best plan. Doing so indicates to the admissions committee not only that you pay attention to and can follow directions (which reflects positively on you as a potential student who will be required to follow numerous guidelines throughout the course of the MS program) but also that you are willing to put in the work required to convey your story effectively within the stated parameters. Also, you show respect for the school as well as for the admissions readers, who must sort through thousands of essays each week. A good rule of thumb is to not surpass the school’s requested word count by more than 5%, though of course, the fewer extra words you include, the better—and minimizing any risk of a negative impression resulting from exceeding the set word count is best.

Step VIII: Answer the question

This is our most obvious rule yet, but one that must be stated nonetheless: make sure that you answer the question the school is asking. Sometimes candidates possess a great story and really want to “spin” it for a particular essay prompt. Other times, applicants work and rework an essay so much that when they are done, they do not realize that they have changed their initial story entirely and the resulting essay no longer addresses the school’s question. Not answering the question is one of the admissions committees’ biggest peeves. In addition to indicating an ability to follow directions on your part (if not an outright attempt to withhold information), not answering the question asked means that you have not provided the information the admissions committee is specifically seeking and needs. So, regularly revisit the essay prompts as you revise your essays, ensuring that you are on track and providing a topical response.

Step IX: Customize your responses

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to customize your essays for your choice of University. Many a times, we have seen that one SOP is sent to 5 different universities, with just a few line changes.

To us, this is a very easy and a lazy approach to essay drafting. Moreover, the AdCom through their years of experience of reading SOPs figure out whether you have followed a template or not.

Your short and long term goals should be aligned with the research areas and expertise of the University. AdCom loves to see how the university can help you realize your personal and professional milestones.

A common point of contention among students is whether or not to include the names of professors. In our opinion, you should go beyond name-dropping and identify key research areas where you would like to work. This creates a better representation of your academic interest and underlines your motivation to apply for the program.

It is important to understand that the AdCom is looking for unique and interesting candidates, who contribute to the campus and community. Thus, desire to work in student clubs, campus organizations, or community service is viewed positively. It shows that you have a multi-dimensional personality and go beyond your academic interests. Another quirky thing to add is why the location of the college is important to you and your goals. It can be the vibrant startup culture of the place, proximity to tech centers or Silicon Valley, or even the music vibe of the place.

Step X: Read, Re-read, Proofread. Repeat.

If you have followed all the steps above, and drafted your statement of purpose, great work done! Now will be a good time to send it to your friends, relatives, colleagues, and anywould who would care to read it.

You will amazed at how many grammatical errors get discovered. And we don’t even want to get started on the formatting bits.

Your goal, before sending out your statement of purpose should be to make it as error-proof as possible. This can be achieved by proofreading it multiple times to check for nasty little bits of flaws that hides furtively behind the pompous words and achievements.

The Statement of Purpose is perhaps the hardest thing you will encounter during your application stage.

The good news is that the process does not seem so overwhelming when you break it down into simple, actionable steps as described above.

At Gradsmiths, we have come across more than a thousand essays and SOPs, some brilliant while some total disasters. What really saddened us was that the same mistakes were being repeated in every other document, which motivated us to compile these steps that we follow into this post to draft an awesome statement of purpose.

Statement of Purpose (Samples and formats)

Statement of Purpose that got accepted to UPenn MS in Computer Science

Sample Statement of Purpose that got accepted to MS in Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

Statement of Purpose that got accepted to Cornell University’s Engineering Management program

Enjoyed the blog? Why not drop in your e-mail address below, and we send more such tips and strategies straight to your mailbox.


If you have got the time, do check out our FREE E-book on ‘Biggest Mistakes you make in your resume’. It contains some super pointers on how to modify your resume and make it fit for a graduate school application.

statement of purpose for research associate job

Interested in talking to a Gradsmiths expert on how to go about your essays? Book your calendar here.

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statement of purpose for research associate job

statement of purpose for research associate job

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How to Write a Statement of Purpose: Tips, Guidelines, and Statement of Purpose Examples

Success in college and grad school applications begins with knowing how to write a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose should succinctly express your goals, stand out among others, and convince the selection committee that you are well-suited for the program.

According to Statista, the projected number of master’s degree recipients for the 2022 to 2023 academic year is 836,000. The statement of purpose examples provided in this guide will help you shine in your college application and get into the graduate program of your dreams. Keep reading to learn some quick tips for beginning and ending a good statement of purpose.

Find your bootcamp match

What is a statement of purpose.

A statement of purpose is a graduate school application essay that articulates one’s interests, academic and professional experience, career goals, accomplishments, and reason for applying to the program. It is written by the prospective student and is a prerequisite for graduate and undergraduate college admissions.

A statement of purpose is your chance to tell the admissions committee who you are, how you can impact the academic community, and why you are an attractive candidate. If you want to get accepted into a good college , it is necessary to learn how to write a statement of purpose.

What Are the Parts of a Statement of Purpose?

  • Introduction. You should start your statement of purpose by introducing yourself. Focus on your academic interests and what motivated you to pick your particular field. The admissions team has a large number of applications to review, so it’s vital to highlight your background and interest in your program of choice.
  • A summary of your academic journey. Your academic record is a vital part of your statement of purpose. To qualify for a graduate program and start your chosen career path, you must state where you obtained your undergraduate degree. Place attention on your undergraduate thesis and how it has impacted your academic and career choices.
  • A description of relevant experiences and accomplishments. Discuss relevant personal experience you have in your fields such as jobs, internships, or volunteer work, and indicate what your responsibilities were. This part of your essay should be original as it’s your chance to show a more personal side of yourself to the selection committee.
  • Conclusion. End your statement of purpose by briefly stating your long-term goals . Explain how the program will prepare you to accomplish your future plans. Be clear and precise when you articulate your professional goals and ensure they relate to your program of choice.

How to Write a Statement of Purpose: Beginning and Ending

As with any piece of writing, it can be difficult to decide how to begin or end a statement of purpose. Read the guidelines below to learn how to keep your reader engaged from start to finish.

How to Begin a Statement of Purpose

If you’ve ever written a personal statement, writing a statement of purpose might seem quite similar. However, a statement of purpose is a formal academic piece that tells the reader about your career plans, not about who you are. It requires a slightly different approach. Your statement of purpose needs to stand out.

Your opening paragraph helps readers form their first impression of you and assess your academic proficiency. Starting with a famous short quote is a fun way to relate to the program or tell the committee relevant details about yourself. You want to highlight your academic interest, your passion for the field of study, and the motivating factor behind your choice of program.

How to End a Statement of Purpose

The closing paragraph must convey a sense of completeness and flow from the central theme of your essay. You should end your statement of purpose by restating its strongest points. Make sure not to include any information that shifts from the contents of the main body of the essay.

Show some enthusiasm by ending your statement of purpose on a positive note. Show the reader that you’re excited about the program and are prepared to take on the responsibilities that it entails. Ending your essay is just as important as starting it as it’s the impression that will linger for the admissions team.

How to Write a Statement of Purpose: 5 More Useful Tips

A person writing a letter on a dark brown wooden table

Don’t Tell Your Life Story

While you may be trying to intrigue the reader and catch their attention, avoid excessive storytelling in your essay. The admissions committee prefer concise essays that explain a person’s academic goals and career objectives, so don’t waste time sharing personal experiences that are irrelevant to your application.

Customize Your Essay

A common mistake many students make is using one essay as a template for all of their different school applications. Every school has diverse characteristics and requirements, so it’s important to customize your statement of purpose to suit each school or program. You want to show the team that you’re attentive to detail and not cutting corners.

Show Your Qualifications

You want to convince the reader that you are an ideal candidate for the program, so be elaborate and specific about the area of study you are interested in and show your qualifications. Include a summary of your academic journey, relevant extracurricular activities, accomplishments, and work experiences that relate to the program.

Use a Formal but Conversational Tone

You want to use a formal yet conversational tone when writing a statement of purpose. Although you want to be professional, your essay should also be conversational and engaging. Do your best to maintain a balance between incorporating the required information in a formal and concise way and letting the reader get a sense of your personality.

Proofread Your Essay

Proofreading is a critical phase in any writing process. Read over your statement of purpose several times to spot any grammatical errors or writing inconsistencies. We recommend having someone else proofread your essay to gain a third-person perspective and be prepared.

Statement of Purpose Examples to Help You Get Accepted Into College or Graduate School

Now that you’ve learned how to write a statement of purpose, we’ve drafted a few examples to help you write a strong statement of purpose and nail your graduate school application.

Statement of Purpose Example 1: Culinary Arts Statement of Purpose

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.” I was eight years old and the youngest at the kid’s culinary camp when I first heard this quote by Thomas Keller. I remember writing it down and immediately picturing what it would look like engraved on the wall of my restaurant. That’s the day I knew I wanted to be a cook. My high school days exposed me to recreational cooking classes where I gained hands-on experience and knowledge about different elements of the food industry. My interest in culinary arts was further fueled by encounters I had with culinary entrepreneurs from around the world, from winemakers in France and chefs in Mexico to local food truck owners across my street.

I developed my leadership skills when I started a cooking club at my high school. I followed this ambition to college where I hosted the school’s first mini chef-style competition. My culinary journey continued when I took up cooking as a community service project and volunteered at a homeless shelter in California. I learned about flavors from different cultures, which I hope to share with guests at my restaurant, someday. This experience motivated me to take a course in sustainable food and agriculture, fulfilling my intellectual curiosity about food and nutritional security.

One of the driving factors behind seeking admission into your culinary program is the prospect of working with Chef André. His intriguing recipes and diet planners are promising areas for advanced study on sustainable diet and food security. I would be thrilled to work with him and explore my interest in these topics. I am also drawn to your extensive curriculum featuring culinary innovations, and your yearly seminars and conferences that bring together the best culinary experts from around the world. With my academic background, experience, and passion for culinary arts, I believe I am a perfect candidate for your program.

I am very proud of my ability to carry my passion for culinary arts from my childhood to this stage with the limited resources that I had. When I visit the cities of New York and California, I feel connected with my culinary journey, which further fuels my passion. With this program, I aim to acquire skills that are crucial to the evolution of my practice as a professional chef and restaurant owner.

Statement of Purpose Example 2: Mechanical Engineering Statement of Purpose

My journey to mechanical engineering began with an obsession with taking apart and rebuilding random objects around my family house. Soon after, this curiosity metamorphosed into an overarching desire to become a part of the engineering community. My passion for building began to evolve into creating. I was modifying everyday objects to make them look less conventional. By the time I was 17, I had built a remote-control mini drone.

My undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Denver Institute of Technology have provided me with vast knowledge about different areas of the engineering field, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and machinery kinetics. In college, I was focused on creating designs that improved the efficiency and safety of objects rather than just modifying their appearance. For my undergraduate project, I designed and fabricated a burglary-proof door. For about a year and a half, I worked as a junior engineer at Hawks Automobile. My responsibilities involved research before I was transferred to the design team after a few months. Some of my designs were integrated into their inventions and I hope to create more designs for future innovations across top-level engineering companies.

With my experience in both the academic and industry aspects of mechanical engineering, I look forward to working with experts to design prototypes that solve more complex human problems. I am certain that your master’s program will give me the skills and knowledge I need to excel as a trained professional in the engineering industry. The insights I will have learned from your program will equip me to tackle industry-level challenges with interdisciplinary solutions. This will help me gain a competitive advantage in the mechanical engineering job field.

Engineering has been an essential part of my life. I look forward to deepening my understanding of engineering concepts from a research perspective to reinforce my drive and natural predisposition to the field of mechanical engineering.

How to Use Statement of Purpose Examples to Write Your Own

Using a sample statement provided, you should be able to write a powerful statement of purpose that will leave a lasting impression on the admissions officers. Follow the guidelines and steps outlined in this article to write an original, motivating and truthful statement of purpose.

Now that you know how to write an effective statement of purpose, you’re one step closer to confidently acing the admissions process and walking through the gates of your dream school. We recommend you get acquainted with commonly asked college interview questions and have a look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment outlook for graduate-level occupations .

How to Write a Statement of Purpose FAQ

No, a statement of purpose does not require any title or labels. The most important function of a statement of purpose is to express the candidate’s academic interest, future career goals, and reasons for wanting to join their program of choice.

A typical statement of purpose has an average word count of 800-1000 words and should not go beyond one to two pages. However, the range of 800-1000 words is not the standard word count, as some schools set their minimum word count to 500 and the maximum word count to 1200 words. Make sure to read the application instructions carefully.

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No, you don’t need to write your name on a statement of purpose unless otherwise stated in the application instructions. Your essay is one part of the admissions bundle required by the admissions office during the application process. Your application already contains your name, so you do not need to include it in the statement of purpose.

A statement of purpose is important because it’s a requisite for prospective students. It helps articulate your interests and goals and is one of the defining factors in whether or not you’re admitted into your dream school. For these reasons, it’s important to have a carefully crafted statement of purpose.

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8 Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose, sometimes called a personal statement, is an essential part of PhD applications. It functions similarly to a cover letter; it should convince the reader (in this case the selection committee) that you have the right qualifications, motivation and professional goals to pursue graduate studies in their program. Use the tips below to write a statement of purpose that stands out.

This first tip is the most important. It is essential that you customize your statement of purpose to every school, program, or project that you apply to. You don't have to start from scratch for each statement of purpose, but you should make sure that significant portions of the document are school-specific. Your statement of purpose should tell the committee why you chose to apply to their school over other options.

Show Your Qualifications

Explain why you are qualified for this PhD program. Include a brief summary of your undergraduate and previous graduate career (if applicable). Talk about the research projects you conducted and your thesis or any resulting publications. Mention any relevant scholarly extracurricular activities you were involved in. If there are special requirements for the program, such as foreign language proficiency or prerequisite courses, you should explain how you fulfilled them in your statement of purpose.

Explain Your Interests

Your research interests should be a major part of your statement of purpose. Set up the topic you want to research by indicating a theme, defining a problem, or posing a question. Talk about what inspired your interest in this topic and how it will contribute to the field and the current state of scholarship.

Show Them You Belong

Your statement of purpose should connect your research interests to the school you are applying to. You should name professors with parallel interests who you would like to work with and use specific examples of their work to explain why. Be explicit about how this school will help you succeed in your research goals. Is the department known for taking a unique approach or having a strong focus in a particular area? Do they have special access to resources that will help you research? This paragraph will have to be tailored to each school you apply to.

Unless a specific word count is mentioned in the application, the statement of purpose should not be longer than one to two pages. Make every word count. 

Don’t Tell Your Life Story

On a similar note, avoid excess storytelling in your statement of purpose. Don’t waste your limited space telling the committee how you’ve always wanted to be a physicist or about the moment that sparked your passion for history. They already know you’re passionate about the subject—you wouldn’t be applying for a PhD if you weren’t! While your past achievement have prepared for this PhD program, the statement of purpose should focus on your future as a scholar.

Ask For Feedback

When you have written a draft you are satisfied with, ask one of a professor in your field who knows you and your interests to read it over. They can help you see your statement of purpose from the perspective of someone with experience on admissions committees.  

This is the crucial last step for any application. Read your statement of purpose over several times to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. It can be hard to spot errors on the screen, so print out your statement and read it over. Double check that you have spelled the professors’ names and titles of their work correctly. If grammar isn’t your strong suit (or even if it is) it’s a good idea to ask someone else to proofread your statement of purpose as well.

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5 Simple Tips for Writing a Good Research Statement for a Faculty Position

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Completed your Ph.D.? What next?

Traditionally, most sought-after jobs after completing Ph.D. are university professors and industry R&D labs professionals. While industrial jobs have seen a surge in applicants to various positions, academia has prominently been the most considered field by Ph.Ds. As a part of the job application for faculty positions in academia, applicants are required to present a research statement that outlines the research they have already completed.

Table of Contents

What is a Research Statement?

A research statement is a document that summarizes your research interests, accomplishments, current research, and future research conduction plans. Furthermore, it outlines how your work contributes to the field. It allows applicants to present the importance and impact of their past, current, and future research to their potential future colleagues. However, throughout your academic career, you may be asked to prepare similar documents for annual reviews, tenure packages, or promotion.

What is the Purpose of a Research Statement?

The purpose of a research statement isn’t just about exhibiting your research interests, achievement, or other academic feats. In fact, its purpose is to make a persuasive case about the importance of your completed work and the potential impact of your future trajectory in research. In other words, researchers must coherently write about their past and current research efforts and articulately present their future research plans.

Furthermore, a research statement’s purpose is to allow the search committee to envision the applicant’s research evolution, productivity, and potential contributions over the coming years. Your research statement must promisingly convey the benefits you bring to the position. In other words, these benefits could be in terms of grant money, faculty collaborations, student involvement in research, or development of new courses.

Three key purposes of a research statement are:

  • Clear presentation of your academic feats.
  • Description of your research in a broader context, both scientifically and societally.
  • Laying out a clear road map for future endeavors concerning the newly applied position.

How is a Research Statement Different from a CV?

While your CV gives an overview of your past research projects, it does not address the details of conducted research or future research interests. Furthermore, a CV fails to answer some questions that can be easily answered through a research statement.

  • Why are you interested in a particular research topic?
  • Why is your research important?
  • What techniques do you use?
  • How have you contributed to your field?
  • How can your research be applied commercially or academically?
  • Does your research have an impact on allied fields?
  • Is your research directing you to newer questions?
  • How do you plan to develop new skills and knowledge?

What Should You Include in a Research Statement for Faculty Position?

With over hundreds of applications being received at various departments, your research statement must stand out from the crowd and address all points concerning the target position. Expectations for research statements may vary across disciplines. However, certain key elements must be included in a research statement, irrespective of the field.

  • Academic specialty and interests.
  • Dedication for research.
  • Compatibility with departmental or university research efforts.
  • Ideas about potential funding sources, collaborative partners, etc.
  • Ability to work as a professional scholar.
  • Capability to work as an independent researcher.
  • Writing proficiency.
  • Relevance of your research and its contribution to the field.
  • Significant recognition received by your research such as publications, presentations, grants, awards, etc.
  • Appropriate acknowledgment of other scholars’ work in your field by giving them credits where due.
  • Degree of specificity for future research.
  • Long-term and short-term research goals

How to Write a Research statement for Faculty Position?

An effective research statement must present a clear narrative of the relation between your past and current research. Additionally, it should clearly state how your research aligns with the goals, resources, and needs of the institution to which you are applying.

Here we discuss 5 simple tips for writing a good research statement:

Research Statement

As stated earlier, a faculty position may easily receive over a couple of hundred applications. Consequently, the search committee may just glance through some applications. Therefore, you must make your research statement reader-friendly.

Following tips will allow readers to quickly determine why should they select you over other applicants:

  • Organize your ideas by using headings and sub-headings.
  • Space out different sections properly.
  • Additionally, include figures and diagrams to illustrate key findings or concepts.
  • Avoid writing long paragraphs in your research statement. Moreover, a concise yet thoughtfully laid out research statement demonstrates your ability to organize ideas in a coherent and easy-to-understand manner.

2. Ensure to Present Your Focus on Research

  • Discuss feasible research ideas that interest you.
  • Explain how your goals are related to your recent work.
  • Additionally, mention your short-term (2-5 years) and long-term (5+ years) research goals.
  • Discuss your ideas about potential funding sources, collaborative partners, facilities, etc.
  • Specifically mention how your research goals align with your department’s goals.

3. Tailor Your Research Statement

  • It is imperative to mention how you will contribute to the research at the institution you are applying to.
  • Mention how will you use core facilities or resources at the institution.
  • Furthermore, you should mention particular research infrastructure present at the target institution that you may need to do your work.

4. Write for Each Audience

  • Even at top-most institutions, not all members of the search committee may be aware of the intricacies of your research work. Therefore, you should avoid jargon and describe your research work in a detailed yet lucid manner.
  • Your motive must be to instill a sense of belief in the reader that you are a dedicated researcher and not overwhelm them with finer details.
  • Moreover, focus on conveying the importance of your work and its contribution to the field.

5. Be Yourself

In an attempt to impress the search committee, applicants are often seen to go overboard and come out as boastful.

  • Emphasize your major academic achievements.
  • Be realistic and do not present research goals that are too ambitious.
  • Finally, avoid comparing your research statement with other applicants.

Did you decide on the faculty position you want to apply for? How do you plan to go ahead with your research statement? Follow these tips while writing your research statement to acquire your most desired faculty position .

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statement of purpose for research associate job

Not sure what graduate schools are looking for in a statement of purpose? Looking at successful graduate school statement of purpose samples can help! In this guide, we’ll orient you to what makes a great statement of purpose or letter of intent for graduate school. Then we’ll provide you with four successful statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts. We’ll also provide analysis of what makes them successful. Finally, we’ll direct you to even more helpful examples that you can find online!

The Graduate School Statement of Purpose: An Overview

A statement of purpose (also called a letter of intent or a research statement) introduces your interests and experience to the admissions committee. For research-focused programs, like most PhDs and many master’s degrees, your statement of purpose will focus primarily on your past research experience and plans. For more professionally-focused graduate programs, your statement of purpose will primarily discuss how your pursuit of this professional program relates to your past experiences, and how you will use the skills from the program in your future career.

A statement of purpose for grad school is also where you sell the admissions committee on why you belong in their program specifically. Why do you fit there, and how does what they offer fit your interests?


What’s in a Great Grad School Statement of Purpose?

Here are the essential elements of a strong graduate school statement of purpose:

Clear Articulation of Goals and Interests

A strong statement of purpose will clearly and specifically lay out your goals in undertaking the program and what you hope to accomplish with the degree. Again, for a research-focused program, this will focus primarily on the research project(s) you want to undertake while you are there. For a more professional program, discuss what interests you within the professional field and what skills/knowledge you hope to gain through the program.

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You should be as specific as possible in discussing what interests you. Use examples of particular phenomena, tools, or situations that you find exciting. If you are vague or say that everything in the field interests you, you run the risk of seeming unfocused or not actually that passionate.

Don’t worry that being too specific will box you into a particular research area or subfield during your entire tenure in graduate school. Your program understands that interests change—they won’t be pulling out your research statement to cross-reference with your dissertation proposal!

Evidence of Past Experience and Success

A great graduate school statement of purpose will also show programs that you have already been successful. They want applicants that will be able to follow through on their research/professional plans!

To this end, you’ll need to provide evidence of how your background qualifies you to pursue this program and your specific interests in the field. You’ll probably discuss your undergraduate studies and any professional experience you have. But be sure to draw on specific, vivid examples.  You might draw on your thesis, major projects you’ve worked on, papers you have written/published, presentations you’ve given, mentors you’ve worked with, and so on. This gives admissions committees concrete evidence that you are qualified to undertake graduate study!


Interest and Fit With the Program

The third essential ingredient to a great statement of purpose is to clearly lay out why you and the program are a good fit. You should be able to identify both specific reasons why your work fits with the program and why the program suits your work/interests! Are there particular professors you’d like to work with? Does the department have a strong tradition in a certain methodology or theory you’re interested in? Is there a particular facet to the curriculum that you’d like to experience?

Showing that you and the program are a match shows that you chose the program thoughtfully and have genuine interest in it. Programs want to admit students who aren’t just passionate about the field. They want students who are genuinely enthused about their specific program and positioned to get the most out of what they have to offer.

Strong Writing

The final essential piece of a strong statement of purpose or letter of intent is strong writing. Writing skills are important for all graduate programs. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can clearly and effectively communicate your ideas in a way that flows logically. Additionally, you should show that you know how to write in a way that is descriptive but concise. A statement of purpose shouldn’t ever be longer than two pages, even without a hard word limit.

Admissions committees for humanities programs may be a little more focused on writing style than admissions officers for STEM programs. But even in quantitative and science-focused fields, written communication skills are an essential part of graduate school. So a strong statement of purpose will always be effectively written. You’ll see this in our statement of purpose for graduate school samples.


Real, Successful Statement of Purpose Samples

In this section, we’ll present four successful graduate school statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts, along with a brief commentary on each statement. These statements come from a diverse selection of program types to show you how the core essentials of a statement of purpose can be implemented differently for different fields.

Note: identifying information for these statements have been changed—except for example four, which is my statement.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample One: Japanese Studies MA

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.31.42 PM

This statement of purpose is notable for its great use of space and its vivid descriptions. The author is able to cram a lot into about a page. She discusses how she came to her two primary research interests (and how they are connected). She integrates this discussion of her interests with information on her past experiences and qualifications for pursuing the course of study. Finally, she includes details on her goals in pursuing the program and components of the program that interest her. Her examples are specific and fleshed-out. There’s a lot very cleverly included in a small amount of page space!

Additionally, the language is very vivid. Phrases like “evocative and visceral” and “steadily unraveling,” are eye-catching and intriguing. They demonstrate that she has the writing skills necessary to pursue both graduate study and her interest in translation.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample Two: Music MM

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.01 PM

This sample is fairly long, although at 12 point Times New Roman it’s under two pages single-spaced. The length of this statement is partially due to the somewhat expansive nature of the prompt, which asks what role music has played in the applicant’s life “to date.” This invites applicants to speak more about experiences further in the past (in the childhood and teen years) than is typical for a statement of purpose. Given that this is for a master’s degree in music, this is logical; musical study is typically something that is undertaken at a fairly young age.

This statement does an excellent job describing the student’s past experiences with music in great detail. The descriptions of the student’s past compositions and experiences performing new music are particularly vivid and intriguing.

This statement also lays out and elaborates on specific goals the student hopes to pursue through the program, as well as features particular to the program that interest the student (like particular professors).


  • Statement of Purpose Sample Three: Economics PhD

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.25 PM

One of the first things you’ll likely notice about this statement is that it’s a little on the longer side. However, at 12 point Times New Roman font and single-spaced, it still comes in under 2 pages (excluding references). It makes sense for a PhD statement of purpose sample to be longer than a master’s degree statement of purpose—there’s more to lay out in terms of research interests!

The writing style is fairly straightforward—there’s definitely a stronger focus on delivering content than flashy writing style. As Economics is a more quantitative-focused field, this is fine. But the writing is still well-organized, clear, and error-free.

The writer also gives numerous examples of their past work and experience, and shows off their knowledge of the field through references, which is a nice touch.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample Four: History of the Book MA

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.39 PM

This is actually my statement of purpose. It was for a program that I got accepted to but did not end up attending, for a Master’s in the History of the Book. You’ll notice that the two essay prompts essentially asked us to split our statement of purpose into two parts: the first prompt asked about our research interests and goals, and the second prompt asked about our relevant experience and qualifications.

I’ll keep my comments on this graduate school statement of purpose sample brief because I’ll do a deep dive on it in the next section. But looking back at my statement of purpose, I do a good job outlining what within the field interests me and clearly laying out how my past experiences have qualified me for the program.

Obviously this statement did its job, since I was accepted to the program. However, if I were to improve this statement, I’d change the cliche beginning  (“since I was a child”) and provide more specificity in what about the program interested me.


Deep Dive Analysis of a Sample Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Next, we’ll do a paragraph by paragraph analysis of my statement, statement of purpose sample four. I’ll analyze its strengths and suggest ways I could shore up any weaknesses to make it even stronger.

Essay 1: Academic Interests

To refresh, here’s the first prompt: Please give a short statement that describes your academic interests, purpose, objectives and motivation in undertaking this postgraduate study. (max 3500 chars – approx. 500 words)

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Paragraph 1

Since I was a child, my favorite thing has always been a book. Not just for the stories and information they contain, although that is a large part of it. Mostly, I have been fascinated by the concept of book as object—a tangible item whose purpose is to relate intangible ideas and images. Bookbindings and jackets, different editions, the marginalia in a used book—all of these things become part of the individual book and its significance, and are worth study and consideration. Books and their equivalent forms—perfect bound, scrolled, stone tablets, papyrus—have long been an essential part of material culture and are also one of our most significant sources of information about the human historical past. Through both the literal object of the book, the words contained thereon, and its relationship to other books—forms of context, text and intertext—we are able to learn and hopefully manage layers of information with which we would otherwise have no familiarity.

First, the good: this paragraph does a good job introducing my academic interest in the book-as-object, and shows off pre-existing knowledge both of the study of material culture and literary theory. Additionally, the language is engaging: the juxtaposition of “tangible” and “intangible” in the beginning and phrases like “perfect bound, scrolled, stone tablets, papyrus” lend life to the writing and keep the reader engaged.

If I were to go back and improve this paragraph, first, I would absolutely change the first sentence to something less cliche than talking about my childhood. I might try something like “My love of books is a multifaceted thing. I don’t only love them for the stories and….” Second, I would chill out on the em dashes a little bit. Three sets in one paragraph is a little excessive. Finally, I might actually cut this paragraph down slightly to make more room word-wise later in the statement to discuss what specific things about the program interest me.


Paragraph 2

Furthermore, blogs, webcomics, digital archives, e-readers, and even social media sites like tumblr and Facebook have revolutionized the concept of the book by changing how we share and transmit ideas and information, just as the Gutenberg printing press revolutionized the book all those years ago in the fifteenth century. Once again there has been an explosion both in who can send out information and who can receive it.

This paragraph briefly and effectively introduces my other main academic interest: how new technology has changed the concept of the book-as-object. The tie-back to the printing press is a nice touch; it’s a vivid example that shows that I’m aware of important historical moments in book history.

Paragraph 3

I am deeply interested in the preservation of the physical book, as I think it is an important part of human history (not to mention a satisfying sensory experience for the reader). However I am also very concerned with the digitization and organization of information for the modern world such that the book, in all of its forms, stays relevant and easy to access and use. Collections of books, archives, and information as stored in the world’s servers, libraries and museums are essential resources that need to be properly organized and administered to be fully taken advantage of by their audiences. My purpose in applying to the University of Edinburgh’s Material Culture and History of the Book is to gain the skills necessary to keep all forms of the book relevant and functional in an age when information can move more radically than ever before.

This paragraph actually has a focus problem. Since it covers two topics, I should split it into two paragraphs: one on the integration of my two interests, and one on my goals and interests in the program. I could also stand to expand on what features the program has that interest me: professors I’d like to work with, particular aspects of the curriculum, etc.

In spite of these things, however, this paragraph does a good job clearly integrating the two academic interests related to the book I introduced in the first two paragraphs. And the language is still strong —“satisfying sensory experience” is a great phrase. However, I’ve been using the word “information,” a lot; I might try to replace with appropriate synonyms (like “knowledge”) in a couple of places.

Paragraph 4

Additionally, I intend on pursuing a PhD in Library and Information Sciences upon completion of my master’s and I feel that this program while make me uniquely suited to approach library science from a highly academic and interdisciplinary perspective.

This final paragraph offers just quick touch on my future goals beyond the program. It’s typically fine for this to be relatively brief, as it is here, just so long as you can clearly identify some future goals.


Essay 2: Relevant Experience

The second prompt just asked me to describe my relevant knowledge, training, and skills.

As a folklore and mythology student, I have gained a robust understanding of material culture and how it relates to culture as a whole. I have also learned about the transmission of ideas, information, stories and pieces of lore among and between populations, which is an important component of book history. Folklore is also deeply concerned with questions of the literary vs. oral lore and the tendency for text to “canonize” folklore, and yet text can also question or invert canonized versions; along with this my studies in my focus field of religion and storytelling have been deeply concerned with intertextuality. One of my courses was specifically concerned with the Heian-period Japanese novel The Tale of Genji and questions of translation and representation in post-Heian picture scrolls and also modern translations and manga. In addition to broader cultural questions concerned with gender and spirituality both in historical Japan and now, we considered the relationships between different Genji texts and images.

This is a strong, focused paragraph. I relate my academic background in Folklore and Mythology to my interests in studying the book, as well as showing off some of my knowledge in the area. I also chose and elaborated on a strong example (my class on the Tale of Genji ) of my relevant coursework.

I also have work experience that lends itself to the study of the book. After my freshman year of college I interned at the Chicago History Museum. Though I was in the visitor services department I was exposed to the preservation and archival departments of the museum and worked closely with the education department, which sparked my interest in archival collections and how museums present collection information to the public. After my sophomore year of college and into my junior year, I worked at Harvard’s rare books library, Houghton. At Houghton I prepared curated collections for archival storage. These collections were mostly comprised of the personal papers of noteworthy individuals, categorized into alphabetical folders. This experience made me very process-oriented and helped me to understand how collections come together on a holistic basis.

This paragraph also has a clear focus: my past, relevant work experience. Discussing archival collections and presenting information to the public links the interests discussed in my first statement with my qualifications in my second statement. However, if I were to revise this paragraph, I would add some specific examples of the amazing things I worked on and handled at Houghton Library. In that job, I got to touch Oliver Cromwell’s death mask! An interesting example would make this paragraph really pop even more.

Finally, in my current capacity as an education mentor in Allston, a suburb of Boston, I have learned the value of book history and material culture from an educational perspective. As a mentor who designs curriculum for individual students and small groups, I have learned to highly value clearly organized and useful educational resources such as websites, iPad apps, and books as tools for learning. By managing and organizing collections in a way that makes sense we are making information accessible to those who need it.

This final paragraph discusses my current (at the time) work experience in education and how that ties into my interest in the history of the book. It’s an intriguing connection and also harkens back to my discussion of information availability in the paragraph three of the first statement. Again, if I were to amp up this statement even more, I might include a specific example of a book-based (or book technology-based) project I did with one of my students. I worked on things like bookbinding and making “illuminated manuscripts” with some of my students; those would be interesting examples here.

This statement is split into two parts by virtue of the two-prompt format. However, if I were to integrate all of this information into one unified statement of purpose, I would probably briefly introduce my research interests, go in-depth on my background, then circle back around to speak more about my personal interests and goals and what intrigues me about the program. There’s not really one correct way to structure a statement of purpose just so long as it flows well and paragraphs are structured in a logical way: one topic per paragraph, with a clear topic and concluding sentence.


More Statement of Purpose Examples

We’ve provided you with four great graduate school statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts. However, if you’re looking for more, there are other sample letters of intent and statements of purpose for graduate school online. We’ve rounded up the best ones here, along with some strengths and weaknesses about each example.

Majortests Statement of Purpose Sample

This is a fairly straightforward, clearly written statement of purpose sample for a biology program. It includes useful commentary after each paragraph about what this statement of purpose is accomplishing.

  • This statement of purpose sample is well-organized, with clear topic sentences and points made in each paragraph.
  • The student clearly identifies what interests her about the program.
  • The student proactively addresses questions about why she hasn’t gone directly to graduate school, and frames her professional research experience as a positive thing.
  • She gives a tiny bit of color about her personality in a relevant way by discussing her involvement with the Natural History Society.
  • In general, discussing high school interests is too far back in time unless the anecdote is very interesting or unusual. The detail about The Theory of Evolution is intriguing; the information about the high school teacher seems irrelevant. The student should have condensed this paragraph into a sentence or two.
  • While this statement is cogently written and makes the candidate sound competent and well-qualified, it’s not exactly the most scintillating piece of writing out there. Some of the constructions are a little awkward or cliche. For example, the “many people have asked me” sentence followed by “the answer is” is a little bit clunky. This is probably fine for a STEM program. But just be aware that this statement is not a paragon of writing style.

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UC Berkeley History Statement of Purpose Sample

This is a graduate school statement of purpose example from the UC Berkeley History department’s PhD program, with annotations from a professor as to why it’s a successful statement.

  • The author is able to very clearly and articulately lay out her research interests and link them to past work she has successfully completed, namely, her thesis.
  • She is able to identify several things about the program and Berkeley that indicate why it is a good fit for her research interests.
  • She addresses the time she spent away from school and frames it as a positive, emphasizing that her use of time was well-considered and productive.
  • Her writing is very vivid, with excellent word choice and great imagery.

While very well-written and engaging, this sample statement of purpose for graduate school is a little bit on the long side! It’s a little over two single-spaced pages, which is definitely pushing the limits of acceptable length. Try to keep yours at 2 pages or less. Some of the information on the thesis (which comprises over half of the statement of purpose) could be condensed to bring it down to two pages.


Pharmacy Residency Letter of Intent Sample

This is not technically a sample letter of intent for graduate school because it’s actually for a pharmacy residency program. However, this example still provides illumination as to what makes a decent graduate school letter of intent sample.

  • This is a serviceable letter of intent: the writer clearly lays out their own goals within the field of pharmacy, what qualifications they have and how they’ve arrived at their interests, and how the program fits their needs.
  • The writing is clearly structured and well-organized.
  • The main weakness is that some of the writer’s statements come across as fairly generic. For example, “The PGY-1 Residency Program at UO Hospitals will provide me with the opportunity to further develop my clinical knowledge, critical thinking, teaching, research, and leadership skills” is a generic statement that could apply to any residency program. A punchier, more program-specific conclusion would have amped up this letter.
  • While the writer does a decent job providing examples of their activities, like working as a tutor and attending the APhA conference, more specificity and detail in these examples would make the statement more memorable.
  • There’s a typo in the last paragraph —a “to” that doesn’t belong! This is an unprofessional blip in an otherwise solid letter. Read you own letter of intent aloud to avoid this!

NIU Bad Statement of Purpose Example

This is an ineffective graduate school statement of purpose example, with annotations on why it doesn’t work.

As you might imagine, the main strength in this document is as an example of what not to do. Otherwise, there is little to recommend it.

  • The annotations quite clearly detail the weaknesses of this statement. So I won’t address them exhaustively except to point out that this statement of purpose fails at both content and style. The author includes irrelevant anecdotes and lists without offering a decisive picture of interests or any particular insight into the field. Additionally, the statement is riddled with grammatical mistakes, awkward sentence structures, and strange acronyms.
  • You’ll note that the commentary advises you to “never start with a quote.” I agree that you should never start with a freestanding quote as in this example. However, I do think starting with a quote is acceptable in cases like the Berkeley history example above, where the quote is brief and then directly linked to the research interest.


Graduate School Statement of Purpose Examples: 4 Key Points

Graduate programs ask for statement of purpose to hear about your interests and goals and why you think you and the program would be a good fit.

There are four key elements to a successful statement of purpose:

  • A clear articulation of your goals and interests
  • Evidence of past experiences and success
  • Interest and fit with the program
  • Strong writing

We’ve provided you with four successful statement of purpose samples from our graduate school experts!

We also provided additional statement of purpose samples (and a sample letter of intent) for graduate school from other sources on the internet. Now you have all kinds of guidance!

What’s Next?

If you’re looking for more information on graduate school , see our guide to what makes a good GPA for grad school .

Not sure if you need to take the GRE ? See if you can get into graduate school without GRE scores .

Want more information about the GRE? We can help you figure out when to take the GRE , how to make a GRE study plan , and how to improve your GRE score .

Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?

statement of purpose for research associate job

Author: Ellen McCammon

Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert. She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon

statement of purpose for research associate job

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SOP (Statement of Purpose): Format, Samples, and Tips

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  • Updated on  
  • Feb 17, 2024

sop statement of purpose

To aesthetically present a movie on the screen, great actors are the requisites. Similar is the case when one is carving their own career path. From choosing the right course to getting into your dream university, you need to take each step carefully. As a crucial part of the eligibility criteria, the universities often demand LOR s, SOPs or entrance test scores to assess the candidates and their suitability for the chosen course. A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is one such element that beholds great value in the admission process of those aspiring to study abroad. Creating an alluring SOP is essential to help the assessment committee understand your willingness for the program you have applied for. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on drafting a statement of purpose that can help you sail smoothly through the assessment process and get entry into your dream academic institution.

This Blog Includes:

What is a statement of purpose (sop), why is sop important, sop format, 2. formulate, 3. revise and modify, what do colleges look for in an sop, how to write a perfect statement of purpose (sop / admissions essay), introduction, academic background and professional experience, career goals, why this course, why this university, how long should an sop be, what to include in an sop, what not to include in an sop, 10 tips to write a successful statement of purpose, sop sample for business analytics, sample statement of purpose for mba , sample statement of purpose for masters, sop formats for usa, canada, uk, and australia, top 5 mistakes to avoid while writing an sop, how can you reduce your chances of rejection from your chosen university, can sops help with scholarships, sop vs letter of motivation, sop vs personal statement.

A Statement of Purpose can be referred to as an informative document, containing personal statements, and is essentially required as part of the admission procedure of study abroad programs. Also referred to as an application essay, it comprises the basic details of a candidate along with their professional and personal interests, academic highlights as well as future aspirations. An SOP plays an integral role in the application process of a study abroad program as it provides the admission board with the key information about the candidate and why they want to study a particular course at their institution. It not only describes who you are as an individual but also gives an idea about your writing skills and proficiency in the English language.   

A well-written SOP is an extremely significant element during your admission process. While the academic record and other exam scorecards, academic transcripts and backlog certificates are essentially objective in nature, an SOP is the only truly subjective aspect of your application. It is the only document in your application that allows you to prove that you have something unique which makes you stand out from the crowd. As such, it is the document of your application docket that can hugely determine your admission.

Also Read: Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement

As such, there is no particular or proper format for writing a statement of purpose or an SOP. Students have to write an SOP just like an elaborative and descriptive English essay dividing the whole context into different paragraphs. Each paragraph must be having distinctive features describing different scenarios, features or characteristics about yourself. You can take the help of the below-provided structure and get started with writing an SOP for the university you want to study in. 

How to Write a Statement of Purpose?

As a pivotal document for any study abroad application, an SOP needs to be precisely well-written. To help you understand the different elements of this document, we have curated a step-by-step procedure that you can follow to curate an impressive statement of purpose.

The first step of the process of drafting a statement of purpose is to think about the varied aspects of your candidature that you should mention in it. The mandatory inclusions of an SOP are academic achievements (especially at the undergraduate level), prior work exposure or volunteering experiences. Start with framing an outline for the document and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which field of study excites me the most?
  • Why do I want to pursue this degree?
  • What are my expectations from this degree?
  • What outgrowth can this degree offer me?
  • Where can this degree take me, personally and professionally? 
  • Through my pre-requisites, what values can I add to this program?

Once you have made key pointers for most of the questions mentioned above, you can begin jotting them down in a thorough and comprehensive manner.

Now that you know what you want to mention in your SOP, it’s time to curate a rough outline for the document. Here is a list of some essential tips you need to keep in mind while formulating your statement of purpose:

  • Since the admission committee strives to understand your candidature through the SOP, you need to be honest in describing your career aspirations and objectives. Focus centrally on maintaining the authenticity of your mentioned details. Duly elaborate on your advantageous perception of the chosen course.
  • Creatively cite your personal and professional interests. Mention what you are passionate about and what excites you. Then, sensibly connect it with your chosen program and how it will assist you in grooming your skills. For instance, you can state that you are aspiring to gain experiential learning or training in your desired industry through the course.
  • What brought you here should be a sure-shot mention in your SOP. You can begin with stating those features of your chosen course that convinced you to opt for it. Then, write down the objectives you want to fulfil by studying the program. It can be personal growth or professional upliftment or even both. Try to be unique and precise when listing your reasons. 

Once you have jotted down your SOP as per the above-mentioned necessary tips, the final and concluding step is to revise and make changes accordingly. Go through the list that you created in the beginning and ensure that you have added all of them.

  • The word limit for a statement of purpose is between 500-1000. 
  • Do not miss out the predefined sizes for spacing, margins and font size.
  • Try getting a second opinion but getting your SOP read from a friend or an experienced professional.

Many foreign and even national universities ask for a Statement of Purpose (SOP) from candidates wanting to enrol in suitable courses that the university has to offer. They ask for the SOP from candidates in order to check and look at the following things:

  • The writing capabilities of the writer or the candidate 
  • The X factor that makes their writing stand out from the crowd
  • Choice of thoughts and ideas that has been explained in the SOP
  • The unique personality of the candidate 
  • Candidate’s talent, previous experiences, interests and potential
  • How and what can the candidate contribute to the department of the college/university
  • Candidate’s motivation or inspiration to study a selected course must be evident and justified
  • The reason behind to choose a particular university/college and a particular course of study
  • Academic and extracurricular achievements and recognitions (if any)
  • Originality and clarity of the SOP as a whole. 

To know more, read our blog on – How to Write an SOP?

Check out the video on the same below!

How to Write a Powerful and Convincing SOP?

Whether applying for undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate programmes, the strategy of writing a powerful statement of purpose should be sound focused throughout. Starting from your academic and professional background to your career aspirations, you need to carefully connect all the dots between reaching your goals through your choice of school and course. The essay should always go in a flow covering your past experience, present involvements, and future plans. An important point to remember while writing your SOP would be to divide it into paragraphs that cover all the pointers. Here is a look at how you may write the SOP presenting your profile strongly:

This paragraph is often confused with self-introduction. It should not introduce you but should discuss what you are about to discuss in your SOP. There are multiple approaches you may adopt to go about this paragraph:

  • Discuss your long-term goal and connect it with your idea of pursuing the course you are applying to
  • Present your understanding of the chosen field and write how you want to contribute to that field
  • Explain your background in 2-3 lines and connect it with your future goals
  • Write about an anecdote that helped you realise your professional interest in the chosen field

This comprises of your academic background: what you have done so far, what you are currently pursuing, your academic strengths and projects, and the industrial exposure you have attained.

This is the most important paragraph, where you should discuss your short and long-term goals. Your immediate goal would be where you would want to work right after completing this course. You should be able to name some companies within India along with the designation you see yourself working at. This should explain the kind of job profile you would be working on.

Then comes your long-term goal, wherein you should mention where you see yourself from 10-12 or 15 years down the line. This may include your desire of working at the CEO/CFO/CTO level or maybe establish a firm that you own. It may also include your dream of expanding your existing family business overseas. You may also be interested in further studies like a PhD which can be included here.

More in this section may include your desire of becoming a professor or researcher. In any case, it is suggested that you discuss your business aim, principles, and core values or how you would influence the young aspirants of this industry. You should be able to portray ‘how you wish to make a difference in the industry keeping in mind the current industrial scenarios and emerging trends.

In this paragraph, you should discuss why you want to join a course and what modules would you tap during this course. It should also cover the skills you would acquire in this duration along with the exposure that would help in developing the skills desired to realise your goals.

This is a specific paragraph wherein you can convince a university as in how they are suitable for your profile and you are an ideal candidate for their university. You should discuss the course curriculum, research work, faculty names, as well as the university-specific activities that would help you in enhancing your profile.

Also Read: How to Write a Best Statement of Purpose?

Ideally, if considering an internationally renowned university, then the statement of purpose should be at least 1-2 pages long. In terms of word count, then the same should be around 1000 words. Having said that, the word limit and the length may also sometimes depend on the university that the candidate is targeting and also on the level of degree. Like for example, a candidate who is writing an SOP for an undergraduate program may not exceed 800 to 1000 words whereas a candidate who is writing an SOP for a PhD or M.Phil degree course has to write it in around 1200 words and sometimes even more. Some universities even have a fixed length and word count which is uniform for all the programs and courses. 

There are many elements to an SOP. Universities could ask question-based essays or simply a general statement of purpose. Until and unless categorically asked, an SOP must include your goals and the career path you have taken up so far as well as your academic progress. Other elements that are further important to the SOP are also the personal motivations that lead you to choose the university/course you have applied to as well as how you intend to use that experience to achieve that goal.

Following are a few things that you must do in order to make your SOP application strong:

  • Your Statement of Purpose should have a unique and engaging beginning as well as an end. It must be original, a reflection of you. 
  • Explain your academic background, present and future aspirations. Through this, you must justify your choice of a particular course for masters or doctorate courses.
  • Upon reading your SOP, the admission officer should be able to understand how you can contribute to the university in terms of research and further scope in your chosen area. 
  • Always write your SOP in an active voice and ensure you provide information in a manner that is a reflection of your passion and optimism. If you have any statements or references, try quoting them with relevant examples rather than being direct.

Often universities come across a lengthy statement of purpose and yet they reject it. Even when you cannot find one grammatical error, the seemingly excellent SOP would be rejected. And the primary reason is – too much unnecessary information. For instance, just because you might want to talk about your family, does not mean you go on and on to talk about only your family. While your SOP should be a brag sheet, it should be a brag sheet with a substance. You need to pick and choose what to include. Pick a theme and mention the accomplishments that make the most sense to your candidacy.

  • Weave your career path into a story, not statements.
  • Do not write what you think should be written. Personalise the SOP and make it your own.
  • Do not stress over it. Although it is an important part of your application, the SOP should be a direct reflection of you.
  • Find the deeper meaning behind the events of your life and pen them down.
  • Give a strong reason as to why you chose the particular school and course.
  • Be specific in the timeline of events.
  • Use a formal but conversational tone.
  • Accept your mistakes and explain how you are willing to act on improving. Use action items.
  • Give yourself enough time to write the SOP and edit it constantly. 
  • Proofread, edit, re-edit and then edit it again! There is always room for improvement, remember that.

Also Read: SOP for Scholarship

Statement of Purpose Samples

Here are some good examples of well structured SOPs that you can refer to while writing your own.

“ A successful career in Business Management requires adequate knowledge to utilise the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. In my undergraduate degree, I majored in economics and psychology because I believe that understanding these two fields is important for leading a successful business. I want to increase my experiences and knowledge further by pursuing an Executive MBA, which will equip me with advanced skills that are necessary to achieve my career goals.

As I have carried out various leadership positions, I have learned how to efficiently work in teams and pursue the specified goals. In my previous company, ABC, I successfully implemented the strength-cum-weakness finder software which helped us assign projects to the groups based on the mapped data. As employees got allotted tasks as per their efficiency, it resulted in a 30% net gain for the company over the following year. I believe that a successful business leader understands the importance of strategically utilizing a company’s resources to ensure the maximum potential and development of the company. Further, the pivotal thing I learned about myself by taking up leadership roles is that teamwork is a crucial element of successfully achieving an organisation’s objectives. An Executive MBA will help me furnish my leadership skills imparting me with the knowledge of hierarchical structures and how to work with other leaders of different domains in an effective manner.

Studying for an Executive MBA, I plan to take charge of multiple team projects throughout the duration of the degree so that I can polish my teamwork skills. I aspire to work under industry leaders and attain global exposure. Pursuing this degree from your institution, I aim to gain professional as well as personal skills that can help me soar through my career journey. ”

I had a keen interest in Biology since childhood. I was eager to learn about the living organisms around my surroundings and how they function. I took this interest forward and decided to pursue my higher education in biology. When I was first introduced to the field of biotechnology, I was mesmerized by what technology can do to improve the life of any living organism. This inspired me to look at various research programmes in biotechnology and how we are moving towards a phase where technology can alter even the basic fragments of any living organism and change the course of life an organism goes through. I observed the various research patterns that have been taking place in the agricultural industry with the advent of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) giving birth to the Green Revolution. This was only one potential achievement in the extensive list of achievements that biotechnology was progressing towards. I worked with a reputed biotech firm which gave me an insight into how fast-paced the research in biotechnology is. The firm gave me the necessary exposure leading me to decide that I want to pursue MS in Biotechnology. My ambition to work in this field lies essentially in bringing changes in the lifestyle of people in a way that I can research and extensively study the required positive steps towards climate change. My goal is to achieve a sustainable lifestyle for every individual. The exposure that your esteemed institution will give me in the field of research will help me achieve this goal by working at a reputed platform

  • Sample SOP for Australian Student Visa
  • SOP for MIM
  • SOP Samples for MS
  • SOP for MS in Data Science
  • SOP for Business Analytics
  • Sample SOP for MS in CS
  • SOP for PG Diploma in Canada
  • SOP for MBA: Essentials to Mention & Samples
  • SOP for Australia

Here is the basic format for USA, Canada, UK and Australia:

statement of purpose for research associate job

If you are planning to study abroad and want to write a good and outstanding statement of purpose for the university that you are targeting, then here are some of the common mistakes that you can avoid from the very beginning while writing an SOP:

  • Writing the SOP at the last moment without any plan of action or a roadmap
  • Writing a weak and vague introduction and conclusion 
  • Using informal language, slangs, short forms in your SOP
  • Exceeding the word limit and not reaching the correct word limit at all
  • Making your SOP excessively flashy and flattery


If you are eligible for any college-specific scholarships, then during the application process you will be required to write a separate essay/SOP. Either you will be given an essay prompt/question along with a word limit or they would simply ask for an SOP stating the reasons why you think you deserve this scholarship and/or what makes you unique from the rest of the candidates? Thus, a generic SOP is different from a scholarship SOP.

Must Read: LOR: Types, Format, Sample and Tip s

A Letter of Motivation is a letter directly addressed to the admission committee/department faculty explaining your objectives, motivation and goals related to the course. The SOP is not addressed to any specific person or department, it is drafted in an essay format, whereas, the motivational letter is always addressed to a professor or department under whose guidance you will be studying.

Also Read: How to Write a Motivation Letter?

Very much similar to an SOP, Personal Statements are an on-page essay where you write about your motivation, inspiration, goals, and achievements. Personal Statements usually have a more intimate tone than SOP as it talks about the highlighted incidents of your life. Another crucial difference between an SOP and a Personal Statement is that an SOP is addressed to no one in particular, while a Personal Statement is addressed to a professor or department under who you choose to study.

Relevant Reads:

Only your LORs need to be attested by your college or company. An SOP need not be attested/self-attested until and unless specified by the university. If you take a LOR from your college professor/school teacher or a Principal/Dean, then that LOR needs to be signed by the recommender along with the college/school stamp and letterhead. Similarly, for professional LORs, they need to be signed by their respective recommenders on the company’s letterhead and company stamp.

Once you have finalised your SOP draft, give it a double-check for grammatical and formatting mistakes. Your next step should be to analyse and critique your essay. Look at your SOP through the eyes of the Adcom and see what you find lacking. For more effective inputs, you can show your drafts to your friends and family and see how they react to them. Accordingly, you can make some changes but do not overdo it or deviate from the format. Lastly, check for spacing errors and save the final SOP which you will be using for the application process.

You should avoid mentioning any low marks or shortcomings about yourself in any of the application documents, including SOP. There are very few universities that ask you about your gap year. For them, you can mention the reason for the gap between your studies. Generally, no university asks about low grades during your study period as your selection depends on various criteria like exam scores, student profile, financials, and so on. Thus, it is advised against mentioning any flaws or low marks.

Hence, we hope that now you are geared up with all the quintessential tips to start carving out your SOP. If you still have doubts or need further professional guidance, you can always reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we’ll assist you throughout the admission process, be it selecting a suitable course and university or drafting impressive SOPs and LORs. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session. Further, also follow us on  Instagram ,  Youtube ,  LinkedIn ,  Quora   and  Facebook   for more educational content.

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I was really impressed and happy with the informations I was able to get reading through your well documented page.

I am really impressed reading through your sample and guides in writing an SOP.I was able to put mine together and I have submitted awaiting feedback from the Admissions office. Thanks so much.

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    Here is an example of the body to a research associate cover letter: As a research associate for the University of California, Berkeley, I was tasked by the economics department to lead a project analyzing the effect interest rates had on the money market before and after the 2007 - 2009 Global Recession.

  7. Research Assistant Cover Letter Example & Tips

    17 July 2023. Alex Reed. 5508 Terrace Drive. La Crescenta, CA, 91214. (818) 835-3371. [email protected]. Dear Dr. Reed, I'm writing to you regarding the Lab Research Assistant position at BioSpace. I'm confident my academic background in molecular biology and biomedical research experience will make me a competent contributor to your team.

  8. Research Associate Cover Letter: Example & Guide

    Here's how to create a professional cover letter heading : Write your name, position title, and contact information at the top of the page, in that order. Skip one line, then write down the city and date of writing. Skip one more line. Include the hiring manager's name and position, the company name, and their address.

  9. Research Assistant Cover Letter: The Ultimate Guide

    The primary goal of a research assistant cover letter is to intrigue your potential employer enough to invite you to an interview. Whether you're an experienced researcher or an undergraduate student looking for research experience, your cover letter is the "face" of your application. Most likely, your cover letter will be the first ...

  10. Professional Research Associate Cover Letter Examples for 2024

    Professional Research Associate... Your research associate cover letter must demonstrate your ability to conduct comprehensive literature reviews and compile detailed reports. Highlight your proficiency with data analysis tools and methodologies vital for the role. Emphasize your collaborative skills and experience in publishing findings with a ...

  11. Research Associate Cover Letter Template

    Artificial intelligence can write it for you. Kickresume's AI Cover Letter Writer runs on GPT-4 and can generate human-like cover letters in a matter of seconds. Try it now and say goodbye to writer's block. Kick-start your career and learn how to improve your cover letter with this downloadable Research Associate cover letter template.

  12. Personal Statements for Academic Jobs

    Do: - proof-read your statement carefully and check for grammar and spelling errors and typos. If you are like me you will need to proof-read a hard copy as well as an onscreen version. - save a copy of your statement to refer to if you are shortlisted. - be positive and confident about your achievements and future potential.

  13. How To Write a Statement of Purpose

    Include experience and professional achievement. Discuss your professional goals and interests and how they relate to the college. 1. Introduce yourself. Begin your college statement of purpose by introducing yourself. Include a brief description of who you are including your academic and professional background.

  14. Research statements for faculty job applications

    Step 4: The research statement is typically a few (2-3) pages in length, depending on the number of images, illustrations, or graphs included. Once you have completed the steps above, schedule an appointment with a career advisor to get feedback on your draft. You should also try to get faculty in your department to review your document if they ...

  15. Statement of purpose (SOP) done right! [with Samples]

    Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Personal Statement forms a crucial element of the graduate school application process. For the uninitiated, a Statement of Purpose is an essay that introduces YOU to the Admissions Review Committee (AdCom). It contains your accomplishments, career plans, and reasoning of why you think a particular graduate program ...

  16. How to Write a Statement of Purpose

    A typical statement of purpose has an average word count of 800-1000 words and should not go beyond one to two pages. However, the range of 800-1000 words is not the standard word count, as some schools set their minimum word count to 500 and the maximum word count to 1200 words. Make sure to read the application instructions carefully.

  17. How to write a good Statement Of Purpose (SOP).

    A Statement of purpose (SOP) is to enable applicants to discuss the link between his or her past experiences and future career goals. SOP is very important to showcase one's ability to the ...

  18. How to Write a Statement of Purpose

    The statement of purpose (also known as a statement of intent or motivation letter) is your chance to stand out from the crowd and showcase your motivation, skills and potential. It should: Outline your academic or professional interests and goals. Discuss relevant skills, experience and achievements. Demonstrate why you'd be a good fit for ...

  19. PDF Academic Careers: Research Statements

    The research statement describes your research experiences, interests, and plans. Research statements are often requested as part of the faculty application process. Expectations for research statements vary among disciplines. Ask faculty members in your department about the expectations for your field. PURPOSE

  20. 8 Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose

    Unless a specific word count is mentioned in the application, the statement of purpose should not be longer than one to two pages. Make every word count. Don't Tell Your Life Story. On a similar note, avoid excess storytelling in your statement of purpose. Don't waste your limited space telling the committee how you've always wanted to be ...

  21. How to Write a Research statement for Faculty Position?

    Here we discuss 5 simple tips for writing a good research statement: 1. Make Your Research Statement Reader-Friendly. As stated earlier, a faculty position may easily receive over a couple of hundred applications. Consequently, the search committee may just glance through some applications.

  22. Research Laboratory Specialist Associate

    The School of Dentistry (SoD) Periodontics & Oral Medicine department is looking for you to join one of our research laboratory teams, reporting to the Principal Investigator. We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Laboratory Specialist Associate. In this role, you will study the regulatory mechanisms controlling hematopoietic stem cell ...

  23. Research Associate

    The Research Associate will conduct research and perform data analysis on issues related to college access, affordability, accountability, and student success, with the goal of informing federal and state policy. We are looking for a team player with a commitment to promoting equity in higher education, strong quantitative analysis skills ...

  24. 7 Successful Statement of Purpose Examples • PrepScholar GRE

    A statement of purpose (also called a letter of intent or a research statement) introduces your interests and experience to the admissions committee. For research-focused programs, like most PhDs and many master's degrees, your statement of purpose will focus primarily on your past research experience and plans.

  25. SOP (Statement of Purpose): Format, Samples, and Tips

    1. Ponder. The first step of the process of drafting a statement of purpose is to think about the varied aspects of your candidature that you should mention in it. The mandatory inclusions of an SOP are academic achievements (especially at the undergraduate level), prior work exposure or volunteering experiences.

  26. Research Lab Tech Intermediate/Associate

    Maintain detailed laboratory, study, and experimental records. Independently perform or assist with experiments including human samples, cell culture, phenotyping and genotyping of cultured human cell lines, DNA amplification, and present results at lab meetings. Assist in the procurement, storage, and documentation of human blood and tissue.

  27. Research Lab Specialist Associate

    The Wang lab is seeking a full time Research Laboratory Specialist Associate to pursue research on the neurotoxicity of environmental toxicants with an emphasis on learning and memory deficits, and neurodegenerative disease. The Wang lab investigates the neurotoxicity and the potential mechanisms of environmental toxicants, such as Cadmium ...

  28. Research Assistant/Associate/Full Professor

    Qualifications. Required: Ph.D. in Agronomy, Plant or Crop Science, Soil Science or a related discipline. A familiarity with field production methods, breeding, genetics, etc. of dedicated energy ...

  29. CIS Research Associate S24 (Student Temporary)

    Participate in design of research projects; coordinate the processing and analysis of data; perform complex statistical computations; organize data for the preparation of proposals for new funding; develop experimental procedures and test controls. Specific activities are dependent upon the faculty research. Perform other duties as assigned or ...

  30. Job Opening: Associate Research Analyst

    Associate Research Analyst Hybrid Recruitment # 240501-6856AR-001. Location Hartford, CT Date Opened 5/3/2024 11:30:00 AM Salary $88,106 - $113,313/year Job Type Open to Agency Employees Close Date 5/13/2024 11:59:00 PM ... PURPOSE OF JOB CLASS (NATURE OF WORK)