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Motivatioin Letter


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#1 Rana

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:57 AM

I would like to send requests for post doc. I have written a simple motivation letter and can you please tell me how to improve it. If some body have it its personal successful letter then it will be good to share it. I want to improve my letter.
Here is mine and its simple one.


Dear Dr..................
Science for the benefit of humanity is my principle. My aim is to seek, learn and spread. In order to follow it, I would like to come to you for post doc training.

In December, 2009, I will defend my PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. Previously I did M.Phil in Biotechnology. My PhD project was structural and functional characterization of Kir2.1 channels. With the combined approaches of electrophysiology, molecular biology and computational modeling, our aim is to understand Kir2.1 gating and modulation by PIP2. My willingness to work hard is evident from fact that I have throughout first class in my academic career.

“Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.”- Archimedes

I know my quoting Archimedes is a sign of youthful idealism. However, I know it takes hard work and proven dedications to embark on high level of scientific career. Drive, dedications and a willingness to learn and achieve are my career inspirations which I can employ very well under your supervision

Please consider me a serious candidate for post doc training. I can assure you that my energy, analytic skills, creative thoughts, and knowledge can make positive contributions into this. I have enclosed my resume to provide more information on my strengths and career achievements. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

#2 PhD

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 01:23 AM

Hello there,

I dont really have a lot of experience in this respect but my first impression of the letter was that it was very philosophical and maybe a tad too idealistic for a postdoc, specially if u begin the letter with science for the benefit of humanity is my principle.

If I were a boss and you were applying to my lab I would like to know how good your scientific training has been and why you specifically want to come to my lab. You dont mention this at all. The paragraph on what you actually did in your PhD is quite short and doesnt reflect why your career in particular was so outstanding.

Personally, I really like your quote but since it is idealistic as you state maybe you could back it up by stating why a high level scientific career might change the world, if anything at all.

I know a girl that applied for a postdoc position in a lab in harvard. One of the requisites was that she familiarize herself so well with the labs publications and field of research that she come up with an idea of what kind of project within the lab she would like to do and why. It didnt matter whether it was being worked on or not but I guess it showed the lab boss that she could think. I imagine that thats the most important thing that you want in a postdoc. Someone clever with a real grasp on science that can come up with at least one project idea on their own. If you make the effort to do that it will be obvious that you are hard-working and driven.

So I would advice you to think about why you want to join that particular lab so badly and include that in your letter so that the guy knows its not just a bulk email that your sending out to other labs.

Im sorry if this isnt great advice im sure that other people with more experience can give you better tips!!


Good luck!

#3 Rana

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:23 AM

many many thanks for such a detail reply. Its helpful for me. You really comments a good point and it will help me a lot to improve my communication email to PI's.

Hello there,

I dont really have a lot of experience in this respect but my first impression of the letter was that it was very philosophical and maybe a tad too idealistic for a postdoc, specially if u begin the letter with science for the benefit of humanity is my principle.

If I were a boss and you were applying to my lab I would like to know how good your scientific training has been and why you specifically want to come to my lab. You dont mention this at all. The paragraph on what you actually did in your PhD is quite short and doesnt reflect why your career in particular was so outstanding.

Personally, I really like your quote but since it is idealistic as you state maybe you could back it up by stating why a high level scientific career might change the world, if anything at all.

I know a girl that applied for a postdoc position in a lab in harvard. One of the requisites was that she familiarize herself so well with the labs publications and field of research that she come up with an idea of what kind of project within the lab she would like to do and why. It didnt matter whether it was being worked on or not but I guess it showed the lab boss that she could think. I imagine that thats the most important thing that you want in a postdoc. Someone clever with a real grasp on science that can come up with at least one project idea on their own. If you make the effort to do that it will be obvious that you are hard-working and driven.

So I would advice you to think about why you want to join that particular lab so badly and include that in your letter so that the guy knows its not just a bulk email that your sending out to other labs.

Im sorry if this isnt great advice im sure that other people with more experience can give you better tips!!


Good luck!



#4 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 01:11 PM

Did you anticipate a mass mailing? I doubt that a "motivation letter" will move anyone. Suggest you contact directly those PI's (specific persons) whose research excites you, show you know their work and are excited by the opportuntiy, show your scientific credentials both through publications and personal references and explain why you'd be great in their lab.

Forget the BS.

#5 leelee

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:16 PM

Totally agree with George and PhD!
I think your original letter is a bit weak on facts and evidence for why you think you are hirable. You can't really just list a bunch of personal characteristics (

energy, analytic skills, creative thoughts, and knowledge

) and expect that people will therefore believe it to be true. Be more detailed about your experience and why your skill set is suitable to your lab of interest- be specific. I think it is great that you want to express your passion for science, but try to phrase it in a way that sounds more professional and less idealistic.

That said, I have yet to finish my PhD and apply for a post doc, so my job application experience is limited to those things I did before embarking on my PhD and may not be all that relevant....so feel free to ignore me!! :rolleyes:


Good luck :)




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