Cover letter for a postdoc (5 samples)

This blog post will show samples of “cover letters for a postdoc.”

Samples of postdoc cover letters

To get a postdoc position, you need a well-written cover letter that showcases your passion for and dedication to the industry. When writing a postdoc cover letter, these are some of the essential things to include in your letter:

  • Address the employer with a formal salutation. For example, “Dear/Hello (name of the recipient or hiring manager).”
  • The next step is to state the position you are applying for and how you found the opening. 
  • Write a short sentence about why you’re interested in the position.
  • State your skills and work experience; ensure they are similar to the job position. When stating your skills, provide the accomplishment you have achieved. 
  • Conclude your letter with a forward-looking statement. For example, “I look forward to discussing the position further.”

Sample 1:


Dr. Harold Bergman

Enteny University

113 Sunnyside Circle

Enteny, Illinois, 60002

Dear Dr. Bergman,

I am writing to express my sincere interest in Enteny University’s open postdoc laboratory position. I would love to pursue my postdoctoral studies as a member of your team. I am a recent graduate of Bertrum University where I gave my presentation on hydrogen fuel cell viability. You may remember Juan Sosa mentioning my interest in your laboratory at the end of the last school year.

In my research, I focused on developing hydrogen fuel cell delivery and storage solutions focusing specifically on portable applications for military use. In my doctoral studies, I worked to develop charging and backup systems for portable electronic devices (PEDs). Current military operations cannot effectively use fuel alternatives because emergency and frequent charging solutions remain unavailable. Most of my work has revolved around alternative energy-harnessing systems and long-lasting batteries. In my work, I produced fuel cells less susceptible to environmental degradation factors and extreme temperatures. I look forward to continuing my research and working toward miniaturizing fuel cells to improve their PED compatibility as a member of your research team.

I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my research in your laboratory and pursue a long-term future with Enteny University. I believe the nature of my research relates to your lab because, as the leading institution in fuel cell research, my chosen field of study is extremely relevant to your efforts. I think my knowledge and experience surrounding PEDs and battery longevity could aid in your research.

I am a self-motivated, independent researcher with eight years of experience. As a detail-oriented, qualified and creative candidate, I feel my fuel-cell research, grant proposal writing and tutoring experience could be a major asset to your laboratory. I’ve attached my CV and would be very interested in setting up a time to further discuss my skills and qualifications with you. Please let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing from you.


Harriet Browne”

Sample 2:

“[Today’s Date]

[Hiring Manager’s Name]

[123 Company Address]

[Company City, State xxxxx]



Dear [Dr./Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Hiring Manager’s Last Name],

I am writing to express my interest in a postdoctoral position in your lab. I am a PhD Candidate in the Andrew Dwyer lab at James Hill University expecting to graduate in June 2022. My graduate work, published in Science this year, investigated the RNA virome in various aquatic environments using metagenomic analysis. My future research goals are to apply my computational skills and develop my skills working with non-human primate models to better understand and design therapeutics against pathogenic viruses. I believe my strong background in virus biology, library preparation, and next-generation sequencing analysis make me an ideal candidate to study respiratory disease viruses in your lab.

In my thesis lab, we use viral evolution to find trends that unite eukaryotic disease viruses. However, our current picture of RNA virus taxonomy is still incomplete, with the five-clade organization largely informed by human and agricultural animal and plant studies.

Therefore, to refine and complete our understanding of the global RNA virome, I sampled multiple complex aquatic environments and performed metagenome analysis. Confirming that the five-phyla classification based on RdRP sequence comparisons holds true, my analysis nearly tripled the number of currently known RNA viruses.

Host assignments proved to be tricky during my thesis. But I tackled this problem through various methods, including developing machine learning algorithms and comparing RNA viruses to size-separated microbial preparations subjected to DNA and RNA sequencing. I am continuing to characterize the novel and more highly divergent RdRPs discovered by our sampling. Also I mentor one graduate and one undergraduate student with their independent projects drawn from my work.

While I have focused primarily on RNA virus ecology and evolution during my graduate work, I am comfortable extending my research to studying RNA viruses in human disease. I collaborated with Dr. Henry Fields on a publication, currently under review at Frontiers in Immunology, studying rhesus macaque responses to MERS-CoV. The skills I learned through our collaboration, as well as from electives and literature search in immunology and human virology, have prepared me well to transition from studying viruses to studying virus-host interactions. Additionally, I look forward to applying my computational skills toward single-cell sequencing analysis examining the effects of age, diet fat content, and viral strain on primate responses to SARS-CoV-2 challenges, building on the methods and results in your recent Cell Reports Medicine paper. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk with you more about my fit in your lab. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Your Name”

Sample 3:

“Anshu Mahajan

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

+91 84 90184020

Pondicherry, 10.01.2022

Kajol Samra

Head of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Pondicherry University

Chinna Kalapet

Kalapet, Puducherry

Dear Ms. Samra,

As an alumnus of Pondicherry University, I was thrilled to learn about the Post-Doctoral Fellow position available at the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. During my PhD studies at Pondicherry University, I researched the relationship between circadian regulation and neurodegenerative diseases and wrote my doctoral thesis “Circadian activity and memory performance in Alzheimer’s patients” under the supervision of professor Qadim Ray. Seeing that Pondicherry University hopes to move to the forefront of neurodegenerative disease research with a new team led by professor Abbas Sengupta, I believe that my analytical skills and academic experience could be a great asset to this programme.

The fellowship offer mentions you’re looking for candidates skilled in the areas of lab management, cytometry for apoptosis detection, and data collection. I am happy to say that I possess all of those qualities:

  • Lab management: During my PhD research, I collaborated with fellow doctoral students to create a lab maintenance plan, which included up-to-date information on equipment booking, planned activities, instrument inventory, scheduling details, and a list of consumables and chemical supplies for restocking. By implementing this system, we were able to reduce the instances of conflicting activities by 67% within two months, and we maintained a stock of consumables and chemical supplies 88% of the time.
  • Cytometry for apoptosis detection: I am familiar with various methods of apoptosis detection, having conducted flow cytometry to detect changes appearing in organelles, monitor activation of caspase 3, oversee changes to the plasma membrane, and changes in the nuclear DNA, using cells at a concentration of 1×106 cells/ml.
  • Data collection: For my doctoral thesis, I have conducted 74 detailed interviews with Alzheimer’s patients, covering their current memory-related symptoms, overall health, family history, and sleeping habits. I have compared this information with data gathered using sleep trackers that collected information about sleep cycles. Instead of paper copies, I have used Excel spreadsheets and Cloud solutions for storing information, which helped to speed up the process of pulling up specific data by 89%.

What makes me particularly interested in your post-doctorate fellowship program is the chance to continue my research. Having worked with Alzheimer’s patients, I have seen first-hand how this disease influences the quality of life of not just the patients themselves, but also their loved ones. I believe that working together with other researchers under the guidance of professor Abbas Sengupta can lead to significant discoveries in the nature of neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, I have observed how another team of researchers at Pondicherry University achieved a major breakthrough in the study of endosome function and dysfunction. I believe that professor Sengupta’s team can replicate this success and lead to a better understanding of diseases that afflict over 50 million people worldwide.

I can’t wait to discuss my ideas for managing data gathered by professor Sengupta’s team and for introducing changes to laboratory procedures to create a smooth workflow. Could we schedule a meeting next week to discuss how my research experience can contribute to this project?


Anshu Mahajan”

Sample 4:

“Dear Professor Knightly,

Having completed my doctorate in Slavonic Studies last semester, I am applying to continue my Postdoc research in the area of the Old Church Slavonic language.

Researching the homeland and language of the Slavs has always been a passion and I have undertaken many translation projects that have contributed to the modern understanding of how language influenced the early Slavonic church in the Moravian Empire.

I will be spending much of my Postdoc period in libraries across Eastern Europe, presenting at local symposia and writing my second book on the development of early Proto Slavic and Common Slavonic languages in conjunction with a number of leaders in the field. My travel has mostly been funded by the publishers, but given the considerable expense in my work I am continuing to request the bursary from the university.

I teach classes for local students and will continue to lead seminars six times a year on my return trips to Chicago. I enclose my latest research paper for your interest. It has received critical acclaim in over 15 industry publications. After analyzing over 2,000 church manuscripts, it is fascinating to see the evolution.

I was proud to receive my doctorate, but the work is just beginning. Understanding the origins of language is helping to unlock the secrets of the early Slav Church – exploring many of the rituals that still hold firm to this day.


Simon Bartley”

Sample 5:

“New Haven, June 26, 2020

Professor B. Hawthorne

Faculty Search Committee

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305

Dear Professor Hawthorne,

I am writing to apply for the position of Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford. I am completing my PhD in Clinical Psychology and Criminology at Yale University under the direction of Professor Mark Fisher with an expected graduation date of May 2021.

Within my research, I have focused on a multidisciplinary approach to examining the nature of self harm and how social support networks affect the likelihood of self-harm being fatal. The thesis ‘Cry for Help: Non-Suicidal Self-Harm Characteristics’ takes 128 participants aged 15-39, 50% male and 50% female. Analyzing quantitative statistical data on the angle and depth of NSSH, the comparison versus factors such as time of contact with therapist, standardized family awareness of issues, number of social support network points as well as self-reported severity of suicidal ideation found the following.

It was found that severity of suicidal ideation didn’t reliably predict the severity of NSSH, i.e. its actual objective risk to life. However, it was found that gender was a reliable predictor of location of NSSH, with females mostly harming their arms and legs, while males were more likely to harm their chest and private areas. It was also found that the combined strength of social support was a significant predictor in the severity of NSSH, i.e. depth and angle. Early time of contact with a therapist was not affecting severity of NSSH, but had a significant correlation with frequency of harm.

With the NCHS reporting a 30% increase in death by suicide in the United States between 2000 and 2016, it is a highly pressing issue to reverse engineer the factors that lead to heightened risk, and many scholars consider NSSH a stage in the development of fatal suicidal ideation. The next part of my study intends to look at the relationship between strength of social support for young males and risk of online political and religious radicalization, another great risk to our civilization in these uncertain times, and there aren’t many better places to conduct this study than Stanford. My approach is highly informed by the modern machine learning cross-factor analysis that has been innovated by Professor Musk, and upon which I based my own analysis.

I am well-prepared to do my part teaching as well as researching, having taught a range of courses in Psychology, Criminology, Sociology and Statistics, such as ‘Radicalization: Social and Scientific Factors’ which has been wildly successful with the undergraduates at Yale, and grew from 7 students signed up in 2018 to over 55 in 2020. All in all, I have taught 400+ undergraduates and mentored 20+ master’s students, and achieved increasing participation in courses designed by me year and year, and higher than average results on all previously-established courses.

I am enclosing my curriculum vitae, research and teaching statements, as well as copies of transcripts. I also attach letters of reference from Dr Smith, Dr Jones, and Robert Martinson. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I could provide additional information or materials that will aid you in the evaluation of my application. I am available for interview during the next Criminology conference at Stanford, or by phone or email at any other time.

Best Regards,

Sam Marks PhD


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I write a cover letter for healthcare?

“I am writing to express my interest in applying for the [specific position name] listed on your website. Between my educational background and relevant experience, I am confident that I can help support your hospital’s mission of [reference to facility’s specific values and mission].”

How do you grab attention in a cover letter?

How to Create an Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter: 

  • Write a compelling introduction.
  • Use tasteful humor in your cover letter. 
  • Research about the company. 
  • Demonstrate your confidence. 

If you like this blog post, please leave your comments and questions below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!