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Dear Dr. Boswell,

When I saw your ad for a Clinical Research Assistant at Boswell Applied Research I rushed to send you my resume for your review and consideration. As I’m sure you’re aware Boswell has a stellar reputation in the industry and I believe I could contribute to that standing.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and have ten years experience in an academic setting as a Clinical Research Assistant. My current position at a medical consulting firm has provided me the opportunity to work for different clients in a variety of laboratories performing a wide range of work from conducting experiments to clinical trials. When not on assignment I assist with recruitment skills assessment and training of new hires. I excel at writing scientific papers yet can communicate well with non-scientific audiences as well. My technical skills understanding of laboratory protocol and strong attention to detail make me a natural in a laboratory setting. As a Clinical Research Assistant at an applied research organization like Boswell I would be excited to be a part of the team that brings the results of previous work from all over to fruition and usefulness.

I look forward to your call to discuss this opportunity and can make myself available to suit your schedule. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jameson Gould

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  • Premed Research

Research Assistant Cover Letter: The Ultimate Guide

Research Assistant Cover Letter

Article Contents 17 min read

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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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.

Things to Avoid in Your Research Assistant Cover Letter

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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cover letter sample clinical research assistant

Clinical Trial Assistant Cover Letter Examples

Clinical Trial Assistants are involved in the testing of new medication and medical devices. The most important areas handled by these employees are recordkeeping and compliance. Essential job duties of Clinical Trial Assistants are archiving documents, handling the correspondence, implementing good clinical practices, liaising with ethics committees, developing schedules, taking minutes at meetings, purchasing supplies, monitoring expenses, and completing duties as assigned by supervisors.

Not exactly what you are looking for? Check our complete library of over 1000 cover letter examples .

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For help with your resume, check out our extensive Clinical Trial Assistant Resumes .

Let employers know that you mean business, with a professional cover letter. Learn how to write a cover letter in our detailed guide.

Include These Clinical Trial Assistant Skills

Those interested in a Clinical Trial Assistant position can check relevant abilities and experience in the cover letter example displayed below.

Dear Mr. French:

With this letter and the enclosed resume, I would like to express my strong interest in the Clinical Trial Assistant position you have available. As a dedicated and skilled professional with more than eight years of excellent experience overseeing administrative tasks to facilitate successful clinical trials throughout all stages, I am confident that I have the knowledge and experience to allow me to contribute toward the success of your team.

My background lies in successfully coordinating a range of functions during the full life cycle of complex, multiple ongoing clinical trials (Phase I-IV) to ensure on-time and on-target completion of all objectives. Through my experience, I have become well versed in assisting with study-specific team training, organizing clinical team meetings, ensuring compliance with internal and federal regulations, and accurately managing a high volume of data. Additionally, my success in motivating and collaborating with diverse research staff positions me to make a significant contribution to your organization.

The following achievements demonstrate my qualification for this position:

Excelling as a Clinical Trial Assistant at Sylimbia, delivering overarching administrative and operational support for the largest study in the company’s history while simultaneously providing crucial assistance on several other studies.

Facilitating the completion of more than 60 clinical trials at Brimatti Laboratories while supporting the implementation of new processes and SOPs to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Coordinating a full range of clinical study responsibilities—including records management, participant recruitment/monitoring, metrics analysis, and regulatory compliance—while accurately tracking budgets and deadlines.

Organizing and managing tracking systems and tools to support the execution of a clinical trial from start through closing.

Utilizing superior organization and communication skills to collaborate across multiple organizational levels and facilitate clinical research success.

With my experience and skill set, I am focused on making a long-term commitment to a company like yours. I am confident that my expertise and dedication to facilitating clinical research studies, along with my outstanding problem solving and leadership abilities, will contribute immensely to your success.

Thank you in advance for your consideration; I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Robert J. Crawley

A professional cover letter is the first step toward your new job!


Many applicants struggle with the cover letter because it’s a specific form of writing, and it often carries more responsibility than the resume. Its purpose, after all, is to effectively sell your abilities to the reader and to tailor your skills to the job description. The latter is important because it shows the reader you are familiar with the qualifications, and it allows you to delve into information that is not included on your resume. Reviewing our professional research assistant cover letter sample can help you get an idea of what employers are looking for.

Professional Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample

Professional Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample

Research Assistant Cover Letter Must-Haves

The professional research assistant cover letter sample above lays out a simple formula and format that you should follow. Try to keep your three paragraphs to one page, and always include a personalized greeting and professional closing. Some of the details you should include are those that did not appear on your resume, and the skills and experiences you provide should be directly relevant to the job description. Also, be sure to highlight your motivation and reason for pursuing the job. Incorporating all of these elements into your cover letter is the first step to landing a career in the field of clinical research.

Best Action Verbs for a Research Assistant Cover Letter

You can make your cover letter more persuasive, like our professional research assistant cover letter sample, by using action words such as developed, researched, found, explored, documented, established, presented, supported, collaborated, and innovated.

Cover Letter Text

Dear Amelia Stark,

I recently found your job posting inviting applications for the research assistant position at Innovative Drug Testing. I recently completed my M.A. in clinical research, and I have two years of prior experience with Findings Research Lab. Naturally, I’m very interested in the job.The job description mentioned that you are searching for a candidate with at least a master’s degree, one year of experience, and professional references. I satisfy all of these requirements, but more importantly, I’m an excellent fit. I specialize in research for psychotropic clinical trials, and I understand that Innovative Drug Testing conducts similar work on site. While I understand the research assistant position does not handle these tasks directly, I hope to advance my career in the company and eventually become involved in this part of the process. My prior experience, degree, and sheer enthusiasm lead me to believe that I would be an asset to your team.I have a flexible schedule to accommodate work that must be done during odd hours. Other relevant qualities include my attention to detail, precision with documentation, and proficiency in all programs required for the position. I appreciate the time you have taken to review my application and read this letter. I hope that we can discuss my qualifications for the research assistant position in detail soon.


cover letter sample clinical research assistant

Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

No matter what your field of research is, describing how you go about your job is a vital part of securing your next role. Scientific success is as much about the process as it is about the result, so use the cover letter to explain how you go about your work. The research assistant cover letter examples below will show you how to do just that.

Many research assistants will come into the role from an academic background, so prove that you are ready for a more practical and commercial role. Start the research conversations that you wish to continue during an interview. The depth of your role can be mind-boggling, so where do you start?

Resume.io helps countless job seekers to find the right approach to their job search. Our resume and cover letter tools provide the backdrop for your story, while cover letter examples and writing guides help with the content. Many research assistant applications will be dry and functional. Allow yourself to show some personality alongside the parameters.

In this cover letter writing guide, you can expect to learn the following: 

Most research assistant roles are in the scientific, accounting, or finance fields, according to stats by Adzuna . Examine carefully the demands of each role. Have you got the industry experience required? Which of your skills are transferable? Is there a track record of people moving industries? Be ambitious, but don’t waste your time. 

Do cover letters matter?

Best format for a research assistant cover letter

Just as you would carefully design an experiment, the structure of your cover letter allows the outcomes to slot into place. When you have some guidelines, decisions about which content to include will be simplified. Follow this standard cover letter format and you won’t go wrong. This is a tried-and-tested formula:

Cover letter header

Although you will only be able to concentrate on a few research stories, hiring managers understand the introductory nature of a cover letter. They know there is much more detail behind your words, so don’t feel like you need to pack in everything. Share a relevant example or two in each research assistant cover letter section – pique their interest.

There is a lot more to writing a cover letter than meets the eye. If writing isn’t your forte, our guide to cover letter writing is worth investigating. Every hiring manager will have read hundreds of cover letters during their careers, so explore the tricks that can help you stand out. Your cover letter will certainly be read if there is an interest in your application. We will help you make it powerful and easy to read.

Have a look at our full research assistant cover letter example:

Re: Research assistant role

Dear Professor McMahon,

For the past four years, I have been working in the psychology department of Miami University as a research assistant, on both field- and laboratory-based research projects around cognitive health across a range of age profiles. 

My primary area of interest is the cognitive health outcomes of patients in a care setting. I understand that the role will look at how dementia is treated in a public health setting. Experienced in administering psychological and cognitive assessments in this patient group, I developed links with over 30 local care homes, sharing my expertise with our partners to aid in improving their care provision.

While I enjoy the academic rigor of research, I am looking for a role with a more immediate impact on society. This position offers the perfect balance. I am in awe of your faculty’s reputation in the community and know that you attract the best academic minds because of the scale of your projects. My blend of practical academia should fit in well.

I am well versed in the latest research practices and am always investigating ways to incorporate the latest advances in technology into my work. AI and Data Science are driving deeper insights into our industry. I am a regular at Data Science seminars and am always on the lookout for the latest research applications. You may be interested in a link to my 10,000-word report on the “Impact of Big Data in Psychology” – over 1,500 industry professionals have shared it on social media over the last six months.

I look forward to the opportunity of discussing your research priorities in more detail should you wish to meet for an interview.

Mark Hitching

The header of a cover letter contains the essentials of your application. If the hiring manager wants to invite you to an interview, your full contact details should be here, as well as on your resume. Include your full name, email address, and mobile number. Use plain text and, if this is an electronic document, hyperlinks where possible. Make it as easy as possible to get in touch with you.

There is no requirement to include your full postal address – there are potential data protection issues. Employers will ask for it at the offer stage. You can also save space by excluding the inside address of the employer unless you wish to be overly formal.

Stick to a simple color scheme and design. Research professionals do not require an appreciation for the niceties of design, so let your career stories do the talking.

Cover letter greeting and introduction

The cover letter greeting is not something that any research assistant should struggle with. As you are applying for an academic or scientific role, a reasonable level of formality is expected, so addressing the hiring manager as “Dear Mr./Mrs./Dr. Surname” is normal.

Normally, the name of the hiring manager would be included in the job description. If this is not the case, it is acceptable to phone the company to find out. You might even get the chance to ask the receptionist any basic questions that you might have. If you do not know their name, a “Dear Company Team” is fine. Avoid the cold and impersonal “To whom it may concern” as that conveys a generic vibe.

After the greeting, the introduction is where your story starts.

I would suggest leading with a hyper-specific example from your past research work which will indicate that you have what it takes to ace the role in question. Researchers appreciate detail, so get as granular as possible with your sales pitch. While your competition is left relying on meaningless adjectives to describe their experience, you need to start straight away with the big guns.

Lead with context and quantifiable facts about how your work made a difference. How did your techniques produce the optimal results? Share your attitudes about your work and explain why you are uniquely suited to the role in question. Decision-making is a key aspect of a research role – use examples that demonstrate judgment and a calculated approach.

Resist the temptation to share your most impressive achievements. It is possible that some of them won’t be suitable for the role. Only share what is relevant. At no point do you want the hiring manager to think: “impressive, but that isn’t quite what we do here.”

This cover letter sample introduction offers a potential solution: 

For the past four years, I have been working in the psychology department of Miami University as a research assistant, on both field- and laboratory-based research projects around cognitive health across a range of age profiles.

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle section of a cover letter is where you get the chance to expand on the factual detail of your resume. This is your chance to add some personality, explore the context of your achievements, and tell the hiring manager exactly why you are the right person for the role. Your understanding of what lies ahead should come across loud and clear.

Now is the time for your research projects to shine. Restrict yourself to one or two sentences for each one, packed with detail about the tasks involved and how you came to the outcomes. Show how your education made a difference to your work and mention your ongoing journey of personal development. Let the hiring manager know what comes next – they would be suspicious if you didn’t have further ambitions.

Analyze the job description and pick out a couple of requirements that are least likely to be fulfilled by your fellow applicants. Be clear about your fit in these areas and present yourself as the unicorn candidate of choice. Give the hiring manager the impression that you will be in demand but be unequivocal in your desire to secure this specific role. Tell them why their research priorities are an ideal fit for your career journey.

The middle part of the cover letter below explores a couple of approaches:

How to close a research assistant cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

The close of a research assistant cover letter should hit home like a scientific conclusion. You have presented all the evidence to prove that you are a worthy candidate for the role, so here is one last reason to hire you. Build on the case – don’t repeat what has been said.

Close the cover letter with a curious hope to find out more about the role during an interview. Research is a complicated industry, so it is natural that you will have many questions. Avoid any note of presumption. You don’t know who else is going for the role and you cannot know the mind of the hiring manager at this early stage. Consider the tone of our example below:

Mistakes to avoid

When you work in research, attention to detail is a given. When writing a job application, therefore, you can be sure that the eagle eye of the hiring manager will be scanning for any mistakes that might hint at carelessness. Writing might well not be your first love, so do your best to avoid the following obvious errors:

The hiring manager needs to be focused on the positive aspects of your application, not distracted by nagging concerns about minor mistakes.

Key takeaways

Some of the following medical and administrative examples may help:

Free professionally designed templates

Great Sample Resume

cover letter sample clinical research assistant

cover letter sample clinical research assistant

Clinical Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

When writing a Clinical Research Assistant cover letter remember to present your relevant work history and skills according to the job you are applying for. Whether you're seeking an entry-level position or have been in your career for a few years, exposing your relevant achievements in your cover letter can allow you to stand out and get that job interview.

This cover letter example is a great representation of what a hiring manager is looking for in a Clinical Research Assistant cover letter resume. Feel free to use this example for reference as you create your own cover letter or use this easy cover letter builder that will guide you through every step of your building your cover letter in just a few minutes.

In addition to the Clinical Research Assistant Cover Letter Example, be sure to check out our Clinical Research Assistant Resume Example .

Here is the Clinical Research Assistant Cover Letter example:

Dear Ms. Bullock,

I’m aware of what it takes to be a great Clinical Research Assistant, and I know I am the best choice for your open position, as advertised in New York Daily News. For this reason, I have included my resume for your convenience.

I have a Bachelors Degree from Belhaven College, and have spent the last three years as a Clinical Research Assistant in medical settings. As a part of my college training, I was given the opportunity to gain a considerable amount of experience in clinical research, research methods, conducting clinical trials, and assisting with statistical analysis. I wish to learn from the best hospital in the area, and this is why I seek to continue my Clinical Research Assistance training with Bay Special Care Hospital.

Thank you so much for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you at (555)-555-5555. Please tell me when an appointment may be possible.

Your Signature

Gilbert Temple

Enclosure: Resume

Most Popular Cover Letters

cover letter sample clinical research assistant

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Research Assistant Cover Letter Examples

Write a research assistant cover letter to get a job using ResumeHelp’s guide and tips.


Table of Contents

Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

Follow this example to write your research assistant cover letter in minutes, the best research assistant cover letter example, what to include in your research assistant cover letter, top research assistant cover letter tips, faq: research assistant cover letters.

Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

I am a motivated and dependable individual who takes pride in my critical thinking and communication skills. I heard of XYZ Company’s initiatives in the research field and would be honored to support and contribute to the research team. With my educational background and prior lab experience, I believe that I can bring a lot of value to the research position job by increasing the efficiency of data collection.

This should come to about 3/4 of the page length. Your cover letter should fit on one single page.

Q: How long should my cover letter be to get a research assistant job?

A research assistant cover letter should only be about 250-400 words. This will reach about 3/4 of the way down the page. If your cover letter is too long, then try using the above example but inserting your own experiences. Then you can modify it further based on how much room you have left.

Q: Does this cover letter example work if I don’t have a lot of experience?

Yes. You can use this cover letter example for an entry-level position. If you don’t have research experience, then feature relevant school, internship or volunteer work. Take specific examples from your resume and expand on them to show the hiring manager how they will translate to the research field.

Q: What are the requirements to apply for a research assistant job?

The requirements for each research assistant job will vary based on what type of research project is being conducted. Follow the lead of the job posting in creating your letter, which will list required skills or prior experience. For example, a clinical research job may want you to have experience or knowledge of clinical trials.


Move your cover letter to the top of the yes pile!

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