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Research Assistant Cover Letter Examples (Free Guide)

If you’re ready to apply for a research assistant position, then you need a strong cover letter. Use our research assistant cover letter examples and tips to create a customized letter to ensure you land a job interview.

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 4 minute read

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Research assistant cover letter: text example

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Date]

[Employer’s Name]

[Company Name]

[Company Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. [Name],

I’m interested in the clinical research assistant position listed on XYZ website. I have prior experience in clinical research and knowledge of conducting clinical trials in a lab environment. During my prior role at [former job], I assisted the research team in:

  • Developing data collection methods for advanced laboratory techniques and equipment.
  • Collecting and recording clinical data through examinations of DNA and RNA structures.
  • Documented changes and variations observed during the analysis process.
  • Managing large data sets as the principal investigator

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 spearheading research projects and increasing the efficiency of data collection.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to discussing the open position further in person or by phone or email. I’m eager to expand on my clinical research skills in a new environment.

Sincerely, 

[Your name]

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Research assistant cover letter: 5 key tips

Write a professional research assistant cover letters by following these 5 important tips:

1

Lead off with a notable academic achievement or top strength

Since you’re at the assistant career level, highlight accolades from your academic background to show how you can excel at the new job. Mention your top strengths that led to your passion for research. Perhaps while obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you were invited to take part in a research project. The fact that you were “selected” among your peers shows you have strengths in research plus demonstrates your multitasking ability (school plus extra projects), curiosity to learn, and willingness to work with a team of researchers.

2

Be specific about your credentials and accomplishments

Not all research assistant job descriptions will list the same requirements and qualifications, so be specific about how your past accomplishments meet the job role. Listing mundane tasks is not going to land you a job interview. List measurable career highlights like “Managed 40,000 records for research project,” or notable accomplishments, such as “held an internship where I traveled to Spain to work on an excavation site.” Also, feature the credentials that set you apart from other research assistants like “advanced studies in molecular biology.” 

3

Explain to the employer how you can make an impact in the position

The main responsibilities of a research assistant will be taking part in conducting research and gathering information. When writing your cover letter, resume and job application, express how you can benefit the company and not the other way around. Take a cue from your profession and do some of your own research before you begin writing your cover letter. Research the hiring organization’s website, projects and social media posts. Then, use something you learned about the company in your cover letter to demonstrate your relevant skills and initiative. For example, if the company sent out a recent survey regarding the need for a grocery store in a local community and the results were surprising, share your interest in that topic or how you’ve done similar previous research.

4

Present a mix of hard and soft skills

Research assistant jobs require a variety of skills to effectively gather information, check facts, and present findings. In your resume, be sure to feature hard skills like proficiency in software such as SAS, MATLAB and Microsoft SQL Server, and library database knowledge that reflects the role responsibilities in the job posting. Also, include soft skills like communication skills, problem solving, interpersonal skills and time management skills that show your personality, work ethic and how well you can work with the team.

5

Proofread for grammar and accuracy

As a researcher, you already know that attention to detail and accuracy is crucial for analyzing data and presenting research findings in your chosen field. Typos and grammatical errors can leave a bad impression on hiring managers, so review your research assistant cover letter carefully before submitting it to ensure it has no glaring issues. Make your cover letter stand out for being the ideal candidate and not for an embarrassing mistake.

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Write a research assistant cover letter in 5 steps

It is important to create a new research assistant cover letter for each job application. These guidelines will make it easy to quickly tailor your cover letter to any research opportunities or an internship.

1. Cover letter header/contact information

Make sure your contact information in the header is up-to-date so the recruiter can contact you. You can include basic information such as name, address, professional email address and phone number. You may also choose to include a portfolio or job networking profile link.

2. Cover letter professional salutation

We recommend that you address your letter to the name of the hiring manager, recruiter or potential employer. That shows more professionalism than using a general salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager” or the never-recommended “To Whom It May Concern.” As a research assistant, take the time to demonstrate your research expertise to find the actual hiring manager’s name to address the letter.

3. Cover letter introduction

Begin your letter with a powerful statement of introduction, like an elevator pitch, that quickly captures the attention of the reader and explains why you’re a good fit for the research assistant position. You can use bullet points to make your research skills or research experience know-how stand out. Your first paragraph should hook the reader, so they continue to read your entire cover letter.

Cover letter introduction example:

Dear Dr. Smith,

I am writing to apply for the position of Research Assistant with [company name]. I recently graduated from [University] with a degree in [major] and have been working independently on research projects for the past few months. I am confident that my experience in conducting interviews, analyzing data, and synthesizing my findings have made me the perfect candidate for this job.

4. Cover letter body paragraphs

In one or two paragraphs, tell the prospective employer more about why they should hire you. Use the job requirements listed in the job description to connect to your past relevant experiences. Maybe you have a master’s degree in the research subject, or were referred by a mutual connection who is respected in the industry. You can also expand on your hard skills like analyzing large data sets or conducting interviews, and soft skills, such as critical thinking or communication skills.

Body paragraph example:

I am eager to continue my research career and fully apply the knowledge and skills I acquired during my studies. In addition to my research experience, I have excellent written and verbal communication skills. My analytical mindset allows me to devote my attention to small details and think critically and creatively. I also have the ability to manage time and prioritize work to ensure that tasks are completed on time, accurately, and effectively.

5. Closing/call to action

There is one critical strategy in your closing paragraph: the call to action. A call to action will show the hiring manager:

  • You are grateful for their time and consideration
  • A summary of why you are the ideal candidate
  • You would like to discuss the position in more detail during a job interview

Closing/call to action example:

Thank you for your time and consideration. Your research position at ABC Company is an ideal opportunity to take the next step and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further. Please feel free to contact me anytime and I will be happy to provide you with any additional information needed.

Sincerely,

[Your Full Name]

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20 key skills for a research assistant cover letter

In your cover letter, emphasize the hard skills and soft skills that best fit the job description of the job role you’re applying for. Here are some research assistant skills to consider:

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Create your research assistant cover letter (and resume) with our help

Whether you’re updating your research assistant cover letter or creating your first cover letter, here are some additional tools, templates and examples you need to create your own compelling cover letter as well as a powerful accompanying resume.

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FAQ: Research assistant cover letter

Have questions? We’re here to help.

A great cover letter needs to quickly impress a hiring manager, make a great first impression, provide a glimpse into personality, passion and work ethic, and confidently demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job. To write your cover letter for research assistant, include these cover letter elements:

  • Your contact information
  • The date
  • Hiring manager or lead researcher contact information
  • Your professional salutation
  • Your introduction with a hook
  • The main body of your letter about why you’re perfect for the job
  • Your thank you and call to action
  • Your closing statement

Your letter should be about 3/4 of a page in length, neatly laid out and easy-to-read on one single page. Browse our cover letter templates for a professional layout you can use.

While you might not have a ton of experience as a research assistant, take the time to mention any previous research you’ve taken part in. Explain your role in the research and any highlights of the experience to demonstrate your proven track record. You can also mention academic topics you’ve studied that perhaps led to your passion for the field or organization that you’re applying to. Any similar academic projects or recognitions can also show you’re a qualified assistant candidate who’s capable of excelling in the job role. Make sure you address the specific requirements from the job description.

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, try using the above example on this page and adapt it using your own experiences. Then you can modify your letter further based on how much room you have left.

Yes. You can use this well-written cover letter example for entry-level research assistant positions or as an undergraduate student preparing for graduation. If you don’t have research experience, then feature relevant school, internship or volunteer work. Take specific concrete examples from your resume and expand on them to show the hiring manager how they will translate to the research field. Show your passion for the field and how you’re seeking a position to gain research experience and improve skills. ResumeHelp experts prepared examples to show you everything you need to include in your own cover letter for any professional research job.

The requirements for each research assistant job will vary based on what type of research project is being conducted. You may be required to have a college degree or perhaps it’s an internship that welcomes current undergraduate students. 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. Whatever your level of experience, writing a compelling cover letter that addresses the role’s requirements will show employers how well you’ll fulfill those duties.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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