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Postdoc Application Letter

A letter for a postdoctoral position is used to capture the attention of the hiring entity by highlighting your suitability for the advertised opportunity. A well-written postdoc application letter alerts a hiring committee that you are interested in a particular postdoctoral position and motivates them to move you to short list of qualified candidates.

Format and Content

When used as a cover letter, the postdoc application letter format is generally 3 to 4 paragraphs long and begins with an introductory paragraph. Use the second paragraph to highlight your accomplishments and expertise as they pertain to the postdoc position and the third paragraph to list additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position. Use formal titles and the name of the individual rather than a generic salutation. Most importantly, proofread your letter carefully before sending.


This postdoc application letter sample is written by a graduate student who will soon be earning her doctorate degree. She details her academic, research and work experience in the letter. She concludes the letter by suggesting an interview time and place she believes will be convenient for them both.

Dear Dr. Kolher,

I am writing to express my interest in theclinical postdoctoral position listed on the University of New York’s Career website. Currently, I am a student in Dr. Bart Lee’s lab at the University of New York. I plan to graduate in May 2013 with a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. I would like to begin in your lab in September 2013. I have followed your research on multidisciplinary involvement in patient care with great interest. I am confident that a postdoc position on your team would provide me with the clinical experience I need to advance my career to the next level. My career goal is to work with children and adolescents who demonstrate or are at risk for addictive or antisocial behaviors.

My research in Dr. Lee’s lab focuses on the role of television programming in promoting addictive and antisocial behaviors. Thus far, the research findings are very enlightening, especially in terms of the susceptibility of adults. As suspected, the research confirmed that young children and adolescents are highly inclined to adopt and repeat the behaviors seen on television.What our team found is that adults are almost as likely to believe what they see and hear on television as children, especially when the information comes from a well-known personality.

In addition to my academic achievements, I spent 3 years as a counseling intern at Lakeside Hospital. During this internship, I worked with victims of abuse and violent crimes. While working toward my Master’s degree, I counseledpatients who had experienced life-altering traumas at the Seashore Rehabilitation Hospital. The supervised experience offered by this postdoctoral opportunity will allow me to work with families struggling to adjust and cope with the mental illness of a family member.

I am positive a postdoctoral position with you will allow me to gain invaluable clinical experience. Please feel free to contact me on my cell phone at (555)-555-5555 to arrange an interview. I will be attending your seminar on Changing Family Dynamics in Austin, Texas on June 25, 2013. If you prefer, I will be happy to meet with you for an interview before or after the seminar. I will call your office to follow up in two weeks. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Jane Palden

Ms. Jane Palden

Enclosure: Curriculum Vitae