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While a good cover letter makes an explicit connection between how your past experience will help you succeed in the postdoc position, a great cover letter sparks the PI’s interest and ensures they read your CV. Here are some tips to make sure your cover letter is a great one. Before you start writing, learn as much as you can about the position and the lab. Do some research on the department’s website and talk to your mentors about the group. It’s also a good idea to take a look at their recent papers to familiarize yourself with the kind of work they do. Once you have a good understanding of the position and group, you can determine which of your qualifications would be most applicable. Be sure to emphasize them in your cover letter. The Cover Letter Format A cover letter starts like a formal letter with the date at the top followed by the name and work address of the job poster. This is followed by the salutation. For a postdoc position, you will often be addressing your letter to the PI. However, if it is not clear from the advertisement who the job poster is, you can always address the letter to “members of the search committee). The Introduction The opening paragraph should explain why you are writing this letter. Indicate the specific position you are applying for and where you saw it advertised. If another professor at the university or someone the PI knows suggested that you apply for the position, mention it here. Follow it up with a short description of yourself that will allow the reader to place you academically. This could be something like “I am in the final year of my PhD in (field) at (name of university) and will be graduating/defending/finishing in (month). My dissertation is titled (title) and is supervised by Professor (name)”. The Body Paragraphs The bulk of your cover letter will be spent demonstrating how you are the right candidate for this postdoc by highlighting your qualifications and showing how they will benefit this specific project. One of the biggest mistakes you make is not tailoring this section to each position you apply for. In a postdoc cover letter, it is common to dedicate one paragraph to your dissertation or current research project. Summarize your research topic, your key findings or arguments and why they matter to the field. Now, this next step is important: you must translate your dissertation and previous research to the postdoc project. What expertise will you bring to the project by virtue of your past research that no one else can? Give specific examples that show you understand the proposed projects. Work in reference to you major awards and accomplishments while doing so. Depending on the requirements of the position, it might also be relevant to discuss your teaching experience here. Remember, the theme throughout the body paragraphs should be how your research experience will make this postdoc project successful. The Final Paragraph This last paragraph covers some job applicant formalities. In it, you should write that you have attached your CV and other necessary documents in your application. Mention that you look forward to hearing from them and are available to discuss the position further in an interview. Finally, thank them for their consideration before signing off. Get Feedback Once you have written your postdoc cover letter, ask your supervisor or a mentor to review it for you. They are likely to have had some experience hiring and will be able to make valuable suggestions from the other side of the table. They can also check that your cover letter is formatted according to the conventions of your field.

Writing of Research Statements

  • Beginn:28.11.2018
  • Ende:29.11.2018
  • Vortragende(r):Dr. Sabine Preusse
  • RaumZeit e.K. Coaching Beratung Training
  • Ort:Seewiesen
  • Raum:Birkenhaus
  • Gastgeber:IMPRS for Organismal Biology
  • Kontakt:[email protected]
Applying for a position in research requires not only a CV, a letter of motivation, a list of publications and references but also a research statement. They are targeted to the job advertisement and the mission of the research group and its hosting research organisation:First, we will understand the function of the different parts of an application to a research position such as letter of motivation, CV, research statement and references. Participants are asked to bring a job application, so that they can receive a targeted feedback during the second day of the workshop.We will then define the different core elements of a research agenda, their objectives in the context of the job application and the key elements they should cover.Participants will then write their own research statement. Based on these examples we will look into approaches for a targeted motivation of the research agenda, the targeted communication of the background and current research as well as a convincing set-up of the research agenda.Depending on time and interests of the participants, we will use the Researcher Development Framework by Vitae UK to investigate into skills and competencies. Based on these a strategy will be developed to convincingly justify the principal investigator’s expertise. Writing of Grant Proposals and Research Statements – 2 Workshops in a Row The first workshop will be “Grant Proposal Writing – How to design and communicate your project convincingly”, the second workshop will be “Writing of Research Statements”. For PhD students and postdocs participating in both workshops, the research statement will be introduced as the little brother of the grant proposal. They will be able to use their results from the first two workshop days and integrate them into a research statement in a writing workshop. Participants taking part in the second workshop only, will be briefly introduced into the major elements of the research agenda, so that they will be able to formulate their research vision. The development of a research plan, which might also be part of an application, will be covered in the Grant Proposal Writing workshop only. It is not part of the Writing of Research Statements Workshop. Focus of the Writing of Research Statements Workshop The explicit focus of this workshop is to provide an overview on the different parts of a job application in research and how they can be used to efficiently communicate the expertise of the researcher. It will focus on the formulation of a research statement including the formulation of a research agenda. Please observe: Participants who would like to learn how to develop a research idea into a complete work plan are asked to take part in the Grant Proposal Writing Workshop. Workshop Contents This workshop provides an overview on the different parts of a job application in research and how they can be used to efficiently communicate the expertise of the researcher. It will focus on the formulation of a research statement including the formulation of a research agenda. Please observe: Participants who would like to learn how to develop a research idea into a complete work plan are asked to take part in the Grant Proposal Writing Workshop.

  1. Applying for a position in research: • Elements of a complete application • Function of a letter of motivation, CV, research statement, references, list of publications • Intercultural pit-falls
  2. Structure of Research Statements • Different recipes to structure a research statement
  3. Toolbox Formulation • The funnel of motivation for introducing the research agenda • The core elements of the research agenda as the meta-level • Line of argument following the meta-level • Identification of relevant information
  4. Writing Workshop • Participants formulate a research statement
  5. Optional: Skills and Competencies for the Background • Stock-taking and providing evidence of skills and competencies with the Researcher Development Framework by Vitae UK
  6. Discussion and Feedback • Discussion of research statements, CV and letters of motivation

Training Method The trainer will provide expert input with respect to the different topics. However, the focus lies on the actual work of the students on their research statement. Examples will be discussed in the group so that participants will receive feedback from the trainer and their peers. Preparation of the Training Participants are asked to hand in a job offer, a CV, and a letter of motivation two weeks before the training. Documentation Each participant will receive a detailed training manual in English covering all topics of the training. Furthermore, the trainer will document the workshop in a photo protocol which will be sent to the participants within two weeks after the workshop. Target Group & Language This training is dedicated to PhD students and postdocs. The course language will be English or German. Duration and Group Size This is a 2-day training for a group of max. 12 participants. Results to take home At the end of the workshop, the participants will have the following results: • A draft research statement; • A list of skills on competencies as based on the Researcher Development Framework. Antique Cellos For Sale.

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