Sample Application Letter for Ph.D Position | Samples and Templates

Want to see some sample application letters for PhD position? Here are some professionally designed samples and letters.

It makes no difference whether you’re attempting to keep your student discounts well into your 30s or answering questions that no one in human history has ever answered. All of this is possible with a well-crafted Ph.D… application.

The positions are extremely limited, and there are dozens of equally qualified candidates. This Ph.D application letter guide will focus on some critical steps to consider when writing the letter.

The first thing you should do is check the requirements of the institution you’re applying to, first to ensure that a cover letter is required, and then to see what sections they’d like you to cover.

They differ from one school to the next and from one course to the next. The sample application letter for PhD position is your best bet to being accepted.

This article is a full guide on how to write application letters for PhD… positions. It also contains sample application letters for PhD positions and templates to best guide you through the writing.

What Is a PhD Application Letter?

Your application letter is your first chance to tell the committee why you should be chosen to study for a postgraduate doctorate. It not only shows your personality, but it can also explain why the hiring panel should choose you as a Ph.D. student in your own words.

Your Ph.D. application letter, like most others, should supplement, rather than duplicate, your CV. It should explain and expand on the information in your CV or application form. You should tailor the content to your chosen Ph.D. topic, allowing you to focus your specific expertise and academic achievements on your learning abilities.

It should be noted that when applying to study for a Ph.D., you may be required to submit a personal statement as well as a cover letter. Each university will have its own set of requirements, but keep in mind that a cover letter is not the same as a personal statement.

Your personal statement will highlight your interests and goals, whereas your Ph.D. cover letter will highlight your tangible accomplishments, such as academic and professional experience.

If you are required to draft both statements, try to keep this in mind as you write. Having a sample application letter for PhD position is  also another way to ensure you write something appealing

While you’re here, you may want to check out What is a Career Objective? With Free Samples

What Key Points Should I Include Within My PhD Application Letter?

There are no rules regarding what we should include in your PhD cover letter, but in general, your submission should include references to the following:

  • Who you are – your personality and what distinguishes you from other potential PhD candidates. Your cover letter should be a sales tool that will entice any committee to select you to join their team.
  • Your abilities and accomplishments (along with any evidence to substantiate your claims).
  • Also, your investigation into a specific academic institution (why you want to attend that specific school and what makes it a good fit for you).
  • Your understanding of your research project and your expectations for its impact on your industry (this will show not just your knowledge of the research but will showcase your passion and motivation for the project).
  • How your specific skills are applicable to the job. Have you gained any relevant work experience in that field? Have the accomplishments of previous alumni has inspired you?

Writing a great cover letter is a skill, just like any other part of the application process. It requires you to balance explaining who you are and why you should be chosen in detail while remaining concise.

While remaining professional, it should reflect your personality. It is a difficult writing skill that should not be rushed.

Take your time crafting your application letter; the more time you spend on it, the better your chances of success. Use the ‘top-down’ approach as a practical tip.

This is a writing technique commonly used by marketers and public relations professionals in which you start with the strongest arguments/details and work your way down.

You can use a sample application letter for PhD position to ensure you do not make any mistakes and that you are on the right path.  Continue to read to learn more about the sample application letter for PhD position and templates.

Read also: Top 15 Employee Application Templates | 2023

What is the Purpose of a PH.D. Application Letter?

If you’re a Ph.D. candidate, an academic application letter allows you to explain to the reader, who is likely a professor or director in charge of reviewing candidates, what you can offer the program and why they should choose you for a spot.

You can use your cover letter to fill in any gaps in your curriculum vitae (CV), tailor your application to a specific program, and show your communication skills and passion.

This is your chance to impress the Ph.D. program director with your personality and the assets you’ll bring to their institution.

Read also: How to Write a Follow Up Email for a Job Application in 2023

How to Write a Ph.D. Application Letter?

Follow these steps to write your Ph.D. application letter:

1. Examine the program and organization details.

Examine the information you have about the program you’re applying for before writing your application letter. Use a different application letter for each organization because they may look for unique qualities in candidates.

Analyze your qualities, as well as the qualities of an ideal candidate, and tailor your application letter to the areas where the two overlap.

2. Create a formal application letter.

A STEM-focused application letter should be one page long, whereas a humanities-focused application letter can be two pages long. Always check with the organization and adhere to any formatting guidelines they may have for application material.

Use a professional font and font size, pay attention to clean formatting, and avoid adding extra elements such as designs or borders.

3. Provide your most recent contact information.

It is especially important to include up-to-date and correct contact information when applying to multiple organizations at once. If an organization requires additional information or wishes to schedule an interview, you must ensure that they can reach you.

Including up-to-date and accurate information shows professionalism and dependability.

4. Create an introduction

Write the introduction after you’ve finished the body of the cover letter. The introduction should state clearly what you’re applying for. You can also use this space to briefly mention a future ambition or goal.

5. In the first body paragraph, emphasize your key strengths and experiences.

Write the first paragraph of your cover letter, emphasizing your education, key strengths, and experiences. This paragraph should describe who you are academically and what you hope to achieve during your time in the program. Explain your specific interests within the field, what piqued your interest, and any research you’ve done on those specific interests.

6. In the second body paragraph, describe your distinguishing characteristics.

Focus on your passion, drive, and the unique qualities that set you apart from other candidates in the second body paragraph of your cover letter. You want to show not only how the program can assist you, but also how you can elevate the program if accepted. Consider the overlaps between your qualifications and what the program seeks in an ideal candidate.

7. Bring your application letter to a close.

Finish your application letter by thanking the reader for their time and expressing your appreciation for the opportunity. The conclusion should complement the rest of your application letter by demonstrating your enthusiasm for your field and commitment to the organization.

Your conclusion should also entice the reader to contact you for more information, a discussion, or to schedule an interview.

8. Include a formal closing and signature.

Your closing and signature are the last elements of your academic cover letter. In most cases, you may not need to physically sign the document; a printed name will suffice.

Avoid using intimate closing statements and instead, use more professional phrases. These are some examples of professional closing statements.

  • Respectfully
  • Regards
  • With sincere thanks
  • All the best
  • Sincerely
  • With appreciation
  • Yours respectfully

The sample application letter for Ph.D, position written below would serve as a great guide to ensure you get all of these rights. 

Also, you may want to check out How To List References On A Resume + Free Samples

Tips For Writing An Effective Ph.D. Application Letter

You can use the following guidelines to write your Ph.D. application letter:

  • Begin early in the process. Preparing an application for graduate school causes meticulous planning. Allow enough time to write, edit, and proofread your cover letter.
  • Take a break in between writing and editing. When you’ve finished writing your application letter, save it and wait a few days before editing to ensure you notice ways to improve or correct your work.
  • Make the most of your resources. If you’re still in college, you might use writing or career centres to help you craft an effective cover letter. Speak with your favourite professors or faculty members, ask them questions, and take their advice.
  • Thoroughly proofread your Ph.D. application letter. You want to present yourself professionally in your application letter because it is one of your first points of contact with a potential school. Use proofreading software, read your cover letter aloud, and ask friends and colleagues to read it for you to create a polished application letter.
  • Make your points clear. You must provide evidence for every claim you make about yourself. Explain your accomplishments and passions in as much detail as possible.
  • Concentrate on your true self. Demonstrate why you are the best candidate for your chosen school by highlighting how your uniqueness will benefit the program. Concentrate on articulating your relevant achievements.

Read also: Top 15 Employee Application Templates | 2023

Samples and Templates for a PH.D. Application Letter

Sample Application Letter for PhD Position

Arnold Westwood

97 Castledore Road


RG10 9XT


[email protected]

John Smith

Dean of Philosophy

Nottingham Trent University

50 Shakespeare Street



June 1, 2021

RE: Ph.D. Philosophy and Public Policy Programme

As a UCL MA Philosophy Distinction graduate with a narrow focus on the Right to Privacy and how surveillance, crime prevention, and other governmental acts violate it, I am excited to apply for a Ph.D. Philosophy and Public Policy programme at an institution so dedicated to evaluating global surveillance policy and influencing real, positive change.

I finished my MA thesis on the philosophical and moral foundations of modern human rights, with a focus on the right to privacy in the digital world, to determine whether national internet privacy laws, such as the Investigatory Powers Act, violate the Declaration of Human Rights and other conventions. Also, I am especially interested in the Evidence and Policy section of the course because I am a firm believer that certain regulations not only violate our human rights, but also do not produce the desired outcome. I am aware of the need to broaden my skill set and approach in order to advocate for and advise non-governmental and governmental bodies on necessary concessions and compromises.

 When it comes to global technology issues, it appears that the law and public policy are always playing catch-up. An approach based on classic philosophical themes, on the other hand, appears to suggest that these measures are misguided and harmful to all. During my Ph.D. studies, I hope to move away from the past and theory and instead investigate the possible practical consequences of a world without privacy, which appears to be on the horizon, drawing on the body of knowledge in behavioural sciences.

My previous publications ranged from the origins of the discussed rights to their application to modern situations, as well as an examination of the moral and rational shortcomings and violations. By delving into the exploration of potential behavioural consequences, which will undoubtedly have profound implications for humanity’s future, I believe this publication will become a comprehensive treatise on the subject.

 I hope that in the future, there will be a government willing to listen to these concerns, but in the meantime, there are a number of non-governmental organizations working to make a difference, as well as some legal challenges that could benefit from the assistance of an extensive authority on the subject. We will be able to better influence the imaginations of future decision-makers as well as all citizens if you allow me to study the potential future consequences of this line of public policy.

I invite you to look through the publications listed in my CV to see the solid foundation, committed continuity, and passion I have devoted to the subject thus far. I would be delighted to discuss any finer or more general points with you.

Best Regards,

Arnold Westwood

Sample Application Letter for Ph.D Position- 2

Recipient Name
Recipient Job Title
Recipient Address


Dear [name]

Cover letter for application to join the Ph.D. program at [school].

I’m writing to express my interest in continuing my academic studies at [University] through the Ph.D. program in [subject].

I am eager to join your [department doctoral ]’s program because I believe its rich history of academic research is a perfect match for my academic aptitude and extensive career history. I’ve been interested in [subject] for a long time, and I recently met with [name], who is one of your alumni. They inspired me to take the risk and submit this application because I’ve long wanted to expand on the knowledge I’ve gained through my professional experience at [company name].

I studied [subject] at [university], and I’ve developed a strong interest in the niche field of [topic] throughout my academic history and work experience. My BA thesis was on [subject], and I’ve been able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice through my work at [company name] since finishing my undergraduate studies.

As evidenced by my enclosed CV, I’ve been able to hone my skills in key specializations, which has led me to develop an interest in [project]. Because of the ever-changing nature of the profession, I believe there is scope for further research into [subject], and I’m eager to combine my practical and theoretical knowledge with my research.

I believe this is valuable not only to myself and my peers but also to my profession as a whole, because it may help others understand the significance of [subject].

I hope to continue my academic career by completing my doctorate, which has long been a goal of mine. I can’t think of a better place to learn than [university]. I’ve always been inspired by this academic institution’s accomplishments, and I’d like to collaborate with your teaching staff to research my hypothesis, which is [details]. I’d especially like to work with Professor [name], who was highly regarded by our mutual acquaintance [alumni name].

Also, I am confident that with my theoretical knowledge and professional expertise, I will be able to complete my chosen research project to a high standard. I am a dedicated hard worker who has long been respected in my industry due to my involvement with [professional bodies]. I have also been recognized for my work, along with my peers, through the accomplishments of many industry awards, including [details].

Following the completion of my doctorate, I intend to use my knowledge to help educate fellow professionals, thereby increasing awareness and understanding of our industry.

I hope that this letter has provided you with some insight into my commitment to my education and that you will consider my application.

I’d like to draw your attention back to my CV, which is enclosed with this letter and details my professional and academic background.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours sincerely,


Sample Application Letter for Ph.D Position

Encl. Curriculum Vitae

Gary Zhang
100 Baker Avenue Clairesville, WY
[email protected]

Dear Dr. Morales,

I am writing to express my interest in the doctoral program at Agosto University’s Department of Biochemical Engineering. I intend to use my current and future research to create prototypes for novel neurogenic mechanisms that could aid in the treatment of a variety of degenerative neurological conditions.

Also, I became interested in neurological conditions with a focus on degenerative factors while studying biochemistry and chemical engineering at New Pine University. As a research assistant at Smithson Labs, I assisted in the development of alternative testing methods, which resulted in 40% more accurate results during the clinical study. At Coleridge University, I earned a Master’s degree in Biochemical Engineering and published two articles about memory retention in neurologically compromised patients. I believe that pursuing a Ph.D. at Agosto University will allow me to expand my knowledge of biochemical principles and improve my current research.

Agosto’s advanced research facilities would provide me with the technology and equipment I needed to advance my research and start building prototypes. I admire Agosto faculty members like Jeremy Johnson and Maureen Hinh for their research on neurotransmitter protein reconstruction and neurological pathway reconstruction. I believe that under their supervision, my research will one day be of equal importance and will have a positive impact on the lives of many people.

Furthermore, I appreciate Agosto University’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on campus, and I believe I will thrive in the educational environment.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information or wish to schedule an interview. I’m excited to start the program and become an Agosto University Pronghorn.


Gary Zhang

4. Sample Application Letter for Ph.D Position

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to apply for the Ph.D. program in the Department of psychology at Wien University.

I am especially interested in the doctoral program in psychology because the research portfolio of this department perfectly matches my academic background. During my undergraduate studies in psychology, I became particularly interested in the neural structures that reinforce memory. Because I had such a strong interest in this area, my Bachelor thesis was on the topic of semantic versus episodic memory activations in the prefrontal cortex. After graduation, I enrolled in a Master’s program in psychology, where I expanded my knowledge and began to apply novel experimental approaches to the study of memory.

As a result, I’d like to continue my academic career with a Ph.D. in psychology, and I can’t think of a better place to do so than the psychology department at Wien University. With expertise in both memory processing and research methodologies such as fMRI, the department would be an ideal location for my project on neural correlates of episodic memory. As I saw on the department’s website, there are several world-class experts working there, so I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with a world-leading expert in the use of fMRI techniques in the investigation of episodic memory.

I am convinced that this research has the potential to advance scientific understanding of memory processes, but it may also have broader societal and healthcare implications. Understanding the neural basis for memory processing will allow the development of better pharmaceutical and therapeutic methods for the management of these disorders as the world population ages and the number of people suffering from memory problems such as dementia grows.

I am enclosing a research proposal in the body of this letter. With my strong motivation and academic background, I am confident that I will be able to complete the research project. As you can see from my resume, I already have experience with fMRI and have used experimental techniques to evaluate patients.

I would like to emphasize that I have experience conducting academic research, which I gained while preparing my master’s thesis. Also, I created the experimental methodology, recruited participants, assisted with data analysis, and contributed theoretical knowledge to the report. I believe that these abilities and experiences will enable me to successfully complete this Ph.D. project.

After completing this Ph.D. program, I intend to pursue a post-doctoral position in academic psychology, most likely in the field of episodic memory processing. I am motivated by a lifelong interest in human psychology to further my education and conduct my own research that will contribute to the field’s knowledge.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I eagerly await your invitation to an interview in order to participate in the next stages of the selection process.


5. Sample Application Letter for Ph.D Position

Herrera Learner


[email protected]

Avenue Francis de pressense, Venissieux, France, 99999

Candidacy for Ph.D. position

Dear Concern,

After a year of working directly in a scientific research setting as a Master 2 student, I am looking to leverage my experience in the field of professional scientific research.

Ideally, the Ph.D. position will allow me to apply my experience as an M2 intern on a professional level. Please consider my resume, which is attached to the application, if you are looking for a passionate, dedicated, and hardworking profile with strong communication skills and experience working with pathogens.

In 2017, I completed a Master’s M2 in “Therapeutic Innovations in Cancer” at Universite Claude Bernard Lyon1. During my master’s degree, I had the opportunity to work on HCV-induced hepatocellular carcinoma at the Cancer Research Centre Lyon (CRCL). This internship instilled in me a plethora of practical abilities. As a result, I am reasonably competent in the following abilities.

Working protocols in P2 and P3 laboratories

  • Cell Culturing
  • Western Blotting RT-PCR
  • Plasmid construction
  • Flow Cytometry
  • CRISPR/Cas9 Technique
  • Scientific writing

Prior to applying for a Master’s M2, I completed my graduate degree, Doctor of Pharmacy, in 2013 from one of Pakistan’s top national universities. Since then, each succeeding year has proven to be more professionally rewarding than the previous one. Working as a community pharmacist for a few years, followed by a year of teaching chemistry and English to high school students, added significantly to my professional excellence. Throughout all of these professional phases, I have a track record of proven results and profound discoveries. Given the chance, I’m confident in my abilities to achieve similar ground-breaking results as a member of your team.

I have attached my resume for your review and your convenience. I would appreciate the opportunity to participate in a personal interview to answer any questions you may have and to better present my qualifications. If a meeting is required, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail or phone call.

I hope to speak with you soon and become a member of your team.


Herrera Learner


Can I use a generic template for my application letter for a PhD position?

While templates can serve as a helpful guide, it is recommended to customize your application letter to your specific qualifications, research interests, and the requirements of the PhD program or position you are applying for. Avoid using a generic template, as it may not effectively highlight your unique strengths and qualifications.

How long should my application letter for a PhD position be?

Your application letter for a PhD position should be concise and focused, typically no more than one page. It should include relevant information about your qualifications, research interests, and motivation for pursuing a PhD, but avoid including unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.

What should I include in the introduction of my application letter?

In the introduction of your application letter, you should introduce yourself and state the purpose of the letter, which is to apply for the PhD position. You can mention how you learned about the position and express your interest in the program or research group.

How should I highlight my qualifications in my application letter?

You can highlight your qualifications in your application letter by providing a brief overview of your educational background, including your undergraduate and/or master’s degree, relevant coursework, and any research experience. Mention any awards, scholarships, or honours you have received, as well as any skills or expertise that are relevant to the PhD position you are applying for.

How can I demonstrate my motivation for pursuing a PhD in my application letter?

You can demonstrate your motivation for pursuing a PhD in your application letter by explaining why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in the specific field or area of study, and how obtaining a PhD aligns with your long-term career goals. Highlight your enthusiasm and commitment to research and academia, and mention any relevant research projects, publications, or conference presentations that demonstrate your passion for the field.


A Ph.D. application letter’s purpose is to persuade the Ph.D. supervisor that you are the ideal candidate for the Ph.D. project.

PH.D. application letters should supplement your CV and sell you as a person – will your potential supervisor be excited to work with you after reading your application letter?

Use the sample application letter for PhD position above to stand out.


We Also Recommend

Leave a Reply
You May Also Like