Scientist Cover Letter Example and Template for 2023

Updated August 22, 2023

A scientist is a professional who performs research and tests to advance the public understanding of a specific topic. Scientists work in a variety of fields like academia, technology, health care and politics. If you enjoy working with quantifiable data, seeking answers to complex questions and testing hypotheses, you may enjoy a career as a scientist. Reviewing a job description and then developing a resume detailing your background and a cover letter discussing your skills could help you communicate your value to employers seeking scientists.

In this article, we explain how to write a scientist cover letter in six steps, share some tips that may help you write a winning letter and offer a sample letter you can peruse. When you've finished writing your cover letter and resume, you can start applying for scientist jobs. To prepare your applications for submission, upload a resume file or build an Indeed Resume.

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Dionne James
Evanston, Illinois

May 1, 2023

Dear hiring manager,

I'm a labratory scientist with an Master of Science in chemistry and four years of lab experience. I'm writing you to discuss my candidacy for the open Scientist position at Grasch-Plyman Labs. I bring a passion for toxicology, a methodical approach to data analysis and a collaborative spirit that I'm confident is a match for your needs.

I've spent the past two years working as a research scientist in the Grange University chemistry lab while earning my master's degree. In this position, I collaborated with a team of six other scientists to determine the public health impact of pesticide run-off in local water supply. I analyzed blood samples, dissected fish, identified toxins and prepared detailed reports of my findings. My in-depth research culminated in a presentation on biomarkers in native fish species.

I'm interested in this position because of the Grasch-Plyman Labs' contributions to public health initiatives. My aim in my research is to minimize risk and empower citizens with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from environmental hazards. I also appreciate the collaborative nature of your work. In my time at Grange University, I acted as a liaison between my team and the community groups we partnered with, and I find strategic partnerships can lead to more impactful discoveries.

I'm confident that my expertise in toxicology and communicative approach to scientific research enable me to help Grasch-Plyman Labs thrive as a leader in environmental science. If you have any questions about my qualifications, please contact me by phone or email. I appreciate you taking the time to consider my application.


Dionne James

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To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

How to write a scientist cover letter

Here's a step-by-step guide you can follow to craft you letter:

1. Learn more about the job

When applying for jobs, it's typically helpful to write a unique cover letter for each company to which you're applying. Researching their history and studying the job description could help you identify specific details that could help you stand out from other candidates. For example, if the company website explains they prioritize health and safety in their labs, you could discuss your experience working with hazardous materials and maintaining risk-averse safety measures.

Related: What Is a Scientist? Definition and Types

2. Begin with basic details

To start, write your name and your contact information in the upper left corner of your letter. Most cover letters include at least an email address, and a phone number might be helpful, too, to ensure employers can reach you if they want to schedule an interview. Beneath your contact information, you can add the date.

Related: How to Write Contact Information That Gets Your Resume Noticed

3. Write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph

An effective opening paragraph efficiently demonstrates the value you can provide to the organization. Start your letter by clearly stating your credentials with specificity and confidence. Many employers prefer to hire scientists who have impressive educational credentials and ample research experience, so stating these qualifications may be beneficial. Aim to connect your unique abilities to their needs to motivate the hiring manager to continue reading your letter.

Read more: 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

3. Detail your qualifications in the second paragraph

In the first body paragraph, aim to discuss your capabilities and experiences in detail. You can explain your educational and work history, customizing the content to align with the requests in the job description. For example, if interpreting medical specimens for abnormalities is a core responsibility mentioned in the job description, you might share that you worked in a clinical lab during your undergraduate studies.

Related: 5 Categories of Scientist Titles To Pursue (With Tips)

4. Write one or two more body paragraphs

Cover letters for scientist jobs usually have two or three body paragraphs in total. After you've adequately summarized your primary qualifications, aim to focus on the company. Explain what attracted you to the job and why you might fit into their culture. Consider mentioning a project they worked on that you admire, backing up your interest with specific experiences in your career history.

5. Craft a memorable closing paragraph

You can finish your cover letter by reiterating your interest in the job and the traits that make you a viable candidate. Include a call to action that defines your expectations for the process. For example, you could share that you're available for an interview this month or that you're happy to answer any questions the hiring manager may have.

Related: 51 Effective Call-To-Action Examples (And Why They Work)

6. Include a professional sign-off

End your letter with a professional closing of your choice. Cover letters are formal business communication, so opt for a closing like Respectfully or With gratitude. Type your name beneath. If you plan to mail a hard copy of the letter, you can add a signature.

Related: How To End a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Tips for writing a scientist cover letter

Below are some tips that may guide you in your process:

Use the STAR method

Scientists work with measurable data, so it might be helpful to quantify your claims with specific facts and figures. You could do this by using the STAR method when discussing your work at past jobs. STAR is an acronym meaning situation, task, action and result. Writing about your experience in this way could show employers that you assess situations scientifically before taking action and evaluate the outcome objectively.

Related: How To Create a STAR Method Resume (With Examples)

Include vital keywords

It may strengthen your cover letter if you mention important terms that are central to the job description. Scientists work across many industries, and each type of scientist job may require unique expertise. For example, if you're applying to work as a pharmaceutical scientist, mentioning topics like pharmacodynamics or inorganic chemistry in your cover letter may help you stand out to hiring managers.

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Job Keywords

Proofread effectively

It's vital that you turn in a cover letter that's free of errors and visually clean. Proofread your letter carefully, and consider asking a peer to read it, too. Some science jobs have medical writing or scientific writing component, so demonstrating a strong command of language, grammar and punctuation could help you.

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