Professional Undergraduate Research Assistant Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your undergraduate research assistant cover letter should highlight your enthusiasm for the field you're applying to. Make sure you express a genuine interest in the specific research area. Demonstrate your capability to work independently and collaborate effectively with a team. Provide concrete examples of your problem-solving skills and your ability to learn quickly.

Embarking on the job search journey, you're likely to find that a standout undergraduate research assistant cover letter can be your golden ticket. While your resume lists your accomplishments, your cover letter is where you dazzle with your proudest professional moment, weaving it into a compelling narrative. Strike the balance between formal tone and authentic voice, steering clear of worn-out phrases. And remember, brevity is key – keep your story impactful and confined to just one page. Let's get crafting!

In the next few paragraphs, our undergraduate research assistant cover letter writing guide will show you how to:

  • Personalize your undergraduate research assistant cover letter and get inspired by other professionals to tell a compelling story;
  • Format and design your undergraduate research assistant cover letter to make an excellent first impression;
  • Introduce your best achievement in your undergraduate research assistant cover letter to recruiters;
  • How to make sure recruiters get in touch with you, using your undergraduate research assistant cover letter greeting and closing paragraphs.

What is more, did you know that Enhancv's AI can write your cover letter for you? Just upload your undergraduate research assistant resume and get ready to forward your job application in a flash.

Undergraduate Research Assistant cover letter example

Vanessa Ford

City, State


Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my interest in the exciting opportunity within your organization, which seems to align perfectly with my professional experience and academic background. The role's emphasis on molecular biology and data analysis particularly resonates with my career objectives and the progressive approaches of your esteemed company.

During my tenure as a Lab Technician at Roche, my direct involvement in three major research projects was marked by a notable 20% increase in lab efficiency due to enhancements I made to the equipment maintenance process. These improvements also led to a 15% reduction in downtime, exemplifying my capability to enhance operational productivity while maintaining rigorous standards. My leadership as a team lead for a key data analysis project at Novartis honed my research skills and culminated in a contribution to a study published in a respected scientific journal.

I am eager to bring my strong background in laboratory work, my proven problem-solving skills, and my dedication to seamless and efficient research operations to your team. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to further discuss how I can contribute to your organization's success. Please consider this letter as my formal application and a request for an interview at your earliest convenience.


Vanessa Ford

Undergraduate Research Assistant
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Highlighting directly relevant professional experience strengthens the application, as exemplified by referencing the role at Roche and showcasing a measurable impact (20% increase in lab efficiency and 15% reduction in equipment downtime).
  • Presenting a specific achievement, such as leading a team in data analysis and contributing to a published study while at Novartis, demonstrates the candidate's leadership skills and successful research involvement.
  • Expressing eagerness and readiness to contribute to the new role, while also aligning personal career goals with the company’s objectives, indicates a well-thought-out application tailored to the prospective job and employer.
  • Requesting an interview proactively in the conclusion, coupled with a formal application submission, shows initiative and a strong desire to engage with the hiring process.

Designing your undergraduate research assistant cover letter: what is the best format

Let's start with the basics, your undergraduate research assistant cover letter should include your:

  • Header
  • Greeting
  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph
  • Closing statement
  • Signature (that's not a must)

Next, we'll move to the spacing of your undergraduate research assistant cover letter, and yes, it should be single-spaced (automatically formatted for you in our cover letter templates).

Don't go for a old-school font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman), but instead, pick an ATS-favorite like Chivo, Volkhov, or Raleway, to stand out.

Our cover letter builder is also set up for you with the standard one-inch margin, all around the text.

Finally, ensure your undergraduate research assistant resume and cover letter are in the same font and are submitted in PDF (to keep the formatting in place).

P.S. The Applicant Tracker System (or ATS) won't be assessing your [job] cover letter, it's solely for the recruiters' eyes.

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The top sections on a undergraduate research assistant cover letter

  • Header: This includes your contact information and the date, making it easy for the recruiter to reach out to you and providing a professional look to your cover letter.
  • Greeting: Address the principal investigator or hiring manager by name if possible, showing that you've done your research and are personally engaged with this opportunity.
  • Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself, your current academic status, and state your interest in the research assistant position, establishing the relevance of your application to the role.
  • Body: Detail your relevant coursework, any previous research experiences, and key skills, demonstrating how your academic background and abilities align with the requirements of the research assistant role.
  • Closing: Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the research project, and include a proactive statement about following up, showing your commitment and initiative.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Laboratory techniques and research methods: Recruiters look for knowledge of specific laboratory techniques, equipment, and research methodologies pertinent to their field of study, as undergraduate research assistants must be able to contribute effectively to the research process.
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills: To interpret data and assist in problem-solving within the research context, it's vital that candidates demonstrate the ability to analyze information and think critically.
  • Attention to detail: Accuracy is essential in research to ensure data integrity, so recruiters prioritize candidates who can meticulously follow protocols and document their work precisely.
  • Time management and organization: With research projects often running on tight schedules, candidates must be able to manage their time efficiently and coordinate tasks effectively.
  • Initiative and self-motivation: Since undergraduate research assistants often work with minimal supervision, a proactive approach and the ability to work independently are highly valued by recruiters.
  • Relevant coursework and academic performance: A strong academic record in relevant subjects suggests a solid foundation of knowledge and a commitment to the field, which is important for contributing meaningfully to the research team's objectives.

Kick off your undergraduate research assistant cover letter: the salutation or greeting

When writing your undergraduate research assistant cover letter, remember that you're not writing for some complex AI or robot, but for actual human beings.

And recruiters, while on the lookout to understand your experience, would enjoy seeing a cover letter that is tailored to the role and addresses them. Personally.

So, if you haven't done so, invest some time in finding out who's the hiring manager for the role you're applying to. A good place to start would be LinkedIn and the corporate website.

Alternatively, you could also get in touch with the company to find out more information about the role and the name of the recruiter.

If you haven't met the hiring manager, yet, your undergraduate research assistant cover letter salutation should be on a last-name basis (e.g. "Dear Mr. Donaldson" or "Dear Ms. Estephan").

A good old, "Dear HR Professional" (or something along those lines) could work as your last resort if you're struggling to find out the recruiter's name.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],
  • Dear Professor [Last Name],
  • Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],
  • Dear Hiring Committee,
  • Dear Search Committee,
  • Dear [Department] Selection Committee,

Your undergraduate research assistant cover letter intro: showing your interest in the role

On to the actual content of your undergraduate research assistant cover letter and the introductory paragraph.

The intro should be no more than two sentences long and presents you in the best light possible.

Use your undergraduate research assistant cover letter introduction to prove exactly what interests you in the role or organization. Is it the:

  • Company culture;
  • Growth opportunities;
  • Projects and awards the team worked on/won in the past year;
  • Specific technologies the department uses.

When writing your undergraduate research assistant cover letter intro, be precise and sound enthusiastic about the role.

Your introduction should hint to recruiters that you're excited about the opportunity and that you possess an array of soft skills, e.g. motivation, determination, work ethic, etc.

Intro Paragraph
Delving into the cutting-edge research at XYZ Lab, which aligns perfectly with my academic pursuits in bioinformatics, I am keenly aware of the opportunity to contribute to the pioneering work on genetic data analysis that is revolutionizing our approach to personalized medicine.

The middle or body of your undergraduate research assistant cover letter body: a great instrument to tell a story

Now that you've set the right tone with the greeting and introduction of your undergraduate research assistant cover letter, it's time to get down to business.

Hear us out, the body of your undergraduate research assistant cover letter is the best storytelling instrument you have, in your job-hunting arsenal.

Writing the next three to six paragraphs, take the time to reassess the advert to discover job-crucial requirements.

Next, choose one accomplishment that covers those key skills and talents.

Use precisely that achievement to tell an exciting story of how you match the ideal candidate profile.

In the undertones of your story or undergraduate research assistant cover letter body, hint at the difference you'd make and sell your application as the perfect one for the job.

Body Paragraph
In my sophomore year, tasked with improving our biology department’s specimen catalog, I developed a relational database that increased retrieval efficiency by 30%. By applying analytical skills and attention to detail, I ensured accurate and accessible data for ongoing research, demonstrating my technical aptitude and commitment to enhancing academic resources.

Ending your undergraduate research assistant cover letter to avoid "Sincerely yours"

Yes, this sort of closing statement may work best before your signature.

But you want to give recruiters something more with your undergraduate research assistant cover letter ending.

Some professionals choose to go down the path of promises. In a single sentence, they map out what they'd bring about to the role (whether that's a particular technical skill set or personal traits).

Others, decide to be more concrete by thanking recruiters for their time and prompting for their next interview.

Whatever path you choose, remember to always be polite and respectful of the opportunity you've had. Good manners go a long way.

Closing Paragraph
I am eager to bring my enthusiasm to your team and discuss how I can contribute to your research goals. Please feel free to schedule an interview at your convenience.

What could you write about in your undergraduate research assistant cover letter when you have no experience

Candidates with zero professional experience often struggle to write their undergraduate research assistant cover letter.

You may lack experience, but your application could still be impressive when you focus on your strengths.

Consider your most relevant talents (and/or one achievement) that align with the role and help you stand out.

Perhaps you spent every summer volunteering at your local dog pound - think of the job-relevant skills this experience taught you.

Sharing your tangible career goals is another good strategy to stand out.

Key takeaways

Creating your undergraduate research assistant cover letter should be a personalized experience for the role and the recruiter, where you:

  • Format your cover letter using the same ATS-friendly font (e.g. Railway) as you did for your resume;
  • Greet recruiters, using their name, and follow up with two sentences to introduce yourself, your interest in the role, and to stand out;
  • Map out one key success from your career (or life) that has taught you job-crucial skills;
  • Substitute your lack of experience with an achievement from your internships, degrees, or volunteering gigs;
  • End with a promise for your potential or your availability for an interview.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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