Best Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample (+ Free Template Download)

A research assistant, or RA, for short, is a professional researcher contracted by a university or research institute to assist with academic research or private research. These professionals are often contracted by the university rather than employed full-time. The research assistant oversees each step in a research project or research study. This includes identifying scientifically-based research, performing a research study after the primary research has been conducted, and supporting the results through the investigation of other studies.

When writing a research assistant cover letter, it’s important to include any clinical research, research projects, and research studies that the applicant has been involved in. It can be helpful to reference a relevant field of study for the hiring manager to know the applicant is experienced.

According to the University of California San Diego, a research assistant should have "the courses and skills necessary to understand and contribute to his/her mentor's project, be dependable and arrive on time for schedule appoints, and be enthusiastic or eager to learn." These can be helpful characteristics and competencies to reference in a research assistant cover letter.

Writing a Research Assistant Cover Letter

When writing a research assistant cover letter, it's important to write the letter in active voice style writing. According to active voice style writing is defined as having “a strong, direct, and clear tone.”

A research assistant resume may be in a curriculum vitae format or functional resume format that may allude to skills, education, and academic accomplishments. As a job seeker, try to avoid writing a cover letter that repeats the language or references used in the attached resume on the job application.

Avoid trying to create the "perfect cover letter". This doesn't exist. A "good cover letter" or effective cover letter is what the job seeker should be aiming for. This is a cover letter that is authored around the job advertisement or job description and speaks to the requirements, competencies, and characteristics of the ideal candidate for the potential employer.

Research Assistant Cover Letter Example

Below is a cover letter sample for a research assistant.

Ian Smith
[email protected]
Research Assistant

May 1st, 2013

Dear Hiring Manager —

I’m eager to learn more about the research assistant position on both a full-time and contract basis. I’ve worked closely with universities for a number of years on a variety of research projects and research studies. Whether it’s as a faculty position and research assistant for students, helping an undergraduate student or graduate student create a research experiment for a research grant. Or working closely with a clinical research assistant, principal investigator, and psychology research assistant to develop psychology experiments and research studies.

I have extensive research experience as a research assistant assisting with a wide range of research work. From developing cognitive tests for scientific research or molecular biology work through laboratory work and testing. I’m comfortable in a research position of any kind. I noticed through the job description that adaptability was important as well as communication skills, interpersonal skills, research skills, and other lab skills. I have a master’s degree in a scientific field relative to the relevant qualifications required for the role and sufficient work experience to show a wide range of disciplines.

I’ve included a portfolio of research work along with my application to show the wide range of research work I’ve accomplished for each research program I worked alongside. As well as my resume which includes two prior work experience examples of being a research assistant in the science department and psychology department.

If there’s another qualification you’d like to see or reference from a previous employer, please let me know. I look forward to reviewing my resume and job application with you this week at your earliest convenience.

Jeffrey Smith
Research Assistant Cover Letter

Using a Research Assistant Cover Letter Template

Follow the instructions below to use the research assistant cover letter template.

Follow a standard cover letter format

When writing a cover letter, follow a professional cover letter format. Use the following guidelines.

Contact Information
Phone Number
Email Address
LinkedIn Profile
(Optional) Professional Website

Dear Mr./Mrs. First Last Name

Opening Paragraph
The first paragraph should greet the reader and suggest an understanding of the job requirements. This paragraph should be no more than 150 words.

Second Paragraph
The body paragraph should contain relative work examples and career accomplishments that entice the hiring manager to read the resume.

Closing Paragraph
Thank the reader for their time. Suggest a desire to interview with the company as soon as possible.

Letter Closing
Sincerely/Yours truly

Typed Name or handwritten signature
research assistant free cover letter template and download

Research Assistant Cover Letter Template

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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