good motivation letter for phd

How to Write a PhD Motivation Letter

  • Applying to a PhD

A PhD motivation letter is a document that describes your personal motivation and competence for a particular research project. It is usually submitted together with your academic CV to provide admissions staff with more information about you as an individual, to help them decide whether or not you are the ideal candidate for a research project.

A motivation letter has many similarities to a cover letter and a personal statement, and institutions will not ask you to submit all of these. However, it is a unique document and you should treat it as such. In the context of supporting a PhD application, the difference is nuanced; all three documents outline your suitability for PhD study. However, compared to a cover letter and personal statement, a motivation letter places more emphasis on your motivation for wanting to pursue the particular PhD position you are applying for.

Academic cover letters are more common in UK universities, while motivation letters are more common abroad.

A motivation letter can play a key part in the application process . It allows the admission committee to review a group of PhD applicants with similar academic backgrounds and select the ideal candidate based on their motivations for applying.

For admission staff, academic qualifications alone are not enough to indicate whether a student will be successful in their doctorate. In this sense, a motivational letter will allow them to judge your passion for the field of study, commitment to research and suitability for the programme, all of which better enables them to evaluate your potential.

How Should I Structure My Motivation Letter?

A strong motivation letter for PhD applications will include:

  • A concise introduction stating which programme you are applying for,
  • Your academic background and professional work experience,
  • Any key skills you possess and what makes you the ideal candidate,
  • Your interest and motivation for applying,
  • Concluding remarks and thanks.

This is a simplistic breakdown of what can be a very complicated document.

However, writing to the above structure will ensure you keep your letter of motivation concise and relevant to the position you are applying for. Remember, the aim of your letter is to show your enthusiasm and that you’re committed and well suited for the programme.

To help you write a motivation letter for a PhD application, we have outlined what to include in the start, main body, and closing sections.

How to Start a Motivation Letter

Introduction: Start with a brief introduction in which you clearly state your intention to apply for a particular programme. Think of this as describing what the document is to a stranger.

Education: State what you have studied and where. Your higher education will be your most important educational experience, so focus on this. Highlight any relevant modules you undertook as part of your studies that are relevant to the programme you are applying for. You should also mention how your studies have influenced your decision to pursue a PhD project, especially if it is in the same field you are currently applying to.

Work experience: Next summarise your professional work experience. Remember, you will likely be asked to submit your academic CV along with your motivation letter, so keep this section brief to avoid any unnecessary repetition. Include any other relevant experiences, such as teaching roles, non-academic experience, or charity work which demonstrates skills or shows your suitability for the research project and in becoming a PhD student.

Key skills: Outline your key skills. Remember the admissions committee is considering your suitability for the specific programme you are applying for, so mention skills relevant to the PhD course.

Motivation for applying: Show your enthusiasm and passion for the subject, and describe your long-term aspirations. Start with how you first became interested in the field, and how your interest has grown since. You should also mention anything else you have done which helps demonstrate your interest in your proposed research topic, for example:

  • Have you attended any workshops or seminars?
  • Do you have any research experience?
  • Have you taught yourself any aspects of the subject?
  • Have you read any literature within the research area?

Finally, describe what has convinced you to dedicate the next 3-4 years (assuming you are to study full time) of your life to research.

How to End a Motivation Letter

Concluding the motivation letter is where most people struggle. Typically, people can easily describe their academic background and why they want to study, but convincing the reader they are the best candidate for the PhD programme is often more challenging.

The concluding remarks of your motivation letter should highlight the impacts of your proposed research, in particular: the new contributions it will make to your field, the benefits it will have on society and how it fits in with your aspirations.

With this, conclude with your career goals. For example, do you want to pursue an academic career or become a researcher for a private organisation? Doing so will show you have put a lot of thought into your decision.

Remember, admissions into a PhD degree is very competitive, and supervisors invest a lot of time into mentoring their students. Therefore, supervisors naturally favour those who show the most dedication. Your conclusion should remind the reader that you are not only passionate about the research project, but that the university will benefit from having you.

Finally, thank the reader for considering your application.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

Motivation Letter Format

There are some basic rules to follow when writing a successful motivation letter. These will mimic the standard format for report writing that the supervisor will be familiar with:

  • Use a sans serif font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman),
  • Use a standard font size (e.g. 12pt) and black font colour,
  • Keep your writing professional throughout and avoid the use of informal language,
  • Write in the first person,
  • Address your motivation letter to a named person such as the project supervisor, however, this could also be the person in charge of research admissions,
  • Structure your letter into paragraphs using the guidance above, such as introduction, academic history, motivation for research, and concluding remarks.

How Long Should a Motivation Letter Be?

A good rule of thumb for PhD motivation letters is to keep it to around one side of A4. A little longer than one page is acceptable, but two pages is generally considered too long. This equates to approximately 400-600 words.

Things to Avoid when Writing Your Motivational Letter

Your motivational letter will only be one of the several documents you’ll be asked to submit as part of your PhD application. You will almost certainly be asked to submit an Academic CV as well. Therefore, be careful not to duplicate any of the information.

It is acceptable to repeat the key points, such as what and where you have studied. However, while your CV should outline your academic background, your motivation letter should bring context to it by explaining why you have studied what you have, and where you hope to go with it. The simplest way to do this is to refer to the information in your CV and explain how it has led you to become interested in research.

Don’t try to include everything. A motivation letter should be short, so focus on the information most relevant to the programme and which best illustrates your passion for it. Remember, the academic committee will need to be critical in order to do their jobs effectively , so they will likely interpret an unnecessarily long letter as in indication that you have poor written skills and cannot communicate effectively.

You must be able to back up all of your statements with evidence, so don’t fabricate experiences or overstate your skills. This isn’t only unethical but is likely to be picked up by your proposed PhD supervisor or the admissions committee.

Whilst it is good to show you have an understanding of the field, don’t try to impress the reader with excessive use of technical terms or abbreviations.

PhD Motivation Letter Samples – A Word of Caution

There are many templates and samples of motivation letters for PhDs available online. A word of caution regarding these – although they can prove to be a great source of inspiration, you should refrain from using them as a template for your own motivation letter.

While there are no rules against them, supervisors will likely have seen a similar letter submitted to them in the past. This will not only prevent your application from standing out, but it will also reflect poorly on you by suggesting that you have put minimal effort into your application.

Browse PhDs Now

Join thousands of students.

Join thousands of other students and stay up to date with the latest PhD programmes, funding opportunities and advice.

Tips for Writing a Successful Motivation Letter for Ph.D. [+Sample]

Background Image

How To Write a Motivation Letter For Ph.D. Application [+Sample]

Ph.D. applications are not just sorted out in the same way as any other random application. There are processes involved without which your chances of getting in might be truncated.

If you’ve been considering applying for a Ph.D. then this post is especially directed at you. A motivation letter as used in the case of a Ph.D. application can be much likened to a Personal statement.

There is a need to know if you’re truly qualified to do a Ph.D. while writing an application to a school, so the motivation letter is the perfect insight into who you really are and they expect you to do it justice.   

  • An introduction which should state in clear terms which program you are applying for.
  • A Summary of your Academic Background.
  • Why do you want to do a Ph.D.?
  • The significance of your research on society.
  • Your career plans.

Avoid Making Spurious Claims

It is quite easy to get lost while writing a motivation letter and forget that motivation cannot be achieved without the necessary evidence to back it up.

Nobody’s really interested in how awesome you are while writing a motivation letter, no offense but anybody can look good on paper but without the proper evidence to back it up, they wouldn’t be any motivation.

For Example, it is very common to see people write; “I work well with other people, or I am an expert at working under pressure”. Well, it is not a cover letter , it’s a motivation letter and you need to give realistic scenarios such as; “my leadership ability was demonstrated when I had to be in charge of a group of colleagues during my internship which required intense marketing management skills.”

Try As Much As Possible to Be Specific

It is equally very important to avoid being vague while writing your motivation letter. The reason why you’re required to write a motivation letter is that someone or some people have to know, if not you wouldn’t have to attempt one.

Saying that your undergraduate days in Marketing was very interesting is too vague to fit into a motivational letter, it sounds like something that should rather be written to a pen friend. You should be more specific about the courses you took as an undergraduate, why you love them and what you learned from them.

Show How Much Skill or Work Experience You Have

While writing a motivational letter, it is very important to concisely include how much skill and/or working experience you possess. A Ph.D. is about more than just a sequel to your past academic endeavors, it is a true test of education and education is more than just owning degrees.

They will be interested in the skills and/or work experience you’ve gathered over the years, skills which are strong enough to make you qualified to bag a Ph.D. That research, data analysis, etc. skills you thought you’d never have to flaunt, well I think this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about them.

Be Professional

It is equally quite important that you are very professional while writing a motivation letter for a Ph.D. application . It will be in your own best interest to ensure that you present your motivation letter with professional grammar, font and the appropriate writing style in which you’d rather prefer to be accepted.

Your professionalism sends a good message about your personality and would go a long way into helping you get accepted. 

Sample Motivation Letter for a Ph.D. Application

motivation letter phd application

Suggested Reading:

  • Cover Letter Examples
  • 2024 Letter of Interest - Example & Writing Guide
  • Students and Graduates Resume Example

cookies image

To provide a safer experience, the best content and great communication, we use cookies. Learn how we use them for non-authenticated users.

  • Graduate School

How to Write a PhD Motivation Letter with Samples and Expert Tips

PhD Motivation Letter Sample

Reading over some PhD motivation letter samples will give you an idea of how to make yours a strong, central component of your application to get into grad school . In addition to your grad school CV , a PhD motivation letter is a chance for you to demonstrate objectively why you are an excellent candidate for the faculty to which you are applying. Unlike a personal statement, a PhD motivation letter is distinct in its unique focus on your academic and research background with little mention of your personal story. This article will take you through the significance of the PhD motivation letter, describe what makes a stellar motivation letter, and provide examples. 

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 11 min read

Do you need to write a phd motivation letter .

Yes, you must write a PhD motivation letter. It is mandatory for most, if not all, PhD programs, regardless of your field of study. Disciplines ranging from arts and humanities to physics and computer science all consider motivation letters (aka “statement of purpose” in some countries) a major component of your application.

Of course, you will also have to fulfill the other documentation requirements, like submitting your transcripts, CV, personal statement, and letters of recommendation, but a motivation letter has a specific intent: to summarize your academic achievements up to the present and what you plan to achieve in the future at this particular school.

The faculty who ultimately consider your application look for how you and your PhD topic match with the mission and values of their program. Personal details and other motivations are best left to your personal statement or letter of intent because the motivation letter is strictly an academic summary.

A great PhD motivation letter should highlight how and why you are prepared for the rigors of PhD-level work. It should include the details of your academic career that have propelled you further into your field of study, like an inspiring professor or undergraduate course that sparked interest in your field.

The following list will provide more insights, but you should remember that whatever you write must be backed up by a concrete, real-world demonstration. It is not enough to say, “I am interested in XYZ because of XYZ.” You must include specific events in your undergraduate and graduate studies where you excelled.

If you are applying for a PhD, that in itself suggests you have a bevy of academic and extracurricular experience to glean from, be it co-authoring a published paper, your time as a TA, or some type of academic recognition. Many stand-out motivation letters single out specific instances when you showed an outsized passion for your studies.

Dos and Don’ts in a PhD Motivation Letter

1. Gain Skills and Experiences

The track to obtaining a PhD degree is a long one, which is why anyone who wants to become a PhD should commit early on to what it entails. All PhD candidates must have both an undergraduate and a master's degree to even apply, so that means structuring your studies around those requirements.

You should gain as much experience in your field, learn new skills related to your studies (a new language, for example, or technical skills), and participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Gathering the necessary skills and experiences to enter a PhD program should be the first step, since they are a reflection of your commitment.

2. Start Writing Early

You should begin drafting your PhD motivation letter at least a few months before the deadline. Because it is one of the most important parts of your application, you want to give yourself time to refine it. Refining means going through multiple drafts, soliciting and receiving feedback from other candidates, getting professional grad school application help, and making changes as you go along.

3. Consider Your Audience

The people who will read your motivation letter are renowned academics who have devoted their lives to one particular subject. Your letter needs to reflect your respect not only for them, but for the field of study that you both share. You should write with genuine verve when talking about your topic. Remind them of why they committed so full-heartedly to their career by demonstrating how enthralled you are with your studies.

4. Use Active Voice

You should put “you” in your story. Avoid using the passive voice and hiding behind your achievements as if they spoke for themselves. The admissions committee members want to read about how you approached your studies and learn about your insights into the future of your field of interest. They do not want a cold recitation of your CV but a spirited defense or explanation of what you value most about your topic.

1. Don’t Forget About the Formatting

PhD admission requirements differ between the many programs out there, so be cognizant of how they ask you to format your paper. If the requirements state a two-page limit, then write two pages. The same goes for other criteria like font size, paragraph spacing, and word length. A rambling, incoherent letter is the last thing you want to submit, so make sure to keep it within the guidelines.

2. Don’t Include Personal Stories

A personal statement is the place for formative stories from the past, not your motivation letter. You can include personal thoughts and opinions about your field of study, even unfavorable ones, to show you have a unique perspective, but steer clear of using personal elements like early childhood experiences or anything unrelated to your program.

3. Don’t Ramble

Keep in mind that your writing and organizational skills are also on display when you submit your motivation letter, along with everything else about you (grades, college letter of intent , transcripts). Again, remember who you are writing for: professors with years of experience researching and writing. They, more than anyone, know what good writing looks like, so be concise and clear in your writing.

4. Don’t Shy Away from Failures

The collected experience of those reading your essay guarantees that they know a thing or two about failure. Whether it was an unpublished paper, or a failed experiment, showing your determination in the face of adversity paints a complete picture of who you are as a researcher and academic.

But, again, setbacks in your personal life should not be mentioned. Limit your story to problems you encountered during your undergrad, graduate, or research fellowships and how you sought to overcome them. Mention a class or subject you struggled with or a drop in your grades and how you improved them.

Structure of Your PhD Motivation Letter

The structure of a great motivation letter is easy to follow because its focus is so narrow. The body of your letter should only mention highlights from your academic career, in a very specific chronology starting with your undergrad and progressing from there. But the structure should also cover three main points:

You can adjust the structure based on the requirements of the PhD program you are applying to, but it should cover the reasons you want to commit yourself to this program, what you plan on achieving, and how you have prepared yourself to accomplish those goals. If you already went to grad school, then you can rework your college statement of purpose to use as a template.

PhD Motivation Letter Sample #1

Dear Members of the PhD Selection Committee,

My name is David White, and I am writing to you to express my interest in pursuing a PhD in the Migration Studies program at X University. I recently completed a Master of Ethnography at Y University with an emphasis on the cultural exchange between migrant communities and their adopted homelands viewed through the lens of shared trauma and memory.

In the media, migration is often described as a “crisis,” a designation that has always made me bristle. I assert that migration is one of the most fundamental aspects of our species, yet it has been flagrantly mislabeled to serve the political and socioeconomic interests of a few.

My research is centered around the ways that migrants form new identities based on their experiences. Conversely, I have also explored how an innate identity based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation impacts a migrant’s journey and how those markers expose them to further exploitation or, at the other end, fortify their resolve and inspire perseverance in the face of tremendous odds.

The need for further investigation into identity and the interplay of migration and culture came into focus for me during my second-year undergrad Political Science degree at XYZ University. I was influenced by the work of writers like Franz Fanon and Edward Said, who questioned the foundations of a post-colonial identity and whether it was ever possible for colonized people to form an identity separate from their colonizers. I took an anthropology course, The Nature of Humans, that impacted me greatly. It prompted a Cartesian examination of my own beliefs around identity, as it firmly associated the emergence of human societies with factors such as migration, evolution, adaptability, and diversity.

During my time as a graduate student, I secured a place on a research project headed by Prof. Mohamed Al-Nasseri, a diaspora studies expert. Professor Al-Nasseri's thesis was that policymakers were ignoring the psychological profiles of migrants when assessing their material needs and financial assistance levels.

Our four-person investigative team liaised with a local, non-profit resettlement agency who connected us with volunteer migrant families based in University Town. Under the supervision of Professor Al-Nasseri, we formulated a questionnaire based on the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-V for traumatic events, while taking into account the newly revised definitions.

Mindful of the possible triggering effect our questions could have, we invited a peer, fellow survivor/migrant, and, in some cases, a religious leader before we conducted the interviews or to sit-in on our interviews.

During the interviews, I felt both inspired and indignant. I maintained my composure and objectivity, but the fire within raged. Unfortunately, our findings were inconclusive and what we discovered in our interviews did not wholly support Dr. Al-Nasseri’s thesis. But the experience and motivation I took from the project were enough to fuel my desire to explore the topic of identity formation in migrant communities who have undergone severe trauma.

The Migration Studies program at your institution will provide what I consider the perfect research and support network to further my investigation of these topics. I have followed the work of the esteemed Dr. Ellerman whose research into the treatment of post-traumatic stress has informed the direction of my own research. Dr. Ellerman has opened new pathways for thinking about trauma that I wish to incorporate into my thesis project when the time comes.

Until then, I am grateful for the opportunity to apply to this institution and am ready to discuss my future with you should my candidacy prove successful.

David White

My name is Melanie Hicks, and I am writing this letter to fulfill the admission requirements of the Visual Arts PhD Program at Z University. I have already submitted my audiovisual portfolio, CV, and transcripts, along with three letters of recommendation from, respectively, my master’s degree supervisor, Dr. Dana Redmond, my thesis supervisor, Dr. Allan Lee, and my research colleague, Mark Fowler.

I would like to take this opportunity to expand further on the conceptual themes I have focused on in my artistic output over the past decade, contextualize the pieces I have submitted, and elaborate on the goals I have should my application to this program be successful.

My artistic career, from very early on, has been defined by modes of observation, the interplay of observation and reflection between subjects and objects within a sociopolitical realm, and the harnessing of Blackness as a form of radical self-interpretation – all of it couched within the media of still and moving images.

During my undergrad as a Fine Arts student at X University, I was lucky enough to be showcased at the Kepler Gallery for my series, Painted Faces, a collection of photographs I took while working as a freelance photographer for an independent newspaper in Chicago. My focus in that series was the effort and preparation female congregants of an all-Black church put into readying themselves for Sunday services.

After my undergrad, I traveled to Boston to volunteer in local after-school programs with children from minority backgrounds who had an interest in photography. All of them had grown up with easy access to a phone capable of taking crisp, digital images and had never taken film photographs, so it fell to me to show them how to develop prints in a darkroom.

As part of my portfolio, I have submitted photos I took during that time, along with selections from my Painted Faces series. I never constructed a specific narrative with the photos I took during my volunteer work, but they were informed by the social realist photographers and photojournalists who captured the Civil Rights Movement by participating in protests and documenting the unrest.

Gordon Parks is a major influence and part of the reason I am pursuing my PhD studies at this institution. Prof. Alys is a foremost expert on Parks’ work and curated the Parks Retrospective at the Local Museum. Parks himself said that the subject was always more important than the photographer, and I agreed with that statement for a long time, until I began reading Arthur Danto and his artist-centered philosophy of art. While many disagree with Danto’s definition of art as an elitist utopia, I would argue that he opens the gates to everyone, and that anyone can gain entry to the “artworld.”

There is no better exemplar, I think, of the democratization of the “artworld” first posited by Danto than Basquiat, who was not only “allowed” access to the “artworld” but redefined it, in his indomitable way. Basquiat’s quality of outsider-turned-insider and Danto’s liberating of the parameters of what defined art are central themes of my project to understand whether “outsider” artists still exist, given how new technologies and platforms have pushed Danto’s definitions beyond their logical boundaries, if not obliterated them completely.

I hope this program can help me refine my project while matching my urgency to further expand the definition of art and artists to be more inclusive of not only racial minorities, but non-binary and trans people, who are at the forefront of questioning the validity of assigned identities through the curation of their very genders or lack thereof.

I am grateful to this esteemed panel for considering my application, and I would like to close by expressing my profound admiration for the achievements in art, art theory, and the philosophy of art each of you has contributed to a long, continuing train of thought.

I would be honored to accept a place beside you as a PhD candidate.

Melanie Hicks

Motivation letters are used in areas other than academia, but a PhD motivation letter is different for several reasons. Regardless of your particular field of research, the letter should include important points about your academic achievements, research interests, and why you want to continue your research at the faculty to which you are applying.

Even though PhD motivation letters tend to be short – between 500 and 700 words – their length is often the most vexing thing about them. Because students have a hard time condensing their years of study and research into a few words, we hope this article will help you focus your writing and give you insight into what to include.

No, they are not the same. A motivation letter has many different applications but is primarily a summary of your academic and professional achievements. A personal statement is an essay explaining your personal reasons for wanting to enter a specific profession or academic institution.

You should focus only on concrete, real-world examples of how you performed, learned, or grew as the result of an event in your trajectory toward a PhD and how you plan on contributing something new to your field of study. You should also make sure to have enough material, in the form of experience or academic goals, to write a compelling letter.

PhD motivation letters are important because they let prospective PhD candidates distill their background and experience succinctly, so that selection committees can more easily judge their character, commitment, and potential. 

Some people do find it challenging to write a letter about themselves without rambling or sounding incoherent. But if you prepare ahead of time, think honestly about your answer, and write several drafts, you should be able to write an above-average letter. If you are still struggling you can also get application help from professionals. 

Programs tend to ask for either a one or two-page letter, between 700 and 900 words. 

You can talk about anything that has do to with your past work to get to the PhD level, including aspects of your academic career, internships, independent or supervised research, fieldwork in a specific context, and any work experience you have related to your field of study. 

You should not mention any personal motivations for wanting to pursue a PhD. You can write about your intrinsic motivations to become a doctor of philosophy in your personal statement, if you are asked to submit one with your application. 

PhD programs around the world have various entry requirements that differ among schools. Some institutions ask for a motivation letter, while others ask for a personal statement or letter of recommendation and letter of intent, which has elements of a motivation letter but is not the same. 

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar:

How to make your grad school application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 mistakes that get most rejected).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll get into grad school or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

good motivation letter for phd

Hand-Picked Top-Read Stories

Why you should or shouldn’t get a phd, what is self-plagiarism and how can you avoid it, what’s the difference between a dissertation and a thesis, trending tags.

  • Uncategorized

How to Write a Successful PhD Motivation Letter

Yelena Skosyrskih

Table of Contents Hide

What are phd motivation letters, understanding the key components of a phd motivation letter, initiating your phd motivation letter, do your research, aim for clarity and conciseness, connect your background and experience, show your research potential, demonstrate your connection to the program, be authentic, effective conclusion for your phd motivation letter, ideal length of a phd motivation letter, formatting the phd motivation letter, common mistakes to avoid in phd motivation letter writing, writing a successful phd motivation letter.

When you are applying to a PhD program, one of the requirements is likely to be a motivation letter. This letter is similar to a personal statement in which you will describe reasons why you want to pursue the degree and explain why you should be accepted into the program.

A well-written motivation letter for a PhD can easily become a deciding admissions factor. If you are competing against hundreds of applicants, your letter should help you stand out from the crowd.

No matter what your specialization is or the type of program you’ve chosen, you need to learn how to write a motivation letter for a PhD. Otherwise, your application may not look as persuasive as it could.

Let’s dive deeper into writing a successful motivation letter for your PhD studies.

PhD motivation letters are also known as statements of purpose or personal statements. While not all PhD programs require applicants to submit these letters, writing one can improve your chances of getting accepted.

A motivation letter gives you a priceless opportunity to speak directly to the admissions committee and explain why you are the top candidate. In this letter, you won’t just express your motivation, list research interests, and show yourself in the best possible light. You will demonstrate your commitment to studies and your mastery of words.

While the admissions committee already knows all about your credentials, they want to get to know you as a person. In this letter, you will be showing your passion for getting a PhD in a specific niche.

Interestingly enough, the Ph.D. motivation letter isn’t just a way to conquer the committee members’ hearts. It’s an opportunity to look deeper into what you really want. By writing and reading this statement, you can gain unexpected insight into what’s best for your professional future.

The structure and content of a motivation letter aren’t always the same. Each university may have a list of requirements. So, you won’t be able to write one letter and use it for each program you apply to. However, you can create a framework that makes writing several letters easier.

Here is what a general PhD motivation letter should include:

  • Introduction – a short introductory paragraph or two that catches the reader’s attention and explains what the letter will be about.
  • Research interests – a list and a brief explanation of your research interests, specific research questions, and topics you plan to explore during your PhD  studies.
  • Academic background – you can add a short summary of your academic background (degrees, coursework, research experience, publications)
  • Motivation – this is the most important part of the letter. You need to be clear about your motivation for pursuing a PhD in general and the reasons why this program is the perfect fit for your needs. This section must reflect your passion and enthusiasm.
  • Goals – briefly explain what your long-term career goals are and mention how obtaining a PhD  within this program can help you achieve them. Your ambition and commitment must shine through the words.

While the university may provide some requirements that can help you structure your motivation letter, the majority of it is your own creativity. Keep in mind that you aren’t just sharing cold facts but showcasing your personality.

In most cases, the introduction is the most important part of your PhD  motivation letter. While the committee is likely to read the entire letter anyway, if you don’t catch their attention immediately, they might simply skim through it.

Always begin with a compelling opening sentence. Consider using a thought-provoking statement or a curious question related to your potential field of study. For example, “My unwavering fascination with the intricate workings of the human brain is the power behind my passion for forensic psychology.”

Next state your purpose for writing the letter and your intention to apply for the specific program. Make sure to immediately highlight your enthusiasm, motivation, and genuine interest in pursuing the subject matter.

For example, “The opportunity to go further into the subject of forensic psychology and contribute to the advancements in the criminal landscape fills me with immense excitement and determination.”

How to Structure the Motivation Letter for PhD

Once you finish the introduction, you can go on to the body of the letter, which should include research interests, academic background, motivation, and goals. Here are a few important tips that can help you make the most out of this structure.

Understanding how to write a motivation letter for Ph.D. studies begins with in-depth research about the program. While you’ve probably done a lot of browsing online already, you’ve been mainly focusing on the way the program meets your needs.

Now, you need to do similar research from a different perspective. Ask yourself, “How do I meet the needs of the program?” The answer can help you make the right statements within your letter.

The admissions committee has to go through hundreds of documents and letters. A long letter with complex and confusing sentences is likely to cause frustration. This is exactly what you need to avoid.

Don’t include any unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Just share the facts wrapped in positive emotions. If you manage to demonstrate your passion without boring the reader, you can stand out from the crowd.

Make sure to highlight all relevant academic, and especially, research experience. List and discuss projects or publications that demonstrate your knowledge. Talk about how the experience, whether professional or educational, has shaped your research interests. This is a great place to explain where your motivation comes from.

You need to demonstrate to the admissions committee your immense potential to excel in research. Here, you have to show that you possess the necessary critical thinking abilities and problem-solving solving skills. List research methodologies you have experience with.

Explain why this Ph.D. program is a good fit for your research goals. Discuss faculty members whose work aligns with your research (here is where your research will prove highly useful). Make sure to single out at least one unique opportunity that attracts you to the program. Show that you’ve done your homework and know exactly what you are applying for.

While it may be tempting to ask for assistance or use ChatGPT, outsourcing your motivation letter isn’t a good idea. An important part of the letter is demonstrating your own voice. You are the only one who can do it genuinely. Try to avoid any generic statements. Inject each sentence with passion and desire to achieve your educational goals.

The conclusion is the final impression you make on the reader. This is something they are likely to remember you by. Make sure to summarize the points you’ve made in the letter succinctly. This will serve as a reminder.

Next, talk about your goals for the future. Don’t try to share all of your educational and professional plans here. One strong goal is sufficient and easy to fit into a short conclusion.

Finally, express your gratitude to the program for the opportunity to apply and eagerness to hear from the committee soon.

Close the letter with “sincerely” or “best regards” and your full name. Don’t forget to provide your contact details.

The school of your choice is likely to define the length of your motivation letter for PhD. Usually, it’s between 500 and 1,000 words. However, even if the program doesn’t try to limit your writing, it doesn’t mean you have to go “all out.” The ideal letter should fit into one page. The font size shouldn’t be larger than 12 pt.

The font itself must be easy to read. Opt for Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid fancy fonts that can frustrate the reader.

Your motivation letter should contain several short paragraphs. Don’t make them longer than five lines. Otherwise, you could lose the reader’s attention.

Start your letter with “With whom it may concern.” Even if you know the names of the people on the admissions committee, you can never be sure which one of them will be reading the letter.

These common mistakes can hinder the quality of your letter:

  • Grammatical and spelling errors
  • Using generic or cliché statements
  • Lack of clarity
  • Overly lengthy explanations
  • Failing to tailor the letter to the program’s requirements
  • Lack of focus on the research interests and goals
  • Failing to demonstrate genuine passion and enthusiasm
  • Lack of understanding of the program
  • Irrelevant or unnecessary information
  • Poor organization of the letter

Many of these mistakes can easily be avoided by proofreading. Besides reading the letter several times yourself, ask someone else to do it. A fresh perspective or two can help you create a truly effective piece.

A PhD motivation letter is a wonderful opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get into the PhD program of your choice, even if you don’t meet the admissions requirements perfectly. It’s a chance to express your passion for studies and demonstrate your fit for the program.

Following a few simple formatting rules and keeping the letter authentic can help you achieve the desired admissions goals. Good luck!

Yelena Skosyrskih

PHD in Economics, Associate Professor, Department of Business Process Management, Faculty of Market Technologies IOM

Previous Post

Scholarship opportunities for online phd students, dba vs. phd: what’s the difference, related posts.

  • Resume Writing
  • Resume Examples
  • Cover Letter
  • Remote Work
  • Famous Resumes
  • Try Kickresume

Cover Letter for PhD Application: Guide for Writing One & Example From a Real PhD Student

  • Klara Cervenanska , 
  • Updated March 27, 2023 9 min read

When applying for a PhD research position, you usually need to submit certain documents, including an academic CV and a cover letter for PhD application .

A PhD cover letter, also referred to as an academic cover letter, should be carefully crafted, well-formatted, and contain specific sections.

We'll show you how to do exactly that, along with a sample of an academic cover letter from a real person admitted to a PhD program at Lyon University in France.

And if you're not sure how to go about writing your PhD CV, check out this article: CV for PhD Application: How to Write One Like a True Scholar (+CV Example) .

Table of Contents

Click on a section to skip

What is an academic cover letter?

What to include in a cover letter for phd application, how to write a cover letter for phd application, how to format an academic cover letter, phd cover letter sample.

An academic cover letter is a document that PhD candidates submit alongside their academic CV when applying for a PhD. 

Essentially, it's a cover letter for a PhD application.

It's not exactly the same as your regular business cover letter. Nor is it the same as a personal statement or a motivation letter .

The purpose of a cover letter for PhD application is to explain to the reader, who's likely a researcher or a professor, what you can contribute to their institution and/or field.

Moreover, in a PhD application cover letter, you should explain why you're a good match for the research position on the program.

Differences between academic cover letter and business cover letter

Both these documents serve different purposes and people use them in different settings:

  • Academic cover letter is used when applying for positions in academia — most often for a PhD. More emphasis should be on education, research background and scholarly accomplishments. Moreover, it should explain what your contribution to the institution or field could be. It should also point the reader to your academic CV.
  • Regular (business) cover letter is normally used when applying for any kind of job . Hence, more emphasis should be on skills and past experience while being tailored to a specific job position. You should also explain why you're a good fit for the position at the given company. It should point the reader to your resume.

There are also other documents people often mistake for an academic cover letter. These include:

  • Motivation letter is especially relevant for fresh graduates when applying to a university, a non-profit organization, or voluntary work. A motivation letter focuses more on your interests and motives for applying.
  • Personal statement. Also used in an academic setting. It's always written by an applicant, often a prospective student, applying to college, university, or graduate school. You explain why you've chosen a particular course and why you'd be good at it. Other names include a statement of purpose or a letter of intent .

Like every cover letter, an academic one also needs to include specific elements and content sections. These are:

  • Header. Here, provide your contact information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email in the header of the document.
  • Formal salutation. In an official letter like this one, you should address the reader in a professional and formal way. If you know who'll be reading your cover letter, go with Dear Dr. [Surname] or Dear Professor [Surname] . If you don't, go with Dear Sir/Madam .
  • The specific PhD program or position. Clearly state in your letter which research position you're applying for or the name of the PhD program. A cover letter is usually read before a CV, so you need to make sure everything is clear.
  • Your motivation. Explain why you're interested in the specific PhD position — it's one of the key elements you should include.
  • Your academic background. Now, we don't mean you should list in detail every single university course you ever took. Instead, focus on the most relevant course for the PhD and describe in detail what you learned, any projects you worked on, why it was interesting (and optionally, what knowledge gap you identified). In this way, you also show a certain level of understanding of the field.
  • Your ambition. Briefly mention what your ambitions, intentions, and plans are regarding your contribution to the field when securing your PhD position. How is your research going to enrich the field? How will the institution benefit from it?
  • Conclusion. Keep the conclusion short. Contrary to a regular cover letter ending , there's no place for reiterating everything here. Simply thank the reader for your consideration and prompt them to read your academic CV.
  • Formal sign-off. Just pick from the usual: Sincerely, Respectfully, Regards... Then throw in your full name in the following line.

And that's all you need to include!

Now, let's take a look at how to write your cover letter step-by-step.

Applying for a PhD will be a lot less stressful if you follow these tips on how to write a cover letter for a research position:

Consider researching the background of the organization, department, ongoing research projects, and their past and current projects. All that before you start writing your cover letter. Knowing these things will help you tailor your letter to the specific PhD opening.

Before you actually start writing, try to sit down and take a moment to think first. Assess how your past experiences helped you prepare for the PhD position and scribble down those that are most relevant and significant for the specific program. These include any research experiences, research projects, courses, or internships.

In the first few sentences of your letter, you need to convey some basic information about yourself and what specific position you're applying for. The opening should also state firmly why you're a strong candidate for the position/program, by using a persuasive and convincing wording. Here's an example: "As an MChem Chemistry graduate with a narrow focus on the sustainable synthesis of biologically active molecules from the University of Dundee, I am excited to apply to a "Synthesis Of Small Molecule Inhibitors Using Enzymes" PhD programme at an institution with such a strong foundation and numerous research groups in this field."

This is the place where you may explore more extensively on the educational journey that brought you here. Set the foundation for demonstrating how your Master's degree and research experience seamlessly translate into the next phase — the PhD program. Emphasize how your thesis contributes to the field's body of knowledge. Mention any other publications that support your thesis. And, if you can, identify any knowledge gaps or topics that can be explored further.

This paragraph provides the opportunity to neatly tie in together everything the reader has learned about you so far. You can show how your previous experience, coupled with what you'll learn during the PhD program, will come together to produce something novel to enrich the field. First, identify the courses or topics within the PhD program that interest you the most and how they relate to you developing your research further. Second, introduce your future research aspirations and goals. Third, point out how this future work will enrich the field and what will the intellectual merit be.

When ending your PhD cover letter, briefly refer your reader to your academic CV and encourage them to examine all of the remaining projects, courses, publications, or references . Finally, thank the reader for their time and consideration and let them know you look forward to hearing from them. Sign off.

Put the letter in a drawer and don't think about it for a day or two. Then, when you read it again, you'll have a fresh pair of eyes to see the cover letter in a new light. Maybe you decide some things are redundant, or you think of something that's more relevant. Or you know, find a typo here and there.

Just like an academic cover letter needs to contain certain content components, the formatting should also align with the structural expectations for this type of document.

How long should a cover letter be? How to finish a cover letter? And what about the cover letter font and spacing?

Here's a recommended academic cover letter format:

  • Length. While STEM PhD candidates should aim for half a page to one page, humanities candidates can do 1–2 pages.
  • Font. Use one of the classics: Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. Just no Comic Sans, we beg you. Keep the size between 10–12 points. Also remember to keep the text clean — no underlining, no bolding, and no color. However, you can use italics if appropriate.
  • Spacing. Cover letter spacing isn't complicated. Just single-space your text, make sure there's a space between each paragraph, and leave a space between the concluding paragraph and your formal sign-off.
  • Margins. The only rule here is that the margins on your cover letter should match those on your CV.
  • Consistence with your CV. Your academic cover letter should match your academic CV in all formatting aspects — including the cover letter font and spacing. For example, Kickresume lets you choose a matching template for your CV and your cover letter, so no need to worry about this.

If the institution provided any instructions for formatting your academic cover letter, don’t get creative and follow their guidelines.

Finally, to help you tie everything we talked about together, here's a cover letter sample from a real person admitted to a PhD program at Lyon University in France.

These things ensured Herrera's cover letter was successful:

  • She clearly states her motivation in the opening. In the first two paragraphs, Herrera introduces herself and her motivation to apply for the given PhD program.
  • She describes educational and research background thoroughly. The main body of the letter is dedicated to describing Herrera's educational background, research projects, internships, and skills acquired throughout the way.
  • She presents research aspirations in the letter. Herrera writes: "I have a history of proven results and profound findings. Given opportunity, I’m confident in my abilities to earn similar ground-breaking results while being part of your team."

Even though this example lacks some of the key elements, such as mentioning the specific PhD program or identifying the topics within the PhD program that interest her the most, this PhD cover letter still managed to impress the University of Lyon.

Lyon University PhD Student Cover Letter Sample

Klara graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After having written resumes for many of her fellow students, she began writing full-time for Kickresume. Klara is our go-to person for all things related to student or 'no experience resumes'. At the same time, she has written some of the most popular resume advice articles on this blog. Her pieces were featured in multiple CNBC articles. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her chasing dogs or people-watching while sipping on a cup of coffee.

Related Posts

How to write a cover letter with no experience in 7 steps (+examples).

  • 13 min read

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship? (+5 Real Internship Cover Letter Examples)

Share this article, join our newsletter.

Every month, we’ll send you resume advice, job search tips, career hacks and more in pithy, bite-sized chunks. Sounds good?

Motivation Letter

How to Write a Powerful Motivation Letter for PhD Program

An effective motivation letter assists the admissions board in distinguishing exceptional students from the rest of the pack. A motivation letter for a Ph.D. program helps the admissions board get a better sense of you than they will from your application. Hence, the design of the letter, its tone, and the level of interest suggested in the letter serve a crucial role.  Your goal is to stand out from other applicants.

When applying for a Postdoc or a Ph.D. program, you need to write a research proposal and a motivation letter. A motivation letter is a must for Ph.D. candidates. The letter elaborates on why you are the perfect candidate. We are going to give you some tips and structures to use as you write the motivation letter for your Ph.D. application.

At the end of the post, we will provide you with a sample to help guide you for your own motivation letter.

How to Write a Brilliant Motivation Letter for a Ph.D. Application

A motivation letter is very similar to a personal statement and a cover letter . All three documents explain and highlight your suitability for Ph.D. study when you are applying for a Ph.D. program. Typically, a cover letter would be for a job.  A motivation letter serves to show why you want to be part of the Ph.D. program and why you are a good candidate for it.

A motivation letter serves a fundamental role in the application process. It enables the admission board to evaluate several Ph.D. applicants with identical academic credentials and choose the perfect candidate and understand their inspiration for applying.

For the admission committee, academic credentials alone aren’t sufficient to showcase whether a learner will succeed in their doctorate program. A motivational letter enables them to understand an applicant’s enthusiasm, commitment, and appropriateness to the program, which better allows them to assess your capabilities.

How Should I Structure My Motivation Letter for a PhD

An outstanding motivation letter for Ph.D. admission will entail:

  • A concise introduction disclosing which Ph.D. program you seek
  • Your professional experience and educational background
  • Major skills, experiences, and interests that you have and what makes you an outstanding candidate
  • What drove you to apply
  • Final remarks and thanks.

This is the most straightforward itemization of a complex document.

The above framework will ensure that you keep your motivation letter for the Ph.D. brief and pertinent to the position you are seeking. Bear in mind that the letter’s purpose showcases your zeal and commitment and that you are well-suited for the program.

To simplify writing down a motivation letter for a Ph.D. application, we have defined what your introduction, main body, and closing segments should entail.

Starting Your Motivation Letter

Introduction: Open with a concise introduction where you openly declare your intention of applying for a given program. Picture it as explaining to a stranger what the document is all about.

Education: Describe what you studied and give the institution’s name, your program of study, and the research that you have done.

You want to provide the admissions team with an understanding of your course of study to date.  Ideally, you can include any research, including publications that you have been a part of.  This will show that you have the experience, interest, and tenacity needed for a Ph.D. program and the research that goes with it.

Work Experience: Condense your professional experience. Bear in mind that you will probably be requested to present your motivational letter alongside your academic résumé. Hence, you are advised to keep the section brief to eradicate potential redundancy. Make sure you include any other important experiences, such as charity work, teaching roles, or non-academic ones that showcase your skills and eligibility to become a Ph.D. scholar.

Key Skills: Highlight your major skills. Keep in mind that the admissions board considers your eligibility for the given program you are seeking; thus, state skills important to the Ph.D. program.

Motivation for Applying: Display your zeal for the program, the research involved, and why you want it.  Elaborate on your long-term ambitions. Begin by stating how that particular course caught your eyes and how your hunger to learn more about the topic has increased. Don’t forget to state all the other things you have done that showcase your curiosity in your suggested study topic, for instance:

  • Are you an experienced researcher?
  • Have you taken part in any seminars or workshops?
  • Are you conversant with the research field?
  • Are there any aspects of the topic which you have taught yourself?
  • Why this research?

Lastly, paint a picture for the admission board to help them understand what convinced you to commit the next half a decade to the program.

How to Conclude a Motivation Letter

Many people struggle with how to end a motivation letter . Normally, people can account for their academic credentials and why they desire to become part of the program.

A good way to conclude is with a summary of why you are a great candidate and an offer to discuss your candidacy.  It’s a good idea to provide your contact details so that a reader has them available.

Remember, getting admitted into a Ph.D. program is extremely competitive, and professors put a lot of work into mentoring their learners. Professors are naturally inclined to favor those who demonstrate the highest level of dedication. The conclusion must remind the admissions board that you are not only committed to the course, but the institution will greatly benefit from having you on board.

And lastly, thank the board for taking into account your application.

Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Admission Format

It is important to follow some basic guidelines when writing a motivation letter. The format mimics the report writing formats, which the professors are conversant with:

  • Use a sans serif font, for example, Arial or Times New Roman.  It should look professional.  Nothing fancy. 
  • Utilize a black standard font size. A 12-point font should work.  This makes it easy to read without being too large.
  • Adhere to professionalism all the way through and avoid the use of informal language or colloquialisms.
  • Write in the first person.
  • Address the motivation letter for Ph.D. to a named individual.  If in doubt, you can use the person in charge of admissions.

The Length of a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Admission

For Ph.D. motivation letters, the standard recommendation is to keep them to one page. These are busy people and they won’t spend a lot of time reading information. You want to make it as easy on them as possible. Keep your letter to one page, usually 3-5 paragraphs.

Tips for Writing a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Admission

opened book on textile

Below, we’ve stated the greatest tips for effectively writing a Ph.D. Motivation Letter. You want to keep these in mind as you write, review and edit your motivation letter:

Compose the Motivational Letter using a Professional Tone

It is crucial to add information in a motivation letter for a Ph.D. application professionally. It is in your best interest to write a letter with the right font, style, and grammar. Plus, doing this raises your odds of getting accepted into the program. Professionalism serves a crucial role in directing a great insight into your personality and lets you get acceptance.

Be Specific, Truthful, and Show Results

Where you can, the most powerful message is to show specific accomplishments, responsibilities and results.  This is true for research, academic achievements, or work or volunteer achievements.  Showing results demonstrates that you understand the impact of your effort and that the program can expect results from your work. 

This can be a powerful message.

Make sure that you can back up any accomplishments or experiences that you highlight.  It’s great to show accomplishments but the last thing you want to do is to create doubt about your honesty or your application. 

If you lack prior experience in carrying out Ph.D. tasks, this is alright – you are not expected to understand everything before you kick start the program. Nonetheless, you have to prove in your motivation letter for a Ph.D. that you can carry out this work. To achieve this, we advise that you concentrate on the expertise you possess – for example, writing, presentation, data analysis, etc. Attempt to illustrate how you have deployed these abilities in the past to indicate that you are well-prepared for the Ph.D. program.

Show Personality

The motivation letter must remain professional. Hence, steer clear of jokes and sarcasm. At the same time, it can be much more interesting to read, and much more powerful to show who you are in your writing.

Discuss your Future Plans and Your Interest s

Showing your passion and interest in the field of study can really make a difference in your admission.  Professors want someone who is interested in the work and the research.  You want to show how your background, goals, and passions fit into the work that you will be doing.

A great way to do this is to show why you are passionate about the research. Perhaps it means something to you personally or it’s a way that you can make a difference. Maybe you are just fascinated by the topic. Passion goes a long way if it’s genuine.

Check Your Spelling and Grammar

You are applying for an academic position.  You want a letter that doesn’t have any grammatical or spelling mistakes.  Even minor mistakes can make an admissions officer question your candidacy. Of course, use a spell checker. For something this important, a more robust spelling and grammar checker like Grammarly can be invaluable.

Additional Resources

We offer an editable version of the sample motivation letter for PhD program. You can download that here . It works with both Word and Google Docs and can help get you started on your own letter. 

If you need help writing your motivation letter, there is experienced help out there to help you.  Fiverr is a great resource for finding someone to help you write your motivation letter for your Ph.D. program.  There are a number of great freelancers there with experience writing motivational letters.  There are also freelancers on Fiverr who can help you with your research proposal. We’ve written a guide to help you get started using Fiverr.

If you decide that’s a good route for you, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the right freelancer for your needs.  They will help you get the motivation letter you need for that Ph.D. program.

Another great resource is Grammarly .  Grammarly is a spell-checking and grammar-checking tool that goes beyond anything you will find in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.  It will help you find misused words and common grammar mistakes.  That’s the free version!

The paid version of Grammarly is much richer and an amazing resource if you aren’t a natural writer or applying in a language that isn’t your primary language.  Grammarly will help you strike the right tone for your letter.  It points out grammar and stylistic problems and will often suggest improvements for your writing.  It’s a great resource for you when writing something as important as a motivation letter or application. 

A Sample Motivation Letter for a Ph.D. Program Application

Below is a sample motivation letter you can use to get started. Remember that this is to give you some ideas and the proper formatting. Do not use this letter or even change it for your information. It’s here to give you some ideas, but you must write your letter. You can download an editable version of this letter here .

Thank you and Good Luck!!!!

Motivation Letter for PhD

You can also download an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) version of the Motivation letter for Ph. D.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can my future plans and interests make a difference in a motivation letter for a ph.d..

Attitude is often as important as aptitude. Showing your passion for the area of research or having a personal tie can make a big difference in your selection.

Related posts:

  • Crafting the Perfect Motivation Letter for Study Abroad
  • Motivation Letter for Internship with Example
  • Motivation Letter For Scholarship With Example
  • Motivation Letter for University, College & School With Example

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Enjoy this post? Rate it!

An essential guide to crafting a motivation letter for Ph.D. applications

Motivation letter for Ph.D. applications | Crafting an essential guide

A well-crafted motivation letter for a ph.d. program is a powerful tool that can enhance your chances of admission. it is your opportunity to showcase your qualifications, express your passion, and demonstrate your suitability for the program. continue reading to learn more, table of contents, crafting a compelling motivation letter for a ph.d. application, understanding the purpose of a motivation letter, research the program, structure your letter, academic background, research interests and goals, personal motivation, be concise and specific, showcase your abilities, address potential weaknesses, tailor your letter for each application, proofread and edit, maintain a formal tone, show confidence, not arrogance, seek professional guidance, follow application instructions, key takeaways.

Applying for a Ph.D. program is a significant step in one’s academic journey, and the motivation letter plays a pivotal role in the application process. Also known as a statement of purpose, personal statement, or letter of intent, this formal document is your opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are a suitable candidate. This blog will walk you through the key elements of writing an effective motivation letter for Ph.D. applications.

Before delving into the specifics of creating an effective motivation letter, it’s crucial to understand its purpose. The motivation letter summarizes your academic achievements, experiences, and the Ph.D. program you’re applying to. Its primary function is to demonstrate your qualifications, convey your enthusiasm, and provide the admissions committee with insights into your character and ambitions.

Begin your motivation letter by demonstrating your genuine interest in the Ph.D. program. Research the university, the department, and the specific project or study area you want to be a part of. Explain why you chose this program, citing specific faculty members, research projects, or resources aligning with your academic goals.

Motivation Letter for PhD

A well-structured motivational letter is more likely to make a positive impression. Start with a formal salutation and introductory paragraph that clearly states your purpose in writing the letter. The body of your letter should be divided into three main sections-

In this section, discuss your academic achievements, highlighting your most relevant coursework, research experiences, and any publications or presentations. Clearly articulate your academic qualifications and how they have prepared you for the Ph.D. program.

Share your research interests, your passion for your chosen field, and how they align with the program you’re applying for. Discuss any prior research experiences and the potential contributions you could make to the department. Show that you’ve thought about your future contributions to the field.

Convey your personal motivations, such as your long-term career aspirations, why you are passionate about the field, and how the program will help you achieve your goals. You can also discuss how the specific program aligns with your values and ambitions.

Admissions committees receive numerous applications, so your motivation letter must be concise and specific. Avoid vague or generic statements and instead provide concrete examples of your accomplishments, experiences, and ambitions. Highlight unique aspects of your background and avoid using overly technical or jargon-filled language.

Motivation Letter for PhD

Your motivation letter should demonstrate how you are a perfect fit for the program. Highlight your alignment with the department’s research areas, values, and goals. Discuss how your interests match the research interests of faculty members or ongoing projects , and clarify that you’ve thoroughly researched the program.

If you have any weaknesses in your application, such as a lower GPA or a gap in your academic history, address them honestly and briefly. Use this as an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the weakness and how you have grown or learned from them.

While it may be tempting to use a template for multiple applications, it’s essential to customize each motivation letter for the specific program you’re applying to. Admissions committees can easily spot letters written with the help of a template as they lack a personal touch. Customizing your letter helps as it demonstrates your commitment to pursuing that university.

You should write an impeccable motivation letter that is well-structured and free from grammatical errors. Carefully proofread your letter and seek feedback from professors, colleagues, or mentors. Having multiple sets of eyes review your document is often beneficial to catch any overlooked mistakes.

The tone of your motivation letter should be formal, professional, and respectful. Avoid slang, informal language, or overly personal anecdotes. Address the recipient with proper titles and maintain respectful and formal language throughout the letter.

Confidence in your abilities is essential, but be cautious not to come across as arrogant. Instead of declaring your superiority, focus on your qualifications and how they make you a strong candidate.

If you’re unsure about your motivation letter, consider seeking guidance from professionals in your field or from your academic advisors. They can provide valuable insights and help you refine your letter to make it more compelling.

ensure that you follow the application instructions provided by the university. This includes adhering to any word or page limits, submission methods, and document formatting. Ignoring these details can negatively impact your application.

  • A well-crafted motivation letter for Ph.D. is a powerful tool to enhance your chances of admission to a Ph.D. program.
  • Understand the purpose of the motivation letter, which is to bridge your academic achievements, experiences, and your chosen Ph.D. program.
  • Research the program thoroughly, demonstrating a genuine interest in the university, department, and specific research areas.
  • Structure your letter with a formal salutation, an introductory paragraph, and four main sections. They are academic background, research interests and goals, and personal motivation.
  • Maintain a formal and professional tone throughout the letter, avoiding informal language or arrogance. Seek professional guidance and feedback to refine your motivation letter.
  • Follow all the instructions provided by the university to avoid any negative impact on your application.

Your feedback is important to us! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to inquire about any specific questions or assistance with your academic pursuits. We would be delighted to help you.

Liked this blog? Read next: Cambridge University fees | Navigating tuition costs

Q1. What is the ideal length of a motivation letter to apply for a Ph.D. program?

Ans- While requirements can vary, a typical motivation letter for a Ph.D. application is one to two pages in length. Adhere to any word or page limits specified by the university.

Q2. Can I include my extracurricular activities or non-academic experiences in the motivation letter?

Ans- While the primary focus should be on your academic qualifications and motivations, you can briefly mention relevant extracurricular activities or non-academic experiences if they directly contribute to your suitability for the program.

Q3. Is there a recommended word count for a motivation letter?

Ans- Word count recommendations can vary, but a motivation letter for a Ph.D. application should typically be 500 to 1,000 words. Adhere to any word or page limits specified by the university.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

good motivation letter for phd

People also liked

Cost of living and studying in the USA | A guide for MS and MBA students

Cost of living and studying in the USA | A guide for MS and MBA students

Study in Singapore | A comprehensive guide for Indian students

Study in Singapore | A comprehensive guide for Indian students

Top courses in 2024 to study abroad

Top courses in 2024 to study abroad

Student life in Germany | Highest paying part-time jobs and more

Student life in Germany | Highest paying part-time jobs and more

Cost of studying in the Netherlands 2024 | A guide

Cost of studying in the Netherlands 2024 | A guide

Entrance exam

Entrance exams to study abroad | A complete guide

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Start your journey with iSchoolConnect

Need help with your study abroad applications? Try iSchoolConnect for free!

iSC Masterclass

  • Where to Study? USA | UK | Canada | Australia | Singapore | Netherlands | Ireland | Germany | New Zealand
  • Tests and Preparation GRE | GMAT | IELTS | TOEFL | SAT | PTE
  • Visa Process Student visa for USA | Student visa for Canada | Student visa for UK
  • Programs and Universities How to choose a university? | How to choose a career? | University interview tips
  • Application Process How to apply? | Letter of Recommendation (LOR) | Essay and Statement of Purpose (SOP) | Document checklist | Finance documents
  • Fees and Finances Cost of studying abroad | How to apply for scholarships? | Types of scholarships | Student loan | Accommodation | Part-time jobs
  • Calculators Calculate your chances of studying abroad | Calculate cost of studying abroad | Which scholarship are you eligible for?

good motivation letter for phd

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today

Here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.

good motivation letter for phd

Verification Code

An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify

good motivation letter for phd

Thanks for your comment !

Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.

good motivation letter for phd

  • Study Abroad /

How to Write a Motivation Letter for PhD Programs?

' src=

  • Updated on  
  • Apr 25, 2023

Motivation Letter For PhD Programs

A successful motivation letter allows the admission committee of any institution to select students of excellent academic backgrounds. While applying for Ph.D. programs, a student has to submit a motivation letter that states why they wish to embark on that particular position and how appropriate they are to be studying in the chosen program. Ph.D. applications are not classified as any other random sample application. There are processes without which your chances of getting in may be reduced. For some institutions, academic qualifications are not enough to indicate whether a candidate is suitable for a Ph.D. In this sense, a Motivation Letter for Phd Programs are the perfect insight into who you really are. 

This Blog Includes:

How should you structure your motivation letter for ph.d., avoid false statements, be specific , include your skills and work experience , write in a professional manner , top things to be included in a motivation letter for ph.d. programs , sample of motivation letter for ph.d. programs , top ph.d. programs.

Ph.D. Scholarships in India

To write a strong motivation letter for Ph.D. applications you must include:

  • A concise introduction that must state the program you are applying for,
  • All about your academic background as well as professional work experience,
  • You can include skills you possess that make you the ideal candidate,
  • Your motivation and interest in applying for the program,
  • Concluding remarks with thanks.

Tips for Writing a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs 

Here are the best tips for acing your writing a motivation letter for Ph.D.:

While writing a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs, candidates often forget to add necessary things in the letter. It is important to know that without adding important information the application wouldn’t stand out. For instance, candidates tend to write, “I work well with other people or I am good at working under pressure.” Well, this is not how you write in a motivation letter as you should provide some real examples like, “My leadership skills were demonstrated when I had to lead a group of colleagues during my internship, which required intensive marketing management ability.”

Avoid being vague and imprecise while writing a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs. Be specific while putting information in the letter. For example, If you describe it as “My marketing days were very interesting in my undergraduate days”, it would be inappropriate to fit it into a motivation letter. It depicts a very informal manner of writing a letter. You should include specific details about the courses you took as an undergraduate student such as, what made you choose them and what you learned from them. 

In a motivation letter, it is essential to add the skills you possess and the work experience you have. A Ph.D. is more than a continuation of your previous academic endeavors, it is a real educational test, and education is more than obtaining degrees. A Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs become impressive when you write about the skills and experiences you possess over the years which are strong enough to make you a qualified Ph.D. candidate. You can flourish your research and analytical skills in a motivation letter. 

It is equally important to add information in a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs professionally. It is in your own best interest to submit the motivation letter with an appropriate font, writing style, and professional grammar. This will ensure your chances of getting accepted into a Ph.D. program. Professionalism plays a vital role in sending a good insight into your personality and helps you gain acceptance. 

Benefits of Pursuing a Ph.D. after MBA

A Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs share similarities with a cover letter and a personal statement. All three documents describe your suitability for a Ph.D. program. However, as compared to a personal statement and cover letter, a motivation letter gives more precision to your motivation for wanting to pursue a Ph.D. 

  • An introduction to the Ph.D. program: Begin with a brief introduction in clear terms that why you are applying for a particular Ph.D. program. Think of it as you telling it to a stranger. 
  • A summary of your academic background: Focus on your educational background and state what you have studied here and where. It is important to highlight extra curriculums that were a part of your studies. Mention what made you interested in a Ph.D. program, especially if you are applying in the same field. In addition, summarize your professional work experience and include any relevant work experiences such as teaching roles, or charity work. 
  • Reason to pursue a Ph.D.: Describe your long-term aspirations, and show your enthusiasm and passion for pursuing a Ph.D. program. You can also mention what made you interested in this field. You can also demonstrate your interest in proposed research topics such as the seminars you attended, research experience, and aspects of the subjects, and finally, specify what has convinced you to devote 3-4 years of your life to the research field. 
  • The significant effect of your research on society and career goals: At the of your motivation letter, add a few sentences on the research’s impact on your life and the experience as a whole. It should conclude the new contributions it will make to your field, and how it benefits society and fits in with your aspirations. In addition, state your career goals, for example, do you want to become a researcher or pursue an academic career? This will enable the reader to judge you based on how passionate you are about pursuing a Ph.D. program. 

Motivation-Letter for phd

  • Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship
  • Ph.D. in Commerce
  • Ph.D. in Accounting
  • Ph.D. in Management
  • Ph.D. in Economics
  • Ph.D. in Commercial Law
  • Ph.D. in Human Resource Management
  • Ph.D. in Operational Research
  • Ph.D. in Marketing
  • Ph.D. in Healthcare and Management
  • Ph.D. in Organizational Behaviour
  • Ph.D. in Finance
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science
  • Ph.D. in Law
  • Ph.D. in IT
  • Ph.D. in Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Political Science
  • Ph.D. in Education
  • Ph.D. in Statistics
  • Ph.D in Psychology

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Ans: A motivation letter for the Ph.D. program should be 400-600 words.

Ans: Start with the introduction about yourself and the intent. Describe your experiences in the body of the letter.

Ans: A motivation letter is the exact same as a statement of purpose. You might hear colleges and companies use one or more of these letters.

This was all about Motivation Letters for Ph.D. Programs. We hope you find this insightful. Are you interested in making your career in Ph.D. abroad? Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts on 1800 57 2000 and we will help you in finding the best university.

' src=

Team Leverage Edu

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Contact no. *

How to write a letter to the editor to express opinions about the members of the community that dump rubbish near the school

browse success stories

Leaving already?

8 Universities with higher ROI than IITs and IIMs

Grab this one-time opportunity to download this ebook

Connect With Us

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. take the first step today..

good motivation letter for phd

Resend OTP in

good motivation letter for phd

Need help with?

Study abroad.

UK, Canada, US & More

IELTS, GRE, GMAT & More

Scholarship, Loans & Forex

Country Preference

New Zealand

Which English test are you planning to take?

Which academic test are you planning to take.

Not Sure yet

When are you planning to take the exam?

Already booked my exam slot

Within 2 Months

Want to learn about the test

Which Degree do you wish to pursue?

When do you want to start studying abroad.

September 2024

January 2025

What is your budget to study abroad?

good motivation letter for phd

How would you describe this article ?

Please rate this article

We would like to hear more.

Top Streams

  • Data Science Courses in USA
  • Business Analytics Courses in USA
  • Engineering Courses in USA
  • Tax Courses in USA
  • Healthcare Courses in USA
  • Language Courses in USA
  • Insurance Courses in USA
  • Digital Marketing Courses in USA

Top Specialization

  • Masters in Data Analytics in USA
  • Masters in Mechanical Engineering in USA
  • Masters in Supply Chain Management in USA
  • Masters in Computer Science in USA
  • MBA in Finance in USA
  • Masters in Architecture in USA

Top Universities

  • Cornell University
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of Harvard
  • Stanford University
  • Arizona State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Project Management Courses in Australia
  • Accounting Courses in Australia
  • Medical Courses in Australia
  • Psychology Courses in Australia
  • Interior Designing Courses in Australia
  • Pharmacy Courses in Australia
  • Social Work Courses in Australia
  • MBA in Australia
  • Masters in Education in Australia
  • Masters in Pharmacy in Australia
  • Masters in Information Technology in Australia
  • BBA in Australia
  • Masters in Teaching in Australia
  • Masters in Psychology in Australia
  • University of Melbourne
  • Deakin University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • RMIT University
  • Macquarie University
  • Data Science Courses in Canada
  • Business Management Courses in Canada
  • Supply Chain Management Courses in Canada
  • Project Management Courses in Canada
  • Business Analytics Courses in Canada
  • Hotel Management Courses in Canada
  • MBA in Canada
  • MS in Canada
  • Masters in Computer Science in Canada
  • Masters in Management in Canada
  • Masters in Psychology in Canada
  • Masters in Education in Canada
  • MBA in Finance in Canada
  • Masters in Business Analytics in Canada
  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • University of Alberta
  • York University
  • University of Calgary
  • Algoma University
  • University Canada West
  • Project Management Courses in UK
  • Data Science Courses in UK
  • Public Health Courses in UK
  • Digital Marketing Courses in UK
  • Hotel Management Courses in UK
  • Nursing Courses in UK
  • Medicine Courses in UK
  • Interior Designing Courses in UK
  • Masters in Computer Science in UK
  • Masters in Psychology in UK
  • MBA in Finance in UK
  • MBA in Healthcare Management in UK
  • Masters in Education in UK
  • Masters in Marketing in UK
  • MBA in HR in UK
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Coventry University
  • University of East London
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Birmingham
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Glasgow

Top Resources

  • Universities in Germany
  • Study in Germany
  • Masters in Germany
  • Courses in Germany
  • Bachelors in Germany
  • Germany Job Seeker Visa
  • Cost of Living in Germany
  • Best Universities in Germany

Top Courses

  • Masters in Data Science in Germany
  • MS in Computer Science in Germany
  • Marine Engineering in Germany
  • MS Courses in Germany
  • Masters in Psychology in Germany
  • Hotel Management Courses in Germany
  • Masters in Economics in Germany
  • Paramedical Courses in Germany
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Freiburg
  • University of Hamburg
  • University of Stuttgart
  • Saarland University
  • Mannheim University
  • MBA in Ireland
  • Phd in Ireland
  • Masters in Computer Science Ireland
  • Cyber Security in Ireland
  • Masters in Data Analytics Ireland
  • Ms in Data Science in Ireland
  • Pharmacy courses in ireland
  • Business Analytics Course in Ireland
  • Universities in Ireland
  • Study in Ireland
  • Masters in Ireland
  • Courses in Ireland
  • Bachelors in Ireland
  • Cost of Living in Ireland
  • Ireland Student Visa
  • Part Time Jobs in Ireland
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • University of Limerick
  • Dublin Business School
  • Maynooth University
  • University College Cork
  • National College of Ireland

Colleges & Courses

  • Masters in France
  • Phd in France
  • Study Medicine in France
  • Best Universities in Frankfurt
  • Best Architecture Colleges in France
  • ESIGELEC France
  • Study in France for Indian Students
  • Intakes in France
  • SOP for France Visa
  • Study in France from India
  • Reasons to Study in France
  • How to Settle in France

More About France

  • Cost of Living in France
  • France Study Visa
  • Cost of Living in Frankfurt
  • France Scholarship for Indian Students
  • Part Time Jobs in France
  • Stay Back in France After Masters

About Finland

  • Universities in Finland
  • Study in Finland
  • Courses in Finland
  • Bachelor Courses in Finland
  • Masters Courses in Finland
  • Cost of Living in Finland
  • MS in Finland
  • Average Fees in Finland Universities
  • PhD in Finland
  • Bachelor Degree in Medicine & Surgery
  • MBBS Courses in Georgia
  • MBBS Courses in Russia
  • Alte University
  • Caucasus University
  • Georgian National University SEU
  • David Tvildiani Medical University
  • Caspian International School Of Medicine
  • Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University
  • Kyrgyz State Medical Academy
  • Cremeia Federal University
  • Bashkir State Medical University
  • Kursk State Medical University
  • Andijan State Medical Institute
  • IELTS Syllabus
  • IELTS Prepration
  • IELTS Eligibility
  • IELTS Test Format
  • IELTS Band Descriptors
  • IELTS Speaking test
  • IELTS Writing Task 1
  • IELTS score validity
  • IELTS Cue Card

IELTS Reading Answers Sample

  • Animal Camouflage
  • Types Of Societies
  • Australia Convict Colonies
  • A Spark A Flint
  • Emigration To The Us
  • The History Of Salt
  • Zoo Conservation Programmes
  • The Robots Are Coming
  • The Development Of Plastic

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Sample

  • Describe A Puzzle You Have Played
  • Describe A Long Walk You Ever Had
  • Describe Your Favourite Movie
  • Describe A Difficult Thing You did
  • Describe A Businessman You Admire
  • Memorable Day in My Life
  • Describe Your Dream House
  • Describe A Bag You Want to Own
  • Describe a Famous Athlete You Know
  • Aquatic Animal

IELTS Essay Sample Sample

  • Best Education System
  • IELTS Opinion Essay
  • Agree or Disagree Essay
  • Problem Solution Essays
  • Essay on Space Exploration
  • Essay On Historical Places
  • Essay Writing Samples
  • Tourism Essay
  • Global Warming Essay
  • GRE Exam Fees
  • GRE Exam Syllabus
  • GRE Exam Eligibility
  • Sections in GRE Exam
  • GRE Exam Benefits
  • GRE Exam Results
  • GRE Cutoff for US Universities
  • GRE Preparation
  • Send GRE scores to Universities

GRE Exam Study Material

  • GRE Verbal Preparation
  • GRE Study Material
  • GRE AWA Essays
  • GRE Sample Issue Essays
  • Stanford University GRE Cutoff
  • Harvard University GRE Cutoff
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning
  • GRE Verbal Reasoning
  • GRE Reading Comprehension
  • Prepare for GRE in 2 months

Other Resources

  • Documents Required For Gre Exam
  • GRE Exam Duration
  • GRE at Home
  • GRE vs GMAT
  • Improve GRE Verbal Scores

Free GRE Ebooks

  • GRE Preparation Guide (Free PDF)
  • GRE Syllabus (Free PDF)
  • GMAT Eligibility
  • GMAT Syllabus
  • GMAT Exam Dates
  • GMAT Registration
  • GMAT Exam Fees
  • GMAT Sections
  • GMAT Purpose

GMAT Exam Study Material

  • How to prepare for GMAT?
  • GMAT Score Validity
  • GMAT Preparation Books
  • GMAT Preparation
  • GMAT Exam Duration
  • GMAT Score for Harvard
  • GMAT Reading Comprehension
  • GMAT Retake Strategy

Free GMAT Ebooks

  • GMAT Guide PDF
  • Download GMAT Syllabus PDF
  • TOEFL Exam Registration
  • TOEFL Exam Eligibility
  • TOEFL Exam Pattern
  • TOEFL Exam Preparation
  • TOEFL Exam Tips
  • TOEFL Exam Dates
  • Documents for TOEFL Exam
  • TOEFL Exam Fee

TOEFL Exam Study Material

  • TOEFL Preparation Books
  • TOEFL Speaking Section
  • TOEFL Score and Results
  • TOEFL Writing Section
  • TOEFL Reading Section
  • TOEFL Listening Section
  • TOEFL Vocabulary
  • Types of Essays in TOEFL

Free TOEFL Ebooks

  • TOEFL Exam Guide (Free PDF)
  • PTE Exam Dates
  • PTE Exam Syllabus
  • PTE Exam Eligibility Criteria
  • PTE Test Centers in India
  • PTE Exam Pattern
  • PTE Exam Fees
  • PTE Exam Duration
  • PTE Exam Registration

PTE Exam Study Material

  • PTE Exam Preparation
  • PTE Speaking Test
  • PTE Reading Test
  • PTE Listening Test
  • PTE Writing Test
  • PTE Essay Writing
  • PTE exam for Australia

Free PTE Ebooks

  • PTE Syllabus (Free PDF)
  • Duolingo Exam
  • Duolingo Test Eligibility
  • Duolingo Exam Pattern
  • Duolingo Exam Fees
  • Duolingo Test Validity
  • Duolingo Syllabus
  • Duolingo Preparation

Duolingo Exam Study Material

  • Duolingo Exam Dates
  • Duolingo Test Score
  • Duolingo Test Results
  • Duolingo Test Booking

Free Duolingo Ebooks

  • Duolingo Guide (Free PDF)
  • Duolingo Test Pattern (Free PDF)

NEET & MCAT Exam

  • NEET Study Material
  • NEET Preparation
  • MCAT Eligibility
  • MCAT Preparation

SAT & ACT Exam

  • ACT Eligibility
  • ACT Exam Dates
  • SAT Syllabus
  • SAT Exam Pattern
  • SAT Exam Eligibility

USMLE & OET Exam

  • USMLE Syllabus
  • USMLE Preparation
  • USMLE Step 1
  • OET Syllabus
  • OET Eligibility
  • OET Prepration

PLAB & LSAT Exam

  • PLAB Exam Syllabus
  • PLAB Exam Fees
  • LSAT Eligibility
  • LSAT Registration
  • TOEIC Result
  • Study Guide

Application Process

  • LOR for Masters
  • SOP Samples for MS
  • LOR for Phd
  • SOP for Internship
  • SOP for Phd
  • Check Visa Status
  • Motivation Letter Format
  • Motivation Letter for Internship
  • F1 Visa Documents Checklist

Career Prospects

  • Popular Courses after Bcom in Abroad
  • Part Time Jobs in Australia
  • Part Time Jobs in USA
  • Salary after MS in Germany
  • Salary after MBA in Canada
  • Average Salary in Singapore
  • Higher Studies after MBA in Abroad
  • Study in Canada after 12th

Trending Topics

  • Best Education System in World
  • Best Flying Schools in World
  • Top Free Education Countries
  • Best Countries to Migrate from India
  • 1 Year PG Diploma Courses in Canada
  • Canada Vs India
  • Germany Post Study Work Visa
  • Post Study Visa in USA
  • Data Science Vs Data Analytics
  • Public Vs Private Universities in Germany
  • Universities Vs Colleges
  • Difference Between GPA and CGPA
  • Undergraduate Vs Graduate
  • MBA in UK Vs MBA in USA
  • Degree Vs Diploma in Canada
  • IELTS vs TOEFL
  • Duolingo English Test vs. IELTS
  • Why Study in Canada
  • Cost of Living in Canada
  • Education System in Canada
  • SOP for Canada
  • Summer Intake in Canada
  • Spring Intake in Canada
  • Winter Intake in Canada
  • Accommodation in Canada for Students
  • Average Salary in Canada
  • Fully Funded Scholarships in Canada
  • Why Study in USA
  • Cost of Studying in USA
  • Spring Intake in USA
  • Winter Intake in USA
  • Summer Intake in USA
  • STEM Courses in USA
  • Scholarships for MS in USA
  • Acceptable Study Gap in USA
  • Interesting Facts about USA
  • Free USA course
  • Why Study in UK
  • Cost of Living in UK
  • Cost of Studying in UK
  • Education System in UK
  • Summer Intake in UK
  • Spring Intake in UK
  • Student Visa for UK
  • Accommodation in UK for Students
  • Scholarships in UK
  • Why Study in Germany
  • Cost of Studying in Germany
  • Education System in Germany
  • SOP for Germany
  • Summer Intake in Germany
  • Winter Intake in Germany
  • Study Visa for Germany
  • Accommodation in Germany for Students
  • Free Education in Germany

Country Guides

  • Study in UK
  • Study in Canada
  • Study in USA
  • Study in Australia
  • SOP Samples for Canada Student Visa
  • US F1 Visa Guide for Aspirants

Exams Guides

  • Duolingo Test Pattern

Recommended Reads

  • Fully Funded Masters Guide
  • SOP Samples For Australia
  • Scholarships for Canada
  • Data Science Guide
  • SOP for MS in Computer Science
  • Study Abroad Exams
  • Alumni Connect
  • Booster Program

GPA CALCULATOR Convert percentage marks to GPA effortlessly with our calculator!

Expense calculator plan your study abroad expenses with our comprehensive calculator, ielts band calculator estimate your ielts band score with our accurate calculator, education loan calculator discover your eligible loan amount limit with our education calculator, university partner explore growth and opportunities with our university partnership, accommodation discover your perfect study abroad accommodation here, experience-center discover our offline centers for a personalized experience, our offices visit us for expert study abroad counseling..

  • 18002102030
  • Study Abroad

Motivation Letter for Ph.D.

Updated on 30 october, 2023.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

Upgrad abroad editorial team.

upGrad Abroad Team

A motivation letter for Ph.D. is crucial since it is a way to convey the candidate’s personality, motivations, interests, and commitment to the admissions authorities. It is a vital part of the Ph.D. application process and should not be neglected. 

Start Your Study Abroad Journey with upGrad Abroad

Table of Contents

  • Format of a Motivation Letter for Ph.D.

Tips for Writing a Successful Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs

Ph.d. motivation letter sample, format of a motivation letter for ph.d. .

There is no fixed format for a motivation letter for Ph.D. applications. However, here are some points that you must keep in mind. 

  • Introduction- This should mention your purpose and the program being applied for. 
  • Main Body- This should contain a summary of your educational background, your reasons for doing your PhD, and the importance of your research work. It should also include information on your future goals. 
  • Conclusion- Sign off by reiterating your admission goals while thanking the admissions authorities for their time and consideration. 

You can check out a Ph.D. motivation letter sample PDF for more insights. Here are a few tips that can be of immense help: 

  • Make genuine statements about your application and documents. 
  • Be specific and avoid vague or abstract statements. 
  • Discuss your research experience, professional experience, skill sets, and academic credentials. 
  • Maintain a professional tone throughout the motivation letter without being casual or too personal. 

A motivation letter for a Ph.D. sample will help you get a better idea. 

Get all your Study Abroad doubts clarified Now for FREE: Fix an Appointment Now

To Whom It May Concern, 

I am writing this letter to express my interest in applying for the Ph.D. project available in the (group name) under the project (project name) at the (institution name). I graduated with a master’s degree in civil engineering in (year) from the (institution name) in (location, city, country).

I have been drawn to 3D modeling and simulation technologies since my undergraduate years, which gave me a solid foundation in the subject. I learned the basic concepts of structural analysis, CAD, mechanics , and programming and data structures simultaneously. My master’s program helped me enhance these skill sets further, giving me an in-depth glimpse of building materials, earthquake engineering, construction management , using technologies for 3D modeling, and more such areas. 

I have also been associated with a research project at the institution, successfully enabling VR/AR-enabled digital walkthroughs for buildings. This was the inception of my interest in deploying artificial and augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D simulation for building digital counterparts of physical environments, applying this knowledge to real estate projects, infrastructural projects, and other ventures which are mainstays in the world of civil engineering. It naturally prompted me to apply for the Ph.D. position at your institution, which has an enviable track record in terms of global rankings, research opportunities, infrastructure, partnerships with leading research firms, and reputed faculty. 

I believe my foundational knowledge of these core concepts and research experiences will contribute towards making me a good fit for the doctoral program at your institution. I am aware of the perseverance and commitment expected of doctoral students pursuing research in this intellectually stimulating yet challenging arena of study. I will do my best to meet the high standards of your institution on this count. It is a great opportunity to demonstrate my skill sets while acquiring invaluable knowledge and research exposure if I am chosen for your Ph.D. program. I remain at your disposal for any additional information. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

How do I start a motivational letter for my PhD?

You should begin by talking about the program you are applying for and mentioning your purpose explicitly. You should also briefly introduce yourself, i.e., your last qualification and so on. You can then move on to the main body and discuss the reasons for choosing the course, institution, research interests, and other aspects.

How do I write a letter of Ph.D. request?

You should include details without going overboard and demonstrate your research approach, outlook, and methods. Justify these methods while ensuring they are viable. Also, mention whether any ethical aspects are connected to your field of research and how you wish to address them.

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

Exams to Study Abroad

Top study abroad destinations, important resources, get free consultation for study abroad, similar articles.

Scholarships for Italy for International Students

Scholarships for Italy for International Students

good motivation letter for phd

39 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Read more about the article 41 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

41 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Read more about the article 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Arizona, Arizona

50 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Arizona, Arizona

Read more about the article 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas

50 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas

Read more about the article 51 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

51 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Read more about the article 26 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Copenhagen, Denmark

26 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Read more about the article 48 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Harvard University, Massachusetts

48 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Harvard University, Massachusetts

Read more about the article 21 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Texas A&M University, Texas

21 Postdoctoral Fellowships at Texas A&M University, Texas

Read more about the article 47 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

47 Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

good motivation letter for phd

Get Job-ready Professional Certificates for in-demand Careers

  • Terms And Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Editorial Policy

Reaching Digital

Home » Catchy Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship : 7 Examples

Catchy Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship : 7 Examples

Catchy Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship Examples

A motivation letter for a PhD scholarship is your opportunity to state your case as to why you should be the one who is awarded the scholarship. There are endless forms to fill out and documents to supply, and the stakes are high. However, one of the most important elements of your application is the motivation letter. It is your chance to sell yourself and to demonstrate your commitment and passion for your chosen field of study. This letter should be well-written and persuasive, and it should highlight your unique qualifications and achievements. In addition, this letter should be specific to the scholarship you are applying for, and it should address the selection criteria of the award in detail. Ultimately, your goal is to convince the selection committee that you are the most deserving candidate for the scholarship and that you will make an excellent contribution to their program.

Table of Contents

How To Write Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship?

A motivation letter is a piece of writing that explains your goals, experiences, and skills. It gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and what you have to offer. A well-written motivation letter can make the difference between getting accepted into your dream school and being rejected. When writing a motivation letter for a PhD scholarship, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, be sure to clearly state your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your degree? Why does this particular program appeal to you? Be specific and passionate about your reasons for wanting to pursue a PhD.

Next, describe your previous academic experiences and highlight any achievements or awards you have earned. Has your research been published in any journals? What kind of practical experience do you have in your field of study? Again, be as specific as possible. The more the committee knows about your background and qualifications, the more they will be impressed by your application.

Also, don’t forget to mention any financial need you may have. Many scholarships are awarded based on financial need, so this is an important part of your letter. Be honest about your circumstances and explain how the scholarship would help you reach your goals. Finally, conclude by restating your interest in the scholarship and reiterating why you believe you are the best candidate for it.

By following these tips, you can write a strong motivation letter that will increase your chances of being accepted into a PhD program. Take the time to craft a well-written and persuasive letter, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your academic aspirations.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter (And Get Hired in 2022!)

Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship

Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship

Respected: Scholarship Committee,

Also, I am (name) and I am writing to apply for the PHD scholarship that your committee is offering. So, I am currently a student at (university name) and I am planning on continuing my education by pursuing a PHD in (field of study).

Also, I am extremely passionate about my field of study and I believe that pursuing a PHD will allow me to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in this area. So, I am confident that I have the ability to successfully complete a PHD program and I am eager to put my skills and knowledge to use in order to make a positive impact on the world.

So, I would be grateful for the opportunity to receive this scholarship and I am confident that I would make great use of it. And I am committed to pursuing my studies and I believe that receiving this scholarship would be a major step towards achieving my long-term goals.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

(Your name)

Related: Cover Letter for PhD Application: 05 Templets ideas

Sample motivation letter for PHD scholarship application

Also, I am writing to apply for the PHD scholarship offered by your institute. I have completed my masters in XYZ from ABC university and wish to pursue further studies in the field of XYZ.

Also, I am confident that I have the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully complete a PHD program. My research interests include XYZ and I am keen to contribute to the body of knowledge in this area.

So, I am aware of the high reputation of your institute and I am confident that I will be able to benefit from the excellent facilities and resources available. And I am also keen to interact with other scholars and researchers working in my field of interest.

So, I am confident that I will be able to meet the requirements of the PHD program and I am eager to begin my research. And I am committed to completing my studies within the stipulated time frame.

Also, I would be grateful if you could consider my application for the PHD scholarship. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely, XYZ

Related: 115+ Unique Career Objective for Assistant Professor Ideas & Examples

PHD scholarship motivation letter

Hello Scholarship Committee,

My name is ____________ and So, I am writing to apply for the PHD scholarship.

I am currently a ___________ at ___________ and I am passionate about continuing my education in order to become a ___________. Also, I believe that receiving this scholarship would allow me to further my education and reach my goals.

So, I am a hard worker and I am dedicated to ___________. I have experience in ___________ and I am confident that I can be an asset to your program. I am eager to learn and I believe that a PHD degree would allow me to contribute to the field of ___________.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Your name

Related: Motivational letter for university: 12 Examples & Sample Included

Application letter for PHD scholarship

Dear Scholarship Committee,

Also, I am writing to apply for the PHD scholarship. I am currently a student at XYZ University studying ABC. And I am passionate about my research and hope to continue my studies at the doctoral level.

So, I have been involved in several research projects during my time at university and have presented my findings at national conferences. And I have also published several papers in peer-reviewed journals. My academic achievements have been recognized with several awards, including the XYZ University prize for academic excellence.

I believe that I have the potential to be a successful researcher and would be grateful for the opportunity to continue my studies at the doctoral level. I am confident that I will make a significant contribution to the field of XYZ and would be proud to represent your institution.

Related: Application Letter for Employment: 07 Samples & Examples

Motivation letter for PHD scholarship sample

Dear Sir/Madam,

Also, I am writing to apply for the PhD scholarship in your esteemed university.

I have completed my Master’s degree in X from Y University and am currently working as a lecturer in the Department of Z. So, I am extremely passionate about research and teaching, and have been involved in several research projects during my time as a lecturer. My areas of interest include X, Y and Z, and I am confident that I have the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a PhD in these areas.

I am confident that I will be able to contribute significantly to your university’s research program. And I look forward to the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge further. I am eager to learn and grow as a researcher, and I believe that your university will provide me with the perfect environment to do so.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and It look forward to hearing from you soon.

Related: Generic Cover Letter: 09 Samples & Examples

Example of motivation letter for PHD scholarship

So, I am writing to apply for the PhD scholarship offered by your esteemed organization. Also, I am immensely interested in pursuing a career in research, and I believe that this opportunity will allow me to develop my skills and knowledge in the field.

Also, I have completed my Masters degree in XYZ from ABC University. And my research during this time has been focused on understanding the mechanisms of XYZ. I have developed a strong foundation in the theory and practice of research. And I am now eager to apply my skills to a new area of study.

I believe that I have the potential to be an excellent researcher. And I am committed to pursuing a career in this field. I would be grateful for the opportunity to develop my skills further by undertaking a PhD,. And I am confident that I would be able to make a valuable contribution to your organization.

Related: Indeed Cover Letter: 07 Templates and Samples

Best motivation letter for PHD scholarship

Hello Sir/Madam,

I am immensely proud to have been admitted to the PhD program at scholarships University and am eager to begin my studies.

I am confident that I have the ability to successfully complete the program and make significant contributions to my field of study. My long-term goal is to become a professor at a research university, and I believe that this program will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve this goal.

In addition, I am committed to conducted research that will have a positive impact on society. I am confident that I can make significant contributions to the field of scholarship and am excited to begin my studies. thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Your Name,

Related: Marketing Cover Letter: 09 Samples & Examples

5 Things To Include Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship

A motivation letter for a PHD scholarship is an important part of your application. In this letter, you need to explain why you are applying for the scholarship and what your goals are. Here are five things that you should include in your motivation letter:

  • Your academic achievements: Include information about your grades. Test scores, and any awards that you have received. demonstrate that you have the academic ability to succeed in a PhD program.
  • Your research interests: Explain why you are interested in the research area that you are applying for. What are your goals for your research? How do you think that you can contribute to the field?
  • Your experience: Describe any relevant experience that you have, such as internships, jobs, or volunteer work. This will show that you have the practical skills to complete a PhD program.
  • Your motivation: Why do you want to pursue a PhD? What are your long-term career goals? Explain how earning a PhD will help you to achieve these goals.
  • Your commitment: A PhD program is a major commitment of time and energy. Demonstrate that you are prepared to make this commitment by discussing your ability to handle challenging coursework and research projects.

Related: What is Cover Letter? Complete Guide To Get any Job.

I hope you found this blog helpful in understanding how to write a motivation letter for your PHD scholarship. It is important to be passionate and excited when writing this type of letter. As it will show the selection committee that you are committed to their program and will thrive in the academic environment. Thank you for reading and good luck with your application!

PHD scholarship motivation letter

You may also like

The benefits of a motivational letter: examples and....

Motivation Letter For PHD In Electrical Engineering

Motivation Letter For PHD In Electrical Engineering:...

Motivation Letter For PHD In Environmental Sciences

Motivation Letter For PHD In Environmental Sciences:...

Motivational Letter For PHD In Civil Engineering

Motivational Letter For PHD In Civil Engineering : 7+...

Motivational Letter For PHD In Mechanical Engineering

Motivational Letter For PHD In Mechanical Engineering...

Motivation Letter For PHD In Anthropology

Motivation Letter For PHD In Anthropology: 7+ [Free...

About the author.

' src=

Jessica William

Leave a comment x.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

IMAGES

  1. Tips for Writing a Successful Motivation Letter for Ph.D. [+Sample]

    good motivation letter for phd

  2. Motivation Letter Sample For PHD Scholarship

    good motivation letter for phd

  3. Motivation Letter For Phd Scholarship Sample Pdf

    good motivation letter for phd

  4. Motivation Letter For PHD In Environmental Sciences: 7+ Ideas

    good motivation letter for phd

  5. How to Write Motivation Letter for PhD

    good motivation letter for phd

  6. Motivation Letter For PhD

    good motivation letter for phd

VIDEO

  1. SCHOLARSHIPS: HOW TO WRITE A GOOD MOTIVATION LETTER #STUDYINGABROAD #TIPS

  2. How to write a Motivation Letter for University || Study Abroad ||

  3. KUPAS TUNTAS #3: HOW TO WRITE A MOTIVATION LETTER

  4. How to write PhD research proposal and PhD motivation letter. Q&A in live session

  5. Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Motivation Letter winning tips

  6. Make your KNB Scholarship Application Stand Out

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a PhD Motivation Letter

    A good rule of thumb for PhD motivation letters is to keep it to around one side of A4. A little longer than one page is acceptable, but two pages is generally considered too long. This equates to approximately 400-600 words. Things to Avoid when Writing Your Motivational Letter.

  2. Tips for Writing a Successful Motivation Letter for Ph.D. [+Sample]

    A motivation letter as used in the case of a Ph.D. application can be much likened to a Personal statement. There is a need to know if you're truly qualified to do a Ph.D. while writing an application to a school, so the motivation letter is the perfect insight into who you really are and they expect you to do it justice.

  3. How to Write a PhD Motivation Letter with Samples and Expert Tips

    1. Don't Forget About the Formatting. PhD admission requirements differ between the many programs out there, so be cognizant of how they ask you to format your paper. If the requirements state a two-page limit, then write two pages. The same goes for other criteria like font size, paragraph spacing, and word length.

  4. How to Write a Successful PhD Motivation Letter

    The school of your choice is likely to define the length of your motivation letter for PhD. Usually, it's between 500 and 1,000 words. However, even if the program doesn't try to limit your writing, it doesn't mean you have to go "all out.". The ideal letter should fit into one page.

  5. How to Write a Successful PhD Motivation Letter

    Any letter of motivation should include a brief introduction specifying the programme you would like to apply for. First, state a clear career objective of your future project and the reasons for choosing this particular PhD programme. Provide the information about your previous academic and professional experience.

  6. How to Write a Cover Letter for PhD Applications

    A cover letter should be addressed to a named person i.e. "Dear Professor Smith". For a PhD application, this will usually be the PhD supervisor, but may be a specific person in charge of recruitment. If you are still unsure who to address the cover letter to, it should be directed to the Head of Department.

  7. Cover Letter for PhD Application: Example From a PhD Student

    Formal salutation. In an official letter like this one, you should address the reader in a professional and formal way. If you know who'll be reading your cover letter, go with Dear Dr. [Surname] or Dear Professor [Surname]. If you don't, go with Dear Sir/Madam. The specific PhD program or position.

  8. Step-by-Step guide to writing the Best Motivation Letter

    Hi👋, today I want to give you a few tips for writing an amazing motivation letter. Good luck applying ️00:00 - Intro00:29 - What should be in your letter?1...

  9. How to Write a Powerful Motivation Letter for PhD Program

    An outstanding motivation letter for Ph.D. admission will entail: A concise introduction disclosing which Ph.D. program you seek. Your professional experience and educational background. Major skills, experiences, and interests that you have and what makes you an outstanding candidate. What drove you to apply.

  10. Motivation letter for Ph.D. applications

    A well-crafted motivation letter for Ph.D. is a powerful tool to enhance your chances of admission to a Ph.D. program. Understand the purpose of the motivation letter, which is to bridge your academic achievements, experiences, and your chosen Ph.D. program. Research the program thoroughly, demonstrating a genuine interest in the university ...

  11. Best Motivation Letter for Phd: 07 + Samples

    Best Motivation Letter for PhD in Physics: Dear [Physics Department], In the universe of academia, your Ph.D. program in Physics is a celestial body of knowledge. My journey in [Your Field], particularly in [Your Specific Physics Area], fuels my desire to contribute to the cosmic narrative of your esteemed department.

  12. How to Write a Motivation Letter for PhD Programs?

    Avoid False Statements. While writing a Motivation Letter for Ph.D. Programs, candidates often forget to add necessary things in the letter. It is important to know that without adding important information the application wouldn't stand out. For instance, candidates tend to write, "I work well with other people or I am good at working ...

  13. Motivation Letter for PhD, Postdoc, and Other Research Positions

    1. The first step to writing a good motivation letter is to read the job ad carefully. 2. The second step is to try to understand the researchers and the kind of research they do. 3. The third step is to carefully read a previous motivation letter and try to understand why the letter was successful. 4.

  14. Motivation Letter for Ph.D.

    Ph.D. Motivation Letter Sample. To Whom It May Concern, I am writing this letter to express my interest in applying for the Ph.D. project available in the (group name) under the project (project name) at the (institution name). I graduated with a master's degree in civil engineering in (year) from the (institution name) in (location, city ...

  15. PhD Cover Letter Examples & Expert Tips · Resume.io

    Here is what we cover in the PhD cover letter example and writing guide: Understanding how to structure your cover letter, with each part serving a purpose: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion. Effectively showcasing your academic motivations throughout the cover letter.

  16. Unique Motivation Letter For PHD In Management: 7+ Examples

    Sample Motivation Letter for PhD in Management: Dear [Admissions Team], In my quest for a Ph.D. in Management, I reflect on the intricate dance between theory and practice, and the impact it wields on the business landscape. As a seasoned professional in [Your Industry], I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of effective leadership.

  17. How to Write Motivation Letter for PhD Program

    10 Tips to Write a Motivational Letter for PhD Program. 1. Find out more: Before writing your letter, take the time to find out about the research lab and possibly the professors research interest for which you are applying. Don't hesitate to insert some of this information in your letter. 2.

  18. Professional Motivation Letter For PHD In Literature: 7 Examples

    Key Components of a Strong Motivation Letter For PHD In Literature. Introduction: Begin with a captivating opening, setting the tone for your literary journey. Capture attention swiftly. Personal Narrative: Weave your academic and personal story, showcasing a genuine passion for literature. Connect your journey to your academic pursuits.

  19. How to write successful motivation letter for PhD?

    Vlog 287 - How to write a successful motivation letter for PhD?In this video I explain how you can write a good motivation letter for a PhD application to ge...

  20. How to Write a Motivation Letter (With Tips and Examples)

    3. Expand your outline for your body. Expand the points in your outline to form your motivation letter's body. Take a new paragraph for every new topic. Remember, your motivation letter aims to convince your recipient of your value, so use compelling facts to be persuasive. 4. Conclude your motivation letter.

  21. 07+ Compelling Motivation Letter For PhD In Chemistry Templates

    Motivation Letter for Ph.D. in Chemistry: Dear [Admissions Committee], I write to express my unwavering passion for pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at [University]. My academic journey, coupled with a profound fascination for unraveling chemical intricacies, fuels my commitment to contributing significantly to the field.

  22. Catchy Motivation Letter for PHD Scholarship : 7 Examples

    A motivation letter for a PHD scholarship is an important part of your application. In this letter, you need to explain why you are applying for the scholarship and what your goals are. ... Thank you for reading and good luck with your application! Facebook X Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn. Creative Motivation Letter Example: 7+ Samples [Free] Best ...