motivation letter for phd in economics

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.

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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.

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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

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  • 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. 

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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. 

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motivation letter for phd in economics

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

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 


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.

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motivation letter for phd in economics

OP umedkejariwal 1 / 1   Sep 20, 2019   #3 @Maria - Thanks for response. I am new to this forum and not aware about the policy. Posting the update SOP for your kind review as it is urgent and need to submit application by tomorrow. Letter of Intent I appreciate this opportunity to provide further background information in support of my application for Environmental Economics PhD Program in XXX. I believe that my educational background, work experience and deep interest in the chosen field of study make me a very good candidate for the program. I am very passionate about academics and research, and am also passionate about impacting society both near and far. As long as I remember myself I have always known that I want to study Economics and to be more specific its facets that concern Environmental issues. As a child I used to wait for the festival of lights, Diwali to come. We celebrate this festival with lots of sweets, lamps and new clothes. With time the way we celebrate the festival and for that matter any good occasion has changed. The celebration of this festival is considered incomplete without the use of plenty of firecrackers. Firecrackers primarily contain sulphur, carbon, added chemicals, barium nitrate, aluminium, copper, lithium and strontium. When these firecrackers are lit, these chemicals are released into the air, reducing air quality drastically. To make matters worse, Diwali usually takes place in October or November when many cities in northern India face fog. The gases released from the firecrackers are trapped in this fog and increase the level of pollution exponentially. The levels of pollution in the air rise astronomically during these days. During my growing years I wondered where did the polluted air go or is there a natural sink provided by mother earth. There were many unanswered questions which motivated me to read more on the subject. My eagerness to know more about the ecosystem, climate and natural resources led me to my master's programme in Indian Institute of Forest Management. I consider myself ... in economic terms. My graduate coursework provided me theoretical knowledge including economic models: methods, theory and application of tools used by companies in their holistic approach of life cycle assesment. The classes enriched my understanding of the actors' of environment conservation and sustainable development such as the government, organization and community. During this time I realized that our ... ... that I realised the importance of creating awareness, inclusive growth, sustainable ... During my study... Risk Analyst. Working here has increased my ability to research, analyze and present key components for management's decision making process. My work typically involves qualitative analysis on the market risk and the liquidity risk of the firm. Some of my duties include data analysis, automation of reports, predictive modelling, presentations and sharing insights with the management team. During my free time I work on freely available environment related datasets to analyse and build model. I wish to use my data analysis skills to analyse the available data and build an efficient model that would give insight to environment problems and the solution that can have greater impact. I seek to contribute to the topic of climate reporting by answering key questions regarding the status quo of international climate change reporting regimes; comparing mandatory versus voluntary disclosure schemes and effect on reducing CO2 emissions; and analyzing investors' reaction to climate-related disclosures. Research at <univ> will reinforce my knowledge on environmental economics and put these concepts in practice to achieve <goal in line with univ proj>. We have lots of data available on the change in land use pattern, carbon emission over years, change in forest cover over years, climate change over years and many related fields. To make an informed policy decision, we need to analyse these data, understand the future impact of the business-as-usual model and corrective measure to reduce these negative impact. I like to think myself as an adventure seeking enthusiastic person who is capable to rise up to any challenge. I have variety of interests which include painting, travelling, trekking and running. I now wish to continue my academic career with a PhD in Economics, and I cannot image a better place to perform my research than in the department of economics at the XXX of Economics. The prospect of studying and learning in XXX University which has a great blend of faculty and students from all over the world excites me. I realize the highly competitive demands of the program I am applying to and believe that my drive and passion for Environmental Studies will help me to excel in my future research. Thank You very much for considering my application and for your time!

motivation letter for phd in economics

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motivation letter for phd in economics

How to Write an Engineering Motivation Letter for a PhD

Read a summary or generate practice questions using the INOMICS AI tool

Ok, so the time has come to write your engineering PhD motivation letter. The cursor is blinking on the blank page. Your mind races. What do I write? How do I start? How do I phrase it? It can be a challenge, especially for us engineers who may not enjoy the written word as much as other academics do. But competition for some PhD places can be fierce, especially at good universities. Getting the motivation letter right is one of the most important parts of your application, so don't leave it until the last minute.

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how to write an engineering motivation letter for a phd

Basic Structure and Style

The first thing to realise is there's a big difference between the PhD motivation letter you should write for universities in North America and European universities. Typically, American universities expect to hear more about your general life, whereas European ones prefer to keep things mainly focused on your academic and work achievements. As a general rule of thumb:

  • America – 70% life skills, accomplishments, 30% academic/practical/work
  • Europe – 30% life skills, accomplishments, 70% academic/practical/work

Your letter should follow a standard formal letter format and should:

  • be no more than 500 words (approx. one typed page of A4)
  • be written in a clear font such as Arial or Calibri
  • have a font size of 11 or 12
  • consist of short easy-to-read and understand paragraphs
  • use sub-headings and bullet points to break up the text
  • be polite and formal, but not too wordy

Readability is a key factor in writing a successful motivation letter. Even though you're addressing academics, it's best to keep the language as simple as possible. Remember, this is a letter, not an essay. The professors may have to read dozens of these letters and want to find out about you as easily as possible, without having to wade through waffle, clichés or pompous-sounding sentences. Microsoft Word has a handy built-in readability checker (based on the Flesch-Kincaid test) and you want the "reading ease" score to be between 60 and 70 points to hit the right spot.

The structure

A recommended overall structure for the letter is as follows:

  • A brief (1 or 2 sentences) introduction
  • Your motivation for applying to do a PhD (personal statement)
  • Your academic achievements and relevant life experiences
  • The impact you hope to make with your research
  • Your future career plans

Before we move on to looking at the actual content of your letter, just a quick note that should really go without saying – stick to the facts. Never be tempted to make things up or "embroider the truth". It's not only unethical but if you're accepted on the course and your dishonesty is revealed at a later date, you could waste all that time and effort, not to mention your reputation will be in tatters. It's not worth it.

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Content of the Engineering Motivation Letter

Don't underestimate practical experience.

Let's face it, engineering is a hands-on subject, no matter which branch you specialise in. The single biggest mistake that graduates make when applying for an engineering PhD, is focussing entirely on their academic achievements and neglecting any practical or "in-the-field" experience. Make a list of any relevant work experience, field trips, projects, etc. Anything that had an engineering element to it can be included. A good tip is to go back as far as possible. Joined a robotics club in secondary school? Write it down. Helped a neighbour build their house extension? Write it down. Had a summer job with a construction company? You get the picture. Even if you decide not to use half of it, listing all of these things out will give you some ideas of relevant skills you can mention.

Be specific

Another mistake people commonly make is to list their skills without providing any evidence, or just generally making vague statements. Don't simply state: “I work well in a team”. Give an example: “During my time at XYZ Construction Ltd, I worked closely with various team members to plan and build a gherkin-shaped tower block”. Don't say: “I enjoyed my Environmental Engineering undergraduate degree”. Be very specific about what you enjoyed: “As part of my degree course, I studied the spread and effect of subsoil pollution, which I found really interesting. So interesting in fact, that I spent my summer working for a soil remediation company.”

Show a bit of personality

It's ok to add a bit of character to the letter. Avoid jokes and sarcasm, but you can phrase things in a way that adds some sparkle. Include some "insider" references that only a fellow engineer would understand, for example. A great way to get your letter to stand out from the crowd is to highlight how your personality has helped you to overcome difficulties or achieve things related to engineering. A good example of this could be if you have worked on any relevant community or voluntary projects.

Show them that you're perfectly suited to the rigours of a PhD

A PhD is very different from undergraduate and postgraduate studies and requires different skills . You need to be self-motivated, disciplined, industrious, resourceful and focussed. Try to think of events in your life that demonstrate these qualities and make sure to mention them.

Talk about your plans

Towards the end of your letter, make sure you mention what your long-term plans are. This shows that you are focused on engineering as a career and that you’ll work hard to achieve results. Talk about any relevant work experience you’ve had to date – paid or unpaid. Also, mention any engineering societies or institutions that you’re a member of or plan to join.

Gentle Persuasion Techniques

We're not going to go in-depth into the psychology of persuasion here, but there are some little-known copywriting (i.e. advertising) "secrets" that you can employ to influence them to accept you. First of all, come up with a concrete idea of what they are looking for in a student. Once you have this fixed in your mind, include a sentence or two that shows you understand this and that you're the person they've been waiting for. For example, if you think they're looking for somebody creative with good design skills and also demonstrates people skills, you could include something like this in your introduction: “You're looking for a high-calibre student with a keen interest in design. During my undergraduate studies, I took part in several extracurricular design projects which involved coordinating and working with a small team of engineers.”

Another copywriting "trick" is to use powerful verbs to inspire or evoke an emotional response – think Nike’s slogan "Just Do It". We’re not suggesting you include a cheesy slogan, but try to use powerful verbs such as:

  • I made sure…
  • I focused...
  • I endeavoured…
  • I innovated...

Also, if you remember your school English lessons, they may have mentioned passive and active voice. Make sure that the majority of your phrases use the active voice. Here’s an example:

  • Passive voice: “I was able to make a difference.”
  • Active voice: “I made a difference.”

Finally, try to end with an upbeat message. In advertising, this is known as a call to action – a rousing final pitch that encourages the person to take a specific action. In a motivation letter, it’s a good idea to summarise the key things that make you suitable for the course, then close with something like: “Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any more information and I look forward to your response.”

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Table of Contents

Cover letter for economics internship (5 samples)

motivation letter for phd in economics

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The Optimistminds editorial team is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Each article is written by a team member with exposure to and experience in the subject matter.  The article then gets reviewed by a more senior editorial member. This is someone with extensive knowledge of the subject matter and highly cited published material.

This article will show samples of “cover letters for economics internships.”

Samples of cover letters for an economics internship

When writing a cover letter as an intern here are some of the things to include in the letter:

  • Mention your fresh knowledge. Use your recent learning experiences to your advantage; an employer might be more willing to hire you if they know you can help their business acclimate to new technologies or practices.
  • Express your energy and enthusiasm. It shows the potential motivation you will bring to a job as a fresh college graduate.
  • Check your grammar and proofread your letter. It is a way of showing employers your ability to write comprehensive, error-free messages.
  • The first step is addressing the employer with a formal salutation. For example, “Dear/Hello (name of the recipient).” If you do not know the name of the recipient, you can refer to them as the hiring manager.
  • The next step is to state the position you are applying for and how you found the opening. 
  • Make a brief statement about why you’re interested in the position.
  • Since you are a recent graduate, it would help to emphasize your college coursework, internships and other experiences that show your employability.
  • Ensure your qualifications are similar to the job position. 
  • Conclude your letter with a forward-looking statement. For example, “I look forward to discussing the position further.”

Your Address

Your Contact details (phone and email)

Mrs Mary Stevens

Hiring Manager

ABC Company

15 South Parkway

Long Island, NY 11551

Dear Mrs Stevens

As a senior at the University of XYZ pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics, I am enthusiastically seeking an internship in which I can learn as much as possible while making a real contribution.

My academic and previous internship experience have greatly increased both my knowledge and passion for financial markets and economics and I am very serious about my future career in business within a major corporation. I am eager to further develop my skills through a challenging internship experience. Your company has an excellent reputation for its innovation, expertise and its commitment to developing people.

I approach all my work with discipline and focus as shown by my excellent academic performance. My professors and previous employers have commended me for my strong analytical and communication skills. I am highly motivated and enjoy the challenge of demanding assignments.

In addition I can offer advanced computer skills including familiarity with a number of programming languages. I am confident that the combination of my strong work ethic, interpersonal skills and enthusiasm will make me an asset in any capacity in which you are willing to place me.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss further how I would make a substantial contribution to your company as an intern and I look forward to meeting with you in the near future at a mutually convenient time.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Intern

“POSITION: Analyst

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing to apply for the position of Research Analyst at The Economist Group. I recently completed a Master of Science degree in Economics from the ABC in the United Kingdom. During my time as a graduate student, I developed a particular interest in econometrics as well as international economics. To work as a research analyst at the Economist Group would provide an excellent opportunity for me to utilize my econometric and analytical skills.

Graduate courses at the ABC such as econometrics (advanced track) provided me with valuable tools for conducting in-depth research. I learnt how to gather relevant data for projects, check it’s accuracy and make sure that it’s clean before progressing to perform econometric analysis. My econometrics and dissertation projects are further evidence of my strong data handing ability. Through these projects I also learnt how to write clear and concise reports. Upon graduation, my interest in international economics led me to obtain an internship in the Trade Policy Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London where I worked on immigration and trade related data of the United Kingdom. Since then, I have been working as a research assistant for Prof. X of the Economics department at the ABC.

Further details regarding my key competencies are given in the CV I attach herewith. I would welcome the opportunity to explain more about the skills and experience I can bring to this position. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future regarding my application.”

“POSITION: intern

Currently, I am in my second year studying for a degree in Accounting and Financial Management. I am extremely keen to succeed in the application for the Student Economist Placement role at Capital Economics. I heard about the placement opportunity through the Placements Vacancy Bulletin, advertised by the ********************

One of the key reasons for applying to Capital Economics is the opportunity to work for a company that believes strongly in providing original and insightful research to institutional and corporate clients across the globe, ranging from on the US to Asia. The Wolfson Prize won by Capital Economics, in 2012 inspires me to work at the company as I have the opportunity to learn directly from experienced and highly skilled economists. The analysis of financial markets, commodities and the consumer and property sectors, makes Capital Economics such a dynamic company to work for. I am applying to Capital Economics because I want to be part of a leading macroeconomic research company that actively works on issues which are on the forefront of modern economics. My ultimate ambition is to pursue a career as an economist in the company.

Being a member of the Keynes Society at Eton College, I have actively participated in debates such as, ‘The Future of the UK Economy’; these discussions have strengthened my interest in economic affairs. The small-knit yet global nature of Capital Economics would allow me to make a noticeable contribution alongside developing my economic knowledge in a challenging environment. I particularly enjoy retrieving data for analysis, having had an experience of creating queries and reports in my Business Information Management module, which I am keen to develop in the Student Economist Placement. Through my role in Enactus, I have worked closely with businesses, as mentioned in my CV, which has helped me become flexible to constant changes, such as the fluctuations in their popularity based on the analysis of their social media accounts; I enjoy working in a constantly changing environment and therefore, I believe that I will successfully perform in the Student Economist Placement.

I am a diligent individual with a deep interest in economics, which I am excited to explore during my placement at Capital Economics. I believe the skills learnt during my work experiences, positions of responsibility, and most importantly my enthusiasm to learn, would enable me to perform well in the role. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely”

“Subject: Liz Lerner – Economics Intern Position

Dear Mr. Peters,

It was with much interest that I read your posting on the ABC College job board inviting applications for an economics internship at Brand Solutions Inc.

As an honors student in marketing, I have successfully completed upper-division coursework in marketing management, print and online advertising, social media management, and data analysis, which have provided me with a firm understanding of rising market strategies and technologies.

This coursework included on-site practicums with Boyd Brothers LLC and Boulevard Bistro, where I helped the owners of these businesses establish their first-ever social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This involved setting up their accounts, creating photo and video content, writing posts, launching digital ad campaigns, and tracking user engagement via Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics. I am also well-versed in the use of Adobe Creative Cloud for graphic design and Microsoft Office suite.

Impressed by the press that Brand Solutions Inc. has received in Market Branding Today and on Forbes Online, I am eager for the challenges and opportunities I would experience as your next economic intern. My resume is attached; may we please schedule a personal interview to discuss my qualifications for this role in greater detail? Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response. 

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you start a cover letter for a medical assistant.

“Dear Hiring Manager, I’m excited to be applying for the Medical Assistant position at Cloud Clearwater. I am a certified AAMA Medical Assistant with more than six years of experience helping patients in a long-term care setting.”

Do you need a cover letter when applying for internships?

No. However, a cover letter is one of the best ways to convey why you are the best candidate for the internship, allowing you to expand on and showcase key skills and experiences.

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Motivation letter samples and templates

motivation letter for phd in economics

Motivation letter sample for Master in Economics

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Admission office/department

Subject: Motivation letter

Dear Sir or Madam,

With this letter I wish hereby wish to apply and state my motivation for entrance to the Master program in Welfare Economics at the University of Sheffield for the 2014/15 academic year.

I appreciate this opportunity to introduce myself at your University and I perceive it as a perfect opportunity to support my application for the Master program in Welfare Economics offered by your University. With my educational background and working experience, I strongly believe that I am suitable candidate for the programme. I have chosen this University as my first choice because of valuable scholarly resources and well-known reputation of the highly qualified education of the University of [Name of the University].

Since I was young I have always had a keen interest in Economics. I began to subscribe to the periodicals dealing with current events since middle school. At the university, I focused more on the economic welfare and took some elective courses in political economy and economic theory. Through the program, I not only made a systematic study of principle of economics, but also learnt the economical analytical methods to public policy, such as Game Theory, Principal-Agent theory and Taxation theory and principles. My dissertation was in the field of public finance and policy impacts on social welfare. My research results were accepted provisionally by the relevant department of municipal council and I was invited to contribute to the dialogue. Since then, I found my passion on welfare economics, and I set my profession goal being an economic adviser of welfare policy and contributing to improve the lives of ordinary people.

I believe that countries in North Europe are perfect place for studying welfare policy. Since your University is the only university which offers a program combining economics and social welfare policy in a master’s degree, I have decided to place my application for Master degree programe here. After I read carefully the curriculum and the course requirements, I believe that it perfectly matches my research interests and profile. Thanks to the University website, I gained useful information about the University campus and the student life.  Bearing in mind the previous I believe I can fit perfectly achieving ideal academic results.

As I understand, this programme is very competitive, attracting highly motivated students, but I am convinced that my good record at the University and professional experience give me a strong recommendation for a place at it. Therefore I would be honored if you decide to accept my candidateship for Master studies. In the same time I am aware of possible challenges and high investments of effort I will have to place in order to successfully complete this course.

Thank you in advance for considering my application.

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motivation letter for phd in economics

Sample Motivation Letter For Your Economics PhD Application

Read a summary or generate practice questions using the INOMICS AI tool

When you apply for an economics  PhD , you will need to write not just a research proposal but also a letter of motivation. This letter describes why you wish to undertake a PhD and why you would be well-suited to researching your proposed topic. But what needs to go in this letter, and what tone is appropriate for it?

To give you some ideas, INOMICS is sharing a sample economics letter of motivation, as well as offering advice on how to write your own, so you can maximize your chances of getting accepted. If you plan to start your PhD application this autumn, you can download our free guide " How to successfully apply to a PhD in Economics ".

It should be noted that a European-style motivation letter focuses on academic background and research history, avoiding too much personal information. The US-style personal statement, on the other hand, is much more 'life experience' based. Here, we focus on the European style.

1. What to include in a motivation letter

There are a number of essentials you should include in your motivation letter when applying for your PhD. The introduction should (perhaps obviously) clearly state which economics program you are applying for. This will lead nicely into the next section, which should contain your reasons for wanting to do a PhD and specifically why you wish to do the program for which you've applied.

It is important to show what impact your proposed research will have on the industry, including perhaps the gaps in the literature/research that currently exist and how your research fills these in. Following on from this, your own academic background should be explained, including any academic achievements or awards you may have garnered aside from your degrees. Finally, your future career plans, and how your PhD and research proposal will help you achieve them, could be your closing statement of the motivation letter.

2. Be specific

One bad habit that many people have when writing their motivation letter is being too vague. Saying that you enjoyed your economics undergraduate course or that you find economics interesting is too vague to be meaningful. After all, it can already be assumed that you enjoyed studying economics or you wouldn't be applying for a PhD.

Instead, try to be more specific: mention which particular courses or topics appealed to you most, what you learned from them, and why you want to learn more about them. This is also a good way to mention your research areas of interest and how they will benefit the field.

3. Give concrete examples

Another common mistake is to make claims without giving any evidence to back those claims up. For example, you'll often see people say 'I work well independently' or 'I am highly organized and good at managing all of my assignments'. Without demonstrating how these things are true, there is no reason for the hiring committee to give weight to your self-assessment.

For better results, give concrete examples of your claims in action, such as 'My high level of organization was demonstrated when I completed my economics undergraduate courses while also working a part-time job, which required excellent time management skills' or 'In my second year, I successfully organized an undergraduate conference with 50 attendees.'

4. Show your personality

It is important to be professional in your motivation letter, so the letter should not contain jokes, sarcasm, or irrelevant personal information. However, you also needn't be dull and impersonal. You can and should allow your personality to shine through in your letter, and show how you are different from other candidates.

Maybe you have strong opinions about a particular topic in economics, or perhaps you have taken an unconventional career path. In these cases, you needn't hide your individuality. Show how your background gives you a unique perspective on your subject's issues and your approach to academic work. Remember, the point of the motivation letter is not to show how similar you are to an imagined perfect candidate – it's to show off your unique personal approach and how you could be a great PhD student.

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5. Focus on skills

An adjustment issue that some people have in during a PhD program is the gulf in requirements between an undergraduate or Master's course and a PhD. In an undergraduate or Master's course, you have to attend classes, complete assignments, and perform well in assessments. In a PhD, you will often have to come up with your own research questions, choose the best methodology to answer those questions, and motivate and organize yourself to complete your work.

If you don't have direct experience with doing these PhD tasks, that's okay – you won't be expected to know everything before you even start the PhD. However, you do want to show in your motivation letter that you have the capacity to perform this kind of work. In order to do this, you should focus on the skills that you have – such as data analysis, writing, research, presentation, and so on. Try to give examples of how you have used these skills in the past to show that you're ready for the challenge of a PhD now.

6. Talk about your future plans

Something that hiring committees like to see is that you are interested in working in your chosen field in the future. This means that you need to talk about what your post-PhD plans are if you want to be accepted. For most people applying for a PhD, the interest will be in doing a postdoc once they have completed the PhD. Other people may know that they want to work in industry, or for an NGO or for the government.

Any of these answers is fine, but the committee will want to see that you have thought about your long-term career. Do mention your long-term plans near the end of your motivation letter to show that you are serious about a career in your chosen field.

7. Sample motivation letter for an economics PhD

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to express my interest in pursuing a PhD in economics at Imperial College London.

I am particularly keen to apply for the doctoral program in the economics department at Imperial as its research interests are an excellent match for my academic background. I studied Business Management for my BA at Kingston University and during this time I developed a particular interest in the relationship between government policies affecting small businesses and economic outcomes country-wide. Furthering this interest, my BA thesis, which was supervised by Prof. Helen Smith, used statistical techniques to analyse the rate of growth of small businesses before and after new legislation regarding wages was put into place. My aim was not only to consider the ethical arguments regarding minimum wages and small businesses, but also to find evidence about whether policies encouraged or discouraged the growth of small businesses.

After completing my BA, I undertook an MSc in economics at University College London. From this course I gained deeper knowledge of statistics and modelling, which I made use of in my thesis project – an investigation into how the number of people employed by a small business affects the ability of that business to weather changes in wage laws. My aim throughout this project was to gather more evidence on the effect of new wage laws on the long-term stability of small businesses.

I now wish to continue my academic career with a PhD in economics, and I cannot imagine a better place to study this than the business school at Imperial. I admire the economics department’s commitment to both fairness and to accuracy, and I wish to further my work on minimum wage increases and small businesses in a way that respects both the dignity of workers and the needs of business owners. I particularly wish to work with Dr. Jane Brown, whose work on small business ethics has been a great source of inspiration for me.

This research has the potential to contribute to the theoretical models of small business growth in economics, but it also can contribute real-world value to policymakers and small business owners. As small businesses are often touted as the counterbalance in the move towards large multinational corporations due to globalisation, greater understanding of how to support these small businesses, and how to help them grow, will only become more valuable in the future.

Owing to my extensive knowledge of small business and wage laws, and my experience with statistical analyses and modelling, I am confident that I can complete the research project which I have proposed to a high standard. While both my previous thesis projects were on a smaller scale, I have recently been volunteering as a research assistant in a co-operative project focussing on cultural differences in small business creation, which has given me experience on large-scale projects too. This experience has helped me to plan out the time for my PhD realistically and confidently.

After completing the PhD, I plan to either pursue a postdoc placement within academic economics, or to work as a consultant for small business associations and policymakers. I believe that with my knowledge and experience in this increasingly important field, I can make important contributions to both the Imperial Business School and wider discipline of economics. I hope to be considered for this position.

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Home » Catchy Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor: 07+ Examples

Catchy Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor: 07+ Examples

Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor

Ever wondered how a single piece of paper could open the doors to your dream economics bachelor program? Brace yourself, because crafting the perfect Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor is more than just a formality—it’s your golden ticket to academic success and beyond.

In this blog post, we delve deep into the art of writing a compelling motivation letter. From showcasing your passion for economics to highlighting your unique experiences and aspirations, we’ll equip you with the tools and insights you need to stand out from the crowd. Get ready to captivate admissions committees and secure your spot in the program of your dreams!

Ready to make your mark? Let’s dive in and craft a motivation letter that speaks volumes about your potential and determination. Your dream economics bachelor program awaits—let’s seize it together!

Table of Contents

Key Components of Strong Motivation Letters Economics Bachelor

  • Introduction: Make a captivating opening to grab attention and introduce yourself briefly.
  • Passion for Economics: Express genuine enthusiasm and interest in the field of economics.
  • Academic Background: Highlight relevant academic achievements and coursework related to economics.
  • Relevant Experience: Detail any internships, projects, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and knowledge in economics.
  • Future Goals: Articulate your long-term career aspirations and how the economics bachelor program aligns with them.

Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor

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Motivational Letter For Bachelor Degree in Economics

Motivation letter for economics bachelor, short motivation letter economics bachelor.

Short Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor

Sample Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor

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Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Impactful Motivation Letters Economics Bachelor


  • Personalize your letter: Tailor your motivation letter to the specific program and highlight why you’re a perfect fit.
  • Showcase your passion: Let your enthusiasm for economics shine through by sharing personal anecdotes or experiences related to the field.
  • Be concise and focused: Keep your letter clear, concise, and focused on your relevant skills, experiences, and aspirations.


  • Don’t be generic: Avoid using generic language or clichés that could make your letter blend in with others.
  • Don’t exaggerate: Be honest and genuine in your letter; exaggerating your qualifications or experiences can backfire.
  • Don’t forget to proofread: Typos and grammatical errors can detract from your professionalism; always proofread your letter before sending.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, crafting a compelling motivation letter application is not just a formality—it’s your chance to make a lasting impression on admissions committees and pave the way for your academic and professional success. By personalizing your letter, showcasing your passion for economics, and staying concise and focused, you can effectively capture the attention of decision-makers and demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate for the program.

Remember, a well-crafted motivation letter is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and showcase your unique strengths and experiences. Tailoring your letter to the specific program and highlighting relevant skills and achievements will demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment to the field of economics, increasing your chances of success.

So, as you embark on the journey of crafting your motivation letter, remember to put your best foot forward and let your enthusiasm and dedication shine through. By following the tips and examples provided in this article, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job and making a meaningful impact in the field of economics. Take action today, revise your motivation letter, and watch as doors of opportunity swing open before you. Your future awaits—seize it with confidence and conviction.

Motivation Letter for University Bachelor Economics

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  1. Sample Motivation Letter For Your Economics PhD Application

    Sample motivation letter for an economics PhD. To Whom It May Concern, I am writing to express my interest in pursuing a PhD in economics at Imperial College London. I am particularly keen to apply for the doctoral program in the economics department at Imperial as its research interests are an excellent match for my academic background. I ...

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    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.

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    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.

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  8. 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.

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    When you apply for an economics PhD, you will need to write not just an research proposal but also a letter out motivation. This missive describes why you wishes to undertake a PhD and why they would be well-suited to researching choose proposed topic.

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    7. Sample motivation letter for an economics PhD. To Whom It May Concern, I am writing to express my interest in pursuing a PhD in economics at Imperial College London. I am particularly keen to apply for the doctoral program in the economics department at Imperial as its research interests are an excellent match for my academic background.

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    Motivation letter/ Statement of Purpose for MSc of Environmental Economics [3] ~ 2023 - Letters. Motivation letter to a school for advertised PhD Admission in Environmental Economics [6] ~ 2015 - Graduate. 'environmental science' - {motivation letter} letter for my higher degree [NEW] ~ 2012 - Letters. Application for MSc in Economics ...

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  22. Sample Motivation Letter For Your Economics PhD Application

    Sample motivation letter for an economics PhD. To Whom It May Concern, I am writing to express my interest in pursuing a PhD in economics at Imperial College London. I am particularly keen to apply for the doctoral program in the economics department at Imperial as its research interests are an excellent match for my academic background. I ...

  23. Catchy Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor: 07+ Examples

    Motivation Letter Economics Bachelor Example. Dear [Admissions Committee], I am writing to express my sincere interest in the Bachelor's degree program in Economics at [University Name]. My journey in economics has ignited a passion within me, and I am eager to further my understanding of the field.