The common goal of a cover letter is to demonstrate the commitment of your proposal to the area of interest of the foundation. The tone of your letter needs to be concise and professional. Remember that it is your possibility to capture the interest of your future funder, to make him feel excited about your research project. When writing a cover letter, you need to make it brief, get to the point quickly, you shouldn't repeat the same information that is in the proposal itself and instead, you need to explain to the reader how you comprehend the mission of foundation and how your research project meets the funders requirements. However, not only the content plays role, you also need to format your letter appropriately. Here, you can find the basic rules:
- Write the same date on your letter that is on your research grant application. However, remember writing your cover letter last, after the entire research proposal is completed.
- Start with the name of the contact's person and the title of your project. Put the inside address on the top of the letter. Below, write the funding organization name. Always check the information you provide two times.
- When addressing to a concrete person, greet this person with the word «Dear» and then write the person's title and the last name. If you are not sure about personal title, find it out. The success of your project depends on every little detail in your proposal and cover letter.
- Make the first paragraph of your proposal brief and concentrate on the main points. At first, introduce yourself (in what university or college you study, what you study, etc.). Tell briefly about your related research experience and write a few sentences about your achievements in this field of study.
- Your next paragraph has to be also narrow, just about five or ten sentences. Tell about your personal purpose in regard to your research project and why you do it.
- Make up a summarizing paper in the end. Explain what this chance means to you, how you are going to use it in the future, what is so significant about your project. Maybe you want to change the world? So go ahead, write it down!
- When finishing your cover letter, use polite words and expressions showing that you are waiting for the response.
- On the very bottom of your letter there has to be a note called «Attachments» showing that your grant proposal goes together with the cover letter. You may also write it with all capital letters so the reader could understand how important it is.
Some students feel puzzled when it comes to the length of the cover letter. There are experts who believe that it has to be limited to one page only and include not more than four paragraphs. However, opinions vary and it is hard to define, who is right in this issue. The best thing you can do in this regard is to read and comprehend all the given instructions. The final thing that is essential to do after your letter is totally complete, is proofread it many times. Any kind of mistake will spoil everything, which is not what you are fighting for.
Having said all the information above, we also suggest writing cover letters when your research proposal is directed to corporations and foundations that ask for it. When a cover letter is not required, you don't have to write one.
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