This psychology research cover letter, aimed at obtaining a clinical research position, was previously published at Washington DC, psychologist, Dr. Lynn Friedman’s, Carnegie Mellon’s Psychology, blog.
Dear Dr. Smith:
For many years now I have followed your research. I read with great interest your most recent papers on child abuse including, The role of the health professional in identifying child abuse and A longitudinal analysis of psychiatric morbidity in physically abused children.
I would very much like to work as your psychology, clinical research associate, and believe my theoretical and statistically oriented training, my broad-based research experience in schizophrenia, social psychology, and cognition, and my exposure to clinical populations make me well qualified for such a position.
As an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, I sought out several experiences to apply my theoretical knowledge regarding methodology and statistics to practical research settings. I served as a research assistant on a study of skill acquisition under the supervision of John Doe, Ph.D. My responsibilities included conducting analyses and writing computer programs to convert raw data into an analyzable form, as well as creating tables and figures to present the results of these findings in a comprehensive format.
During my senior year, I designed and implemented a senior honor’s thesis in the area of emotional expression, acquiring additional experience in data management, and statistical analysis and interpretation. I presented the findings from this research at the University Honors Symposium April, 2015. In addition, my thesis advisor, Mary Smith, Ph.D. and I are currently completing a manuscript describing our results to submit for publication.
Through these experiences, I developed an understanding of the methodological compromises inherent in conducting research, and a sense of gratification in following a project from its genesis to its completion. My interests in the clinical arena encouraged me to seek out experience interacting with patient populations. As a result, I participated in two internships at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. I volunteered on an adolescent inpatient unit and interacted with suicidal adolescents from a diverse range of backgrounds, including many who were abused as children. My contact was informal, occurring primarily during recreational activities and meals.
A second internship experience afforded me the opportunity to work with schizophrenic outpatients in a work rehabilitation program. I assisted several individuals in developing practical problem solving skills for difficulties that arise in the work setting. Bi-weekly meetings with my supervisor enriched and clarified my understanding of the struggles these individuals experience. I have an interest in deepening my understanding of clinical populations, particularly victims of child abuse.
I have enclosed my C.V. and I will be contacting your office in a few days in the hopes of scheduling an interview. Thank you for your consideration. If I can provide any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me (268-xxxx Work, 421-xxxx Home).
Obtaining a psychology research assistant position is a prerequisite to earning a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. To learn more about how to obtain a psychology job read below:
This article is one of the most read on my site. Are you an academic or a policymaker? Do you have helpful suggestions or ideas as to how to obtain a clinical research job in psychology, psychiatry or social science? If so, please click, “comment” and share them. Please sign your name, and affiliation. If you are an undergraduate student, a recent graduate or a graduate student, and you have questions, or suggestions on this topic, please hit comment. I can not promise that I will answer every question or post every comment (I work full-time as a psychologist, psychoanalyst and I teach at Hopkins) but I will (a) answer some and (b) incorporate your questions into future columns. Thank you. Lynn Friedman, Ph.D.
Lynn Friedman, Ph.D. (c) 2016
This material is copyrighted. However, Psychology Departments, Psi Chi Chapters, Psychology Clubs and University and College Career Centers may republish this column, free-of-charge as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without alteration. Also, along with this column, copyright and the following byline must be attached: Dr. Lynn Friedman is a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and executive coach in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is on the associate faculty at Johns Hopkins University. Web site: www.drlynnfriedman.com. She can be reached at: (301) 656-9650.
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