Graduate Students & Postdocs
We have an opening for one new PhD student to work with Dr. Kibbe starting Fall 2024. Dr. Kibbe is particularly recruiting students who are interested in working on early object and numerical representations and topics related to language of thought in infancy and early childhood. Interested applicants should apply through the Developmental Sciences track (and check out Dr. Kibbe’s Twitter thread on why the Developmental Sciences program is awesome).
You can find resources and tips for study planning, project management, journal reviewing, applying for faculty jobs, and writing workshops on our Grad Student/Postdoc Resources page.
And check out this excellent Twitter thread with tips for writing a Statement of Purpose for PhD applications.
We currently do not have any openings for research assistants for Summer 2023. If you are a BU student interested in joining the lab as a research assistant in Fall 2023, please send your resume or CV and a cover letter describing why you want to work in the lab to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Cover Letter?
Many labs looking to hire RAs may ask for a cover letter. Cover letters are just as important as your CV/resume, as it allows you to expand on your skills, research interests, and why you would be a good fit for the lab. It also gives you the opportunity to personalize your application for the lab you are applying to, which shows that you are a serious applicant and have done your homework!
General Format of a Cover Letter:
- Start your first paragraph off by stating the position you’re applying to and introducing yourself (what year are you? Major?)
- Briefly talk about your personal research interests and tentative future plans
- Talk what about this lab/ position specifically interests you: Is there research going on in the lab that you find interesting? (maybe mention a paper you skimmed or talk about active studies in the lab) What skills do you want to learn?
- Body Paragraph(s)
- Talk about any experiences or skills that you have and try to be as specific as possible
- Don’t just say you have good communication skills or have experience working with a certain population, actually describe what you’ve done and what you’ve learned from these experiences
- Can bring up coursework and how this has helped shaped your interest
- End with talking about skills/personality traits that make you a strong applicant (ex: teamplayer, hardworking, open-minded etc) and restate the lab/position you are applying to
- You can thank them for reviewing your application or mention how you look forward to potentially working at the lab
1) If you’re an undergraduate it’s okay of you don’t have any research experience (unless the lab states otherwise). Don’t sell the experiences you have short! Find a way to take the skills you have and make it applicable to the lab you’re applying to, for example:
- If you’re applying to a lab that works with kids talk about your babysitting or camp counselor experience
- If you have experience working in retail or customer service talk about having people skills
2) Most importantly: Try to be as specific as possible as why you want to work with this lab. Many labs may work with kids, or look at Cognitive Development, what was it about this lab in particular that drew you to apply?
Sample Cover Letters:
Attached Below are different Cover Letters from RAs in our lab, and various stages in their academic career.
Example 1 Cover Letter (no research experience)
Example 2 Cover Letter_(Some previous experience)
Example 4 Cover Letter (post-bac position)
More cover letter help:
How to format a CV: