Cover letter - PhD

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Dear all,
Firstly, I would like to thank for the possibility of this forum. It´s a great help for us, whose first language is not english.
I am applying for a PhD, to which I need to send a cover/motivation letter. Could you please peruse it for me and let me know how to improve it.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks in advance,
Joana

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Dear Professor *** ***,

I am writing to apply for the PhD in Environmental Risk Management at University of ***..

I graduated in Environmental Engineering in 1999 from *** University, Spain. During my degree I became very interested in the sustainable development, its principles and associated tools that allow the evaluation of potential risks and prevent them.

In the context of sustainability, during the last year of my degree, I worked directly with a local authority (*** Council, Spain) to develop its “Sustainable Observatory” based on a set of indicators, which covered the environmental, social and economic areas. The “Observatory” revealed to be a very important tool for their Local Agenda ***, helping the decision makers to evaluate their local development plans, strategies and policies.

Once I have completed my degree, I focused my professional career on the development of quality and environmental management systems, namely in companies related to the construction industry. As I have always been involved with this particular industry, I became aware of the bivalency between “environment and built environment” and conscious that construction has the potential to cause severe impacts on the environment but on the other hand, it is the kind of industry that has the ability to enhance the environmental health, biodiversity and quality of life when applying the appropriate approaches and tools.

Between 199X and 200X, I have worked in Spain as a consultant and developed quality and environmental management systems according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards in ready mixed and quarrying companies.

In 200X, I came to England to do a Masters Degree in Quality Engineering from *** University. When developing my Masters´ dissertation, I applied my research skills in a real case study company belonged to a very well-known ready mixed brand within United Kingdom. It was a real challenge and very interesting experience for me, from which I decided to stay here to reinforce my international experience, namely in the construction industry.

Since 200X, I have been working as a QE (Quality and Environmental) Manager in an Engineering Consultancy Company. Its main clients are local authorities and its services include: design and maintenance of highways; design, maintenance and inspection of highways structures; and development of regeneration projects.

Dealing with this type of clients/entities and projects, I have realised how important all the parties (from planers and local authorities to designers and contractors) are in terms of making the sustainability happen and how difficult it is due to the lack of appropriate or available tools and factual data. This has reinforced my interest in this topic, to which I intend to contribute and get involved as a researcher. Hence, I intend to develop a PhD related to sustainable issues and associated tools/practical techniques capable to enhance the capacity of policy-makers, managers, planners, public authorities and enterprises to identify from a range of options, the most effective in promoting and achieving the level of sustainability suited to their own circumstances, maximising the benefits in economic, social and environmental terms.

As the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management at University *** has important research activities in these areas, I would like to have the opportunity to develop its PhD programme in Environmental Risk Management, to which I am confident I have the skills, knowledge and competence.

Thank you very much for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Joana
New Member05
Hi Joana,

You have an excellent command of English. I have made one or two minor suggestions, mostly to do with removing superfluous definite articles.

Good luck.

Dear Professor *** ***,

I am writing to apply for the PhD in Environmental Risk Management at University of ***..

I graduated in Environmental Engineering in 1999 from *** University, Spain. During my studies I became very interested in sustainable development, its principles and associated tools that allow the evaluation of potential risks and their prevention

In the context of sustainability, during my final year, I worked directly with a local authority (*** Council, Spain) to develop its “Sustainable Observatory” based on a set of indicators which covered environmental, social and economic areas. The “Observatory” proved to be a very important tool for their Local Agenda ***, helping the decision makers to evaluate their local development plans, strategies and policies.

Once I completed my degree, I focused my professional career on the development of quality and environmental management systems in companies related to the construction industry. As I have always been involved with this particular industry, I became aware of the bivalency between “environment and built environment” and became conscious that construction has the potential to cause severe impacts on the environment but on the other hand, it is the kind of industry that has the ability to enhance environmental health, biodiversity and quality of life when applying the appropriate approaches and tools.

Between 199X and 200X, I worked in Spain as a consultant and developed quality and environmental management systems according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards in ready mixed ? concrete? and quarrying companies.

In 200X, I came to England to do a Masters Degree in Quality Engineering at *** University. When developing my Masters´ dissertation, I applied my research skills in a real case study in a company manufacturing a very well-known ready mixed brand within United Kingdom. It was a real challenge and a very interesting experience for me, which convinced me to stay here to reinforce my international experience in the construction industry.

Since 200X, I have been working as a QE (Quality and Environmental) Manager in an Engineering Consultancy Company. Its main clients are local authorities and its services include: design and maintenance of highways; design, maintenance and inspection of highways structures; and development of regeneration projects.

Dealing with this type of clients/entities and projects, I have realised how important all the parties are (from planers and local authorities to designers and contractors) in terms of making sustainability happen and how difficult it is due to the lack of appropriate or available tools and factual data. This has reinforced my interest in this topic, to which I intend to contribute and get involved as a researcher. Hence, I intend to develop a PhD thesis related to issues of sustainability and associated tools/practical techniques which may enhance the capacity of policy-makers, managers, planners, public authorities and enterprises to identify from a range of options, the most effective in promoting and achieving the level of sustainability suited to their own circumstances, maximising the benefits in economic, social and environmental terms.

As the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management at University *** has important research activities in these areas, I would like to have the opportunity to develop its PhD programme in Environmental Risk Management, for which I am confident I have the skills, knowledge and competence.

Thank you very much for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely
Senior Member2,657
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Abbie,
Thank you very much for your suggestions and amendments.

Just an additional question, do you know if in these cases we should refer and append our CV to the cover letter.

Regards,
Joana
I think that I would probably enclose a short CV, Joanna, but nothing too wordy!
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Thanks again Abbie.
All the best for you.
Joana
Anonymous:
abbie1948, you are so kind. I've learned something from your revision.
Anonymous:
me2 ty
Anonymous:
thank you joana for thiss latter
(Email removed)
Anonymous:
But of course you need to append your curriculum vitae, that's the whole purpose of the cover letter.

The cover letter is used to get the reader excited about yourself, so he or she can continue reading the mostly monotonous information presented in the CV, and ultimately make a decission.

In the cover letter you tell the "why" (why am I introducing myself?), in the CV you describe the "what" (what have I done?).
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