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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    Please help me with a PhD motivation letter

    Hi everyone.
    I am preparing documents to a PhD position in the Netherlands. Could anyone correct my motivation letter below?

    Dear Dr. [ABC]

    I am a second year MSc student in the Grid Computing program at the University of Amsterdam. I would like to submit my candidature for the PhD position [ABC] in the project [ABC]. After spending my Bachelor and MSc study on applied mathematics and computer science, I expect that the PhD position will contribute enormously to my future research-career plans. I also believe that I would be a valuable add to your project and department.

    Before specializing into grid computing, I had spent five years of my undergraduate on various aspects of computer science such as computer architectures, databases, discrete mathematics, data structures and algorithms, and so on. In the third year, I participated in deploying a distributed database system supporting a quantum computer simulation. Working in a development team, I contributed to the design and partial deployment of this system on a cluster of maximal 16 nodes drastically increasing the speed of the simulation. The result of our student team was awarded the first prize in “Scientific Research Contest 2004” of Hanoi University of Technology and the third prize of “Scientific Research Contest 2004” of the Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam. The outcome of the project also helped me realize the advantages and highly potential applications of distributes/parallel computing. I continued working on the project in the following year and succeeded with a publication in the proceeding of the Second Conference on Applications of Mathematics, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2005. At the end phase of the undergraduate program, I was selected by Hanoi City Hall with the Laureate Student Prize, as one of the top 100 students among all universities in Hanoi.

    I continued to pursue my research interest by moving to Amsterdam to follow the Grid Computing MSc program at the University of Amsterdam with support from the Huygens scholarship awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. My current academic focus is specialized in the domain of grid computing and my courses thus far have familiarized me with current technologies in the areas of high performance computing and grid technology. My practical experience includes not only designing web services, but also parallelizing traditional algorithms in order to increase performance in a broad range of paradigms. One example is an experiment I was involved in at the University of Amsterdam comparing running time of sequential and parallelized partial differential equation solvers. In 2006, I attended the IEEE Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing in Amsterdam, where I was able to expand my exposure to recent advances in grid-related applications.

    Personal characteristics of perseverance and diligence will sustain me in the TUDeft PhD program as well. Being born in a rural area of Vietnam, I started my independent life at the age of 18 when I moved to Hanoi to attend the Hanoi University of Technology. The new life in the capital gave me experience in adapting myself to a new environment. Going to Amsterdam was a new challenge for me and I soon enjoyed the international academic environment inside the University of Amsterdam and the social life outside. The life and professional experiences in Amsterdam will definitely support me in adapting to a new environment in Delft.

    My experience at the University of Amsterdam and my former university has taught me to coordinate my efforts with other highly motivated individuals. I am confident that these experience and abilities would serve me well on your department and your project. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications and the PhD position in more detail.

    Yours Sincerely,

    My name

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: Please help me with a PhD motivation letter

    I am NOT well qualified in computers but I have been speaking English for over 75 years. My closest contact with grid computing was when I let SETI use my home computer for their research computations. Fascinating!

    I am attaching two Word documents so you can see what I feel might improve your letter. The first (REVISION) should show most of the changes I inteded to make. The second (COMPLETED REVISION) is the document I ended up with. This one has line numbers to enable easier discussion if needed.

    Good luck!
    Attached Files Attached Files

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    Re: Please help me with a PhD motivation letter

    hi Oregeezer.

    Thanks a lot for your revisions. Just wondering in the line 6, you used "With a Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science". Shouldn't it be MS' instead of MS? Also, is there any different between MS and MSc?

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