I am willing to apply for advertised PHD position in Sweden. In the instructions to apply they have mentioned about the required documents which include CV, cover letter, transcripts. I have two questions regarding this

  1. They have not asked for a separate statement of purpose (SOP). So, should i include my motivation and research interest in the cover letter?
  2. Whom should i address my cover letter? to the professor who have given this advertisement or to the department or admission office?

2 Answers 2


Officially, in Sweden, it's normally the department that hires students. In practice, it's likely going to be the professor that acquired the funding who is going to evaluate candidates and make a decision. Even more in practice, your average Swedish professor won't care the least bit who you address in the letter.

If you feel you need to put in a name, put in the name of the hiring professor. If you get it wrong, it likely won't matter in the least.


The letter should be addressed to whomever posted the call for applications. I don't know precisely how things work in Sweden, but in some places (and fields) admission is through a professor who hires you. This may be the case if they posted the advertisement.

And yes, the information that you would normally put in a SoP needs to be included somewhere and the cover letter may be your only opportunity. Alternatively, the application system, such as it is, may permit additional documents than those required. But, somewhere you need to talk about your goals, both for the degree and thereafter.

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