A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract, by a university or a research institute, for the purpose of assisting in academic research. Research assistants are not independent and not directly responsible for the outcome of the research and are responsible to a supervisor or principal investigator. Research assistants are often educated to degree level and might be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme and simultaneously teach.
Undergraduate and Post-doctoral level
Although a research assistant is normally appointed at graduate level, undergraduate research assistant are also sometimes appointed to support research.
Similarly a postdoctoral research assistant who has recently been awarded a doctoral degree, may hold a temporary appointment as a research assistant.
Clinical research assistant
A clinical research assistant is employed by a hospital or medical research centre, who is involved in the administration of clinical trials. He or she may assist a senior investigator with recruiting and enrolling research subjects, as well as with correspondence and grant applications.
- "European University Institute - Belgium Flanders, Academic Career Structure". www.eui.eu. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- University of Cambridge (March 2003). "Generic Role Profile Research Assistant". Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- European Business School (11 May 2010). "Research Assistant - Supply Chain Management Institute". Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (9 March 2008). "Research Assistant Position at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka". Retrieved 18 May 2010.