A research assistant, or RA, 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 responsible to a supervisor or principal investigator and usually are not directly responsible for the outcome of the research. However, in Malaysia, research assistants can be the main contributor to the outcome of the research. Research assistants are often educated to degree level and might be enrolled in a postgraduate degree program and simultaneously teach.
Undergraduate and post-doctoral level
Although a research assistant is normally appointed at graduate level, undergraduates are also sometimes appointed to support research.
Similarly, someone who has recently been awarded a doctoral degree may hold a temporary appointment as a postdoctoral 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.
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- University of Cambridge (March 2003). "Generic Role Profile Research Assistant". Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- European Business School (11 May 2010). "Research Assistant - Supply Chain Management Institute". Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (9 March 2008). "Research Assistant Position at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka". Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.