Research Associates are scholars and professionals that usually have an advanced degree beyond a Master's degree. Research Associate is an employee of the University or a Research Institute, and may be eligible to receive University / Federal benefits. Note that the Research Associate position does not explicitly require mentoring and is a regular staff position with appointment letters processed by Human Resources. In contrast to a research assistant, a research associate often has a graduate degree, such as a master's (e.g. Master of Science) or in some cases Master of Engineering or a doctoral degree (e.g. Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Medicine). In some cases it can be synonymous with postdoctoral research.