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Research Associate

Updated on July 23, 2014

My Job Hunt

Ever since my graduation I am constantly hunting for jobs. There is hardly any job portal that I don’t have knowledge of. My sole aim of picking the Sunday newspaper is to check out the job advertisement sections.

It happened a few months back that a well reputed educational institute had advertised the post of Research Associate. Previously I was not familiar with the post but as the name say it all. It was related to research. Due to no job description given in the advertisement I could assess little what will be my job responsibilities? But I was by all means going to apply for the post as I am particularly interested in research. Also I had in mind that it will help me in my future thesis. Still I wanted to know more and my curiosities took the best of me and thanks to GOOGLE where information is a few clicks away. I spent almost an entire day searching for information. There was a lot that added to my previous store of knowledge.

The trend of research is on the rise in almost every field such as clinical psychology, marketing, finance etc. It has also increased job opportunities.

What is Research Associate?

Research Associate is a full-time job. In research, the beginner level is research assistant the next rank is that of research associate which further leads to the analyst level. It shows that the post promotes to higher level with the passage of time. It also involves increase in experience and enhanced expertise. The post can be advertised by an educational institute, an organization, a non-profit organization, government sector department etc. Each has their own policy regarding hiring and promotion of a research associate. Mostly the post requires a PhD candidate and in many cases Master’s candidate is also eligible. In contrast a research assistant requires graduate or an undergraduate candidate.

Research Associates are considered an equal employee and therefore get all sorts of benefits offered by the organization. Their main responsibility is to conduct research. They are not assigned other duties. They basically collect data by search library and Internet, read journals, conducts surveys and interviews, and applies various statistical tests and analyzes the results.

The research associate needs to have analytical and problem solving skills. The job requires creativity, enthusiasm and hard work. The knowledge regarding ethical values in research is considered a plus. Mostly it is a 9 to 5 job but at research centers there is no limit to the working hours. They also skip holidays and also work on Sundays.

What is a Research Assistant?

Research Assistant also is responsible for conducting the research project. As a research assistant one learns how to conduct research which further helps us in future research projects. Mostly post graduate and undergraduate students work as an assistant for which they are given a stipend which helps them to finance their studies.

Students are assigned to work with faculty members. Their duties include tasks such as data collection, entry, and analysis, reviewing the literature and writing reports. They have the opportunity participate in almost every aspect of the research. They report back to supervisors to update them about the project. They discuss issues that arise during the project and take necessary action. They are also involved in the decision making process.

What makes a successful Research Assistant or Associate?

Getting a job is equally important as performing well on it. It becomes easy if you know what and how you are expected to be on the job?

Positive attitude- Say good bye to negative energies ant try to be as constructive as possible. It is important to utilize time and energy in the right direction. If you fail at any thing don’t let that hinder your motivation.

Be organized- keep track of your daily doings. Being organized will help you not to miss important details. If you are unorganized it shows your confused state of mind. Research is critical and it needs clarity of mind.

Respect your job- It is very important to have full attendance on job. If you are away for some careless reasons it shows lack of interest. It also wastes time which is allocated to conduct a research project.

Play with ideas- During research you get chances to come with solutions to numerous problems. One never knows a bright idea may pop in our mind which clicks our supervisor. The next thing you now that it becomes the plan of action.

Ask for help- Research is not a piece of cake. Even if you know everything about conducting a research still each day is a new one. It brings challenges of its own. If you get stuck with something don’t panic. You need to consult your supervisor and discuss immediately. Any hurdle in your way should be in supervisor’s knowledge.

Good grades- .Sometimes Professors are looking for brightest students to be their research assistants. But that is not the case always you may be second best but motivated to work hard and improve. You can find your place.

Meet dead lines promptly- It is important to finish your tasks on time. If there is problem in the task assigned you need to discuss it with your supervisor before hand instead of getting late which leaves a bad impression. It shows lack of commitment.

Communication- The mode of communication between you and you supervisor must be decided before hand. If it is through e-mail message do reply promptly. You can also phone them and pay periodic visits if need be.

Ethics- The ethics involve with research must be considered important. It increases your credibility and helps in building trust.


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