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A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract,[1] 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[2] and might be enrolled in a postgraduate degree program and simultaneously teach.[1][3][4]


Undergraduate and post-doctoral levelEdit

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 AssistantEdit

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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "European University Institute - Belgium Flanders, Academic Career Structure". Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  2. ^ University of Cambridge (March 2003). "Generic Role Profile Research Assistant". Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  3. ^ European Business School (11 May 2010). "Research Assistant - Supply Chain Management Institute". Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  4. ^ 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.