Graduate research assistants are used by universities' academic departments to assist with ongoing research efforts. The research assistant typically receives financial compensation, along with credit applicable to his or her field of study at the school.
Many professors and other faculty rely upon their graduate research assistants to help facilitate the gathering of data for study, which may include tasks such as helping administer experiments and psychological testing. It may also involve conducting and transcribing interviews as well. Graduate research assistants also frequently work in libraries, gathering information from a variety of printed and Internet sources at the direction of a supervisor, professor, and/or department head.
In addition, the research assistant may be asked to perform a number of administrative tasks for tenured faculty members or academic departments. He or she may help draft tests and grade them, as well as type lecture text and outlines as well. The graduate assistant might be called upon to assist faculty with group breakouts during classes and laboratory work in a limited teaching or training capacity as well.
To work as a graduate research assistant, a student must be in good academic standing and pursuing a postgraduate degree in the department to which they are applying. In addition, a candidate should be able to demonstrate strong organizational, communication, and computer skills. Because many of these positions carry an ancillary benefit of applicable course credit, these positions may be very competitive.
Graduate Research Assistant Tasks
- Research and write papers, summaries, presentations and documentation.
- Create models, simulations and programs to analyze and disseminate data or findings.
- Collect, validate and analyze data.
- Maintain, calibrate, clean and update instruments and programs.