Graduate research assistants (GRAs) are in charge of conducting research efforts at a graduate level, analyzing information, aggregating data, running calculations using spreadsheet software, and assisting professors, professionals, and other individuals in carrying out research and administrative tasks as needed.
Those in this position must be organized and pay close attention to detail to prepare extensive reports based on research results, and they must be proficient in computer and research software to prepare papers with their findings. They will report their progress to the graduate research professor of their organization.
GRAs must work well with others on projects, but also independently with minimal supervision. Some main duties include collecting crucial information, relevant visuals, and other case studies that are important to the graduate program, reviewing and editing research materials before distribution, and processing and interpreting large sets of data.
Those in this position must have excellent knowledge of quantitative research methodologies and data analysis techniques, as well as multitasking skills to work on a variety of projects at once. They will also actively contribute to research meetings by suggesting ways to improve processes and maximize support, and may take part in training sessions to use newer technology software and/or research equipment. A bachelor's degree in an academic field is generally required for this position, and experience in a project management capacity can be helpful. Academic certifications are also beneficial.
Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Tasks
Collect, validate and analyze data.
Maintain, calibrate, clean and update instruments and programs.
Research and write papers, summaries, presentations and documentation.
Create models, simulations and programs to analyze and disseminate data or findings.
Plan and execute research activities.