A research and teaching assistant is typically employed by college professors to assist them in a variety of ways. In a teaching assistant role, this employee performs tasks such as grading papers, proctoring examinations, and even teaching at a discussion or lab-group level or performing guest lectures. As a research assistant, this person helps collect and classify evidence on any experiments being performed. The research assistant may also be required to help gather information in libraries, set up and perform interviews, and generally act in an administrative role to assist the professor or department in which he or she works.
In the teaching assistant role, this employee primarily focuses on assisting professors with classroom teaching and instruction. This can involve typing and printing tests, and then proctoring and grading them. It may also involve holding regular office hours to advise and assist students who may be struggling with material or needing information from reading or lectures clarified. The teaching assistant may be asked to take over lower-level freshman classes as a teacher for the department or help with teaching smaller breakout groups in lecture classes taught by tenured professors.
As a research assistant, this employee's role becomes a bit more generalized into administrative help for the department or a specific professor. The research assistant helps in the collection and analysis of data, which can include interpretation and categorization work. The research assistant also helps set up interviews and may be tasked with background library research on a variety of subjects as well.
To be a research and teaching assistant, typically a person must be a graduate school student studying for a master's degree or higher at a university within the department he or she is hired to work in. The work may provide necessary credit for the assistant, as well as offer pay or further stipends. The assistant must have good grades, be organized to handle both work and his or her own studies, and be an excellent communicator.
Research and Teaching Assistant Tasks
Answer student and research participant questions to explain logistics and concepts.
Support grading, syllabus creation and modification, and course websites.
Collect data, identify literature sources, and write up research findings.
Complete trainings and follow university regulations and protocols.