This could be the very first step on the rung for aspirational researchers. Research assistants are employed in many different fields of research within one of our four faculties. The research work can be undertaken by current PhD students (some may have gained a bursary through studentships) and also by those who have recently completed their doctorate. It is not unheard of for a MA/MSc graduate to be considered and given a research assistant post. Research assistants are usually assigned to one faculty and work on projects either alone or collaboratively with colleagues at the university. They are encouraged to join research networks, mentoring as a mentee and they may well be working on their first research proposal.
Their work is significantly supervised and influenced by the nature and life span of research funding obtained by more experienced researchers. Research assistants play an important part in undertaking the groundwork for senior researchers who have successfully obtained funding from various sources. Duties could include testing, data collection, interviewing and administration.
The other significant factor that defines the work of a research assistant is that it is invariably temporary.