What Does A Graduate Research Student Do?

Graduate research students are learners who conduct degree program-related research in a research unit or an academic department. These students manage themselves independently as well as their work. They make certain that they have familiarized the requirements of the university. Educators and other scholars expect them to develop enough research and skills. Their responsibilities include academic honesty, participation in supervisory meetings, and maintenance of effective supervisor communication. In terms of their research, they should have a research plan ahead.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real graduate research student resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Study proper laboratory techniques and accomplish duties assign by PhD professors.
  • Manage social media publications to spread awareness and notifications on Facebook.
  • Confirm mutation by PCR of extract DNA, perform reverse-transpiration PCR of extract RNA, and assess nematode infection levels.
  • Assist in organic chemistry laboratory on synthesis of molecule that behaves as fluorescent switch with cation binding properties
  • Analyze data using SAS statistical software, and map populations using GIS.
  • Summarize statistics from SAS outputs for USDA research grant investigating WIC and food insecurity.
  • Travele to the national research symposium with fellow students and scientists and present the research poster.
  • Work with a PhD candidate on his dissertation research dealing with formulation and sustain release delivery systems.
  • Used ImageJ photo software to analyze and quantify fluorescence of image cells, RT-PCR gel plate analysis.
  • Extract cell RNA and perform QPCR to test for the TWIST1 gene link to proliferation and differentiation.
Graduate Research Student Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Graduate Research Student Overview

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a graduate research student is "should I become a graduate research student?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, graduate research student careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 20% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a graduate research student by 2028 is 139,200.

On average, the graduate research student annual salary is $35,377 per year, which translates to $17.01 an hour. Generally speaking, graduate research students earn anywhere from $26,000 to $46,000 a year, which means that the top-earning graduate research students make $20,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a graduate research student, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a postdoctoral scholar, laboratory internship, teaching assistant, and research laboratory technician.

Graduate Research Student Jobs You Might Like

Graduate Research Student Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Graduate Research Students are proficient in Lab Equipment, Laboratory Equipment, and Python. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Graduate Research Students that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Lab Equipment, 10%

    Manufactured prototype for ergonomic and quality testing utilizing machine shop and test lab equipment.

  • Laboratory Equipment, 6%

    Maintained laboratory equipment and supplies and liaise with other laboratory teams, and principal investigators regarding laboratory results and reports.

  • Python, 6%

    Performed analysis on large volume of data containing simulations of numerical models of continuous gravitational waves written in MATLAB and Python.

  • Data Analysis, 5%

    Analyze data Characterize catalysts via infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy Skills Used Data Analysis Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

  • C++, 5%

    Developed and updated existing C++ package to simulate the optical properties of acrylic tanks in neutrino detectors

  • Chemistry, 5%

    Provided training and instruction to an undergraduate student in research techniques and higher-level approaches to organic chemistry problem solving.

"lab equipment," "laboratory equipment," and "python" aren't the only skills we found graduate research students list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of graduate research student responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a graduate research student to have. According to a graduate research student resume, "market research analysts must be able to understand large amounts of data and information." Graduate research students are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "performed water quality tests and lab analysis on wetlands in southern california and southeastern australia"
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform graduate research student duties is the following: communication skills. According to a graduate research student resume, "market research analysts need strong communication skills when gathering information, interpreting data, and presenting results to clients." Check out this example of how graduate research students use communication skills: "manage data collection projects by providing weekly updates/reports; verbal and written communication skills. "
  • Detail oriented is also an important skill for graduate research students to have. This example of how graduate research students use this skill comes from a graduate research student resume, "market research analysts must be detail oriented because they often do precise data analysis." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "collaborated with 3 research students to construct a detailed report of our findings during the summer. "
  • See the full list of graduate research student skills.

    Before becoming a graduate research student, 76.3% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 12.3% graduate research students went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most graduate research students have a college degree. But about one out of every nine graduate research students didn't attend college at all.

    The graduate research students who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied biology and chemistry, while a small population of graduate research students studied psychology and biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology.

    Once you're ready to become a graduate research student, you should explore the companies that typically hire graduate research students. According to graduate research student resumes that we searched through, graduate research students are hired the most by Brigham and Women's Hospital, Microsoft, and Partners Healthcare Group. Currently, Brigham and Women's Hospital has 2 graduate research student job openings, while there are 2 at Microsoft and 2 at Partners Healthcare Group.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, graduate research students tend to earn the biggest salaries at Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories, and UES,. Take Microsoft for example. The median graduate research student salary is $109,586. At Abbott Laboratories, graduate research students earn an average of $70,304, while the average at UES, is $64,210. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on graduate research student salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious graduate research students are:

      What Postdoctoral Scholars Do

      A Postdoctoral Scholar is responsible for supporting an educational research group to conduct studies and gather relevant data to support study claims and scientific evidence. They review initial findings, perform field investigations, and interview the target respondents for data and statistical analysis. They also coordinate with the whole team for efficient research methods, ensuring adherence to budget limitations and required timetables. A Postdoctoral Scholar must have excellent communication skills, both oral and written, to document reports and discuss results with the research team.

      We looked at the average graduate research student annual salary and compared it with the average of a postdoctoral scholar. Generally speaking, postdoctoral scholars receive $19,589 higher pay than graduate research students per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between graduate research students and postdoctoral scholars are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like python, data analysis, and c++.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a graduate research student responsibilities require skills like "lab equipment," "laboratory equipment," "analyze data," and "research student." Meanwhile a typical postdoctoral scholar has skills in areas such as "communication," "doctoral," "nih," and "mathematics." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Postdoctoral scholars tend to make the most money in the education industry by averaging a salary of $51,327. In contrast, graduate research students make the biggest average salary of $39,206 in the health care industry.

      The education levels that postdoctoral scholars earn is a bit different than that of graduate research students. In particular, postdoctoral scholars are 1.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a graduate research student. Additionally, they're 37.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Laboratory Internship?

      A laboratory intern is responsible for assisting laboratory operations and perform examinations and experiments under the supervision of tenured laboratory staff. Laboratory interns shadow all the laboratory processes, document their observations, and conduct an in-depth analysis of the results. They must have excellent knowledge of scientific procedures, demonstrating their class learnings to practical applications. A laboratory intern must be detail-oriented, especially on conducting and verifying the accuracy of research materials. It is also required for a laboratory intern to be a fast-learner, understanding the scientific complexities to master various approaches.

      Now we're going to look at the laboratory internship profession. On average, laboratory interns earn a $536 lower salary than graduate research students a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Graduate research students and laboratory interns both include similar skills like "lab equipment," "laboratory equipment," and "python" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, graduate research student responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "research student," "molecular biology," "synthesis," and "symposium." Meanwhile, a laboratory internship might be skilled in areas such as "diagnostic tests," "test results," "windows," and "sample preparation." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      Laboratory interns may earn a lower salary than graduate research students, but laboratory interns earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $31,092. On the other side of things, graduate research students receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $39,206.

      On the topic of education, laboratory interns earn lower levels of education than graduate research students. In general, they're 10.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 37.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Teaching Assistant Compares

      Teaching assistants are employees who aid teachers in activities needed to deliver lessons. They are usually junior employees or even students who are doing part-time work. Teaching assistants usually set up classrooms, prepare handouts, and give out these handouts in the classroom. They may also be tapped to help prepare presentation materials, source items for classroom demonstration purposes, and assist in the conduct of the lesson. Teaching assistants also help collect schoolwork from students and may also assist teachers in checking schoolwork.

      The teaching assistant profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of graduate research students. The difference in salaries is teaching assistants making $19,908 higher than graduate research students.

      By looking over several graduate research students and teaching assistants resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "python," "data analysis," and "c++." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a graduate research student is likely to be skilled in "lab equipment," "laboratory equipment," "cell culture," and "analyze data," while a typical teaching assistant is skilled in "laboratory experiments," "class activities," "lesson plans," and "classroom management."

      Interestingly enough, teaching assistants earn the most pay in the government industry, where they command an average salary of $62,560. As mentioned previously, graduate research students highest annual salary comes from the health care industry with an average salary of $39,206.

      Teaching assistants are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to graduate research students. Additionally, they're 13.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 4.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Research Laboratory Technician

      Research laboratory technicians play a vital role in scientific laboratories. They perform varied duties and responsibilities, which include setting up, operating, and maintaining the laboratory equipment, assisting in laboratory-based research activities such as sampling, testing, and analyzing results, and providing technical support to the laboratory team members. In addition, they are expected to support the development and advancement of science and modern medicine. Other typical duties of research laboratory technicians include preparing samples and specimens, keeping abreast with current technical developments, and ensuring strict compliance with safety procedures.

      Research laboratory technicians tend to earn a higher pay than graduate research students by about $6,001 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, graduate research students and research laboratory technicians both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "lab equipment," "laboratory equipment," and "data analysis. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a graduate research student might have more use for skills like "python," "c++," "analyze data," and "research student." Meanwhile, some research laboratory technicians might include skills like "laboratory experiments," "diagnostic tests," "flow cytometry," and "accurate records" on their resume.

      Research laboratory technicians earn a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $53,591. Whereas, graduate research students earn the highest salary in the health care industry.

      In general, research laboratory technicians reach similar levels of education when compared to graduate research students resumes. Research laboratory technicians are 0.2% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 3.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.