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A research associate is responsible for assisting the research team, organizing and interpreting findings, and verifying information before presenting the study to the board. Research associates duties also include gathering and comparing data from multiple sources, analyzing the current industry trends, creating draft outlines for reports, collecting individual contacts for interview purposes, and helping with the development of research procedures. A research associate must have excellent time-management skills and ability to multi-task, especially on meeting strict deadlines and conducting studies.

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Research Associate Responsibilities

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

  • Manage databases, analyze data in STATA, and summarize relevant findings for partners.
  • Process, analyze and upload HTS data that lead to the discovery of new structural classes of small molecules.
  • Manage outsource projects, and interact with vendors for API sourcing, and device components base on project needs.
  • Manage all aspects of HPLC method development and analysis through interpretation of data ensuring accuracy of results.
  • Accomplish the design, preparation, characterization and analysis of sustain release protein formulations and test performance in dry powder inhaler.
  • Implement a working protocol for isolating RNA from metastatic cell lines for investigating gene expression using differential display analysis.
  • Generate IC50 data for use in SAR and lead identification.
  • Retrieve samples from GIS site, and prepare samples for analysis.
  • Develop a IMCP base monitoring software using python to monitor network systems.
  • Maintain an extensive SQL database of all information for the project statewide.
  • Create audit map for analytical testing, which help efficient HPV regulatory filing.
  • Identify lead compounds enabling medicinal chemists to develop structure activity relationships (SAR).
  • Develop thorough understanding of EPA label claims and how they apply and are obtain.
  • Construct AAV2 vector for a new vaccine vector discovery and vectors for HPV vaccine discovery.
  • Develop SQL scripts to load and manipulate data from multiple databases into centralized cost history database.

Research Associate Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a research associate is "should I become a research associate?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, research associate careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% 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 research associate by 2028 is 10,600.

Research associates average about $27.54 an hour, which makes the research associate annual salary $57,292. Additionally, research associates are known to earn anywhere from $38,000 to $86,000 a year. This means that the top-earning research associates make $48,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a research associate. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a scientist, laboratory researcher, senior research fellow, and graduate research student.

Research Associate Jobs You Might Like

12 Research Associate Resume Examples

Research Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Research Associates are proficient in Procedures, Research Projects, and Data Analysis. They’re also known for soft skills such as Observational skills, Technical skills, and Analytical skills.

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

  • Procedures, 10%

    Maintain and update professional competencies, knowledge of Clinical Operating Guidelines and related hospital policies and procedures and their proper application.

  • Research Projects, 10%

    Performed statistical analyses for quantitative/qualitative research projects.

  • Data Analysis, 7%

    Performed interviews and methodically documented youth progress to determine the efficacy of intervention programs as a basis for comparative data analysis.

  • Cell Culture, 7%

    Performed cell culture utilizing sterile technique and managed laboratory safety/chemical inventory/equipment.

  • Data Collection, 5%

    Manage external consultants in identification of data needs of project and supervise their data collection from Managed Care Organization data sources.

  • PHD, 4%

    Worked alongside PhD colleagues studying antibiotic resistance.

Some of the skills we found on research associate resumes included "procedures," "research projects," and "data analysis." We have detailed the most important research associate responsibilities below.

  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "communication skills" is important to completing research associate responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way research associates use this skill: "communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical research associate tasks: "authored descriptive and detailed final reports for communication across company in addition to supporting fda submissions. "
  • Another common skill for a research associate to be able to utilize is "observation skills." Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health-related data a research associate demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "maintain research integrity by conducting quality checks of observational and physiological data collection to ensure adherence to protocol guidelines and regulations. "
  • See the full list of research associate skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a research associate. We found that 63.2% of research associates have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 19.6% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most research associates have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's impossible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every nine research associates were not college graduates.

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

    Once you're ready to become a research associate, you should explore the companies that typically hire research associates. According to research associate resumes that we searched through, research associates are hired the most by Michigan State University, University of Virginia, and Cedars-Sinai. Currently, Michigan State University has 149 research associate job openings, while there are 102 at University of Virginia and 96 at Cedars-Sinai.

    Since salary is important to some research associates, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Microsoft, Google, and Orrick. If you were to take a closer look at Microsoft, you'd find that the average research associate salary is $135,595. Then at Google, research associates receive an average salary of $134,713, while the salary at Orrick is $129,452.

    View more details on research associate salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious research associates are:

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    What Scientists Do

    A scientist is responsible for researching and analyzing the nature and complexities of the physical world to identify discoveries that would improve people's lives and ignite scientific knowledge for society. Scientists' duties differ in their different areas of expertise, but all of them must have a broad comprehension of scientific disciplines and methods to support their experiments and investigations. They collect the sample for their research, record findings, create research proposals, and release publications. A scientist must know how to utilize laboratory equipment to support the study and drive results efficiently and accurately.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take scientist for example. On average, the scientists annual salary is $37,648 higher than what research associates make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both research associates and scientists positions are skilled in procedures, research projects, and data analysis.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a research associate responsibility requires skills such as "phd," "lab equipment," "python," and "analyze data." Whereas a scientist is skilled in "product development," "sample preparation," "java," and "ms." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Scientists tend to make the most money in the professional industry by averaging a salary of $123,777. In contrast, research associates make the biggest average salary of $80,566 in the finance industry.

    The education levels that scientists earn is a bit different than that of research associates. In particular, scientists are 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a research associate. Additionally, they're 5.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Laboratory Researcher?

    Laboratory researchers are professionals who manage a research laboratory while performing cellular and biochemical experiments with the primary researcher. These researchers must work with hazardous chemicals and should show expertise in handling lab equipment such as glassware and field equipment. They are required to assist with research projects and interpret the test data of an experiment. They must manage the order of all lab equipment by filling up the purchase requisition forms. Laboratory researchers are required to work with students in all aspects of laboratory research.

    The next role we're going to look at is the laboratory researcher profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $18,067 lower salary than research associates per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of research associates and laboratory researchers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "research projects," "data analysis," and "cell culture. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real research associate resumes. While research associate responsibilities can utilize skills like "procedures," "python," "pi," and "analytical methods," some laboratory researchers use skills like "pcr," "laboratory research," "sample preparation," and "chromatography."

    On average, laboratory researchers earn a lower salary than research associates. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, laboratory researchers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $78,271. Whereas, research associates have higher paychecks in the finance industry where they earn an average of $80,566.

    On the topic of education, laboratory researchers earn lower levels of education than research associates. In general, they're 9.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 5.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Research Associates in the next 3-5 years?

    David Simon

    Professor, Stonehill College

    Two closely related areas of technology will have a particularly large impact on the careers of young physicists in coming years: quantum technology and photonics.

    With the surge in interest in quantum computation and related areas such as quantum cryptography, quantum communication, and quantum sensing, working knowledge of quantum mechanics has become a valuable asset for job seekers. In the past ten years, many start-up companies have appeared whose purpose has been to bring formerly exotic quantum protocols and quantum technologies to life in practical, real-world applications. Many tech giants like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Google have also recently founded initiatives along the same lines. So, these quantum technology companies have become a valuable source of potential jobs for new graduates who have a strong grounding in quantum mechanics, combined with either solid computational or experimental skills.

    One other rapidly growing source of potential employment for new physics graduates in photonics, the science and application of light-based technologies. Photonics has an enormous range of applications that includes fiber-optic communication networks, self-driving cars, remote sensing for archeology, biomedical imaging, and remote detection of environmental hazards. Photonic devices are also one of the most promising platforms for the quantum technologies mentioned above, as well as being a key tool for many areas of fundamental science such as quantum optics and atomic physics. Non-academic jobs in photonics-related industries have been exploding in recent years, but the academic world has been slow to keep up: there is a widely recognized shortage of dedicated photonics programs at the undergraduate level. So, a student who graduates from a physics program with a strong background in optics and electronics is likely to find themselves with a wide variety of options in photonics-related careers.
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    How a Senior Research Fellow Compares

    Senior Research Fellows are reputable researchers employed in an academic institution or a research facility. The nature of their employment in the institution is related to their research work or field of interest. Senior Research Fellows lead a team of researchers on big projects that require more team members. They manage the team's budget, set timelines, and guide the researchers. They spearhead the analysis of the data gathered. They also set the tone for the presentation materials. Senior Research Fellows should be passionate about their field, should have a thirst for knowledge, and should be able to lead teams.

    The third profession we take a look at is senior research fellow. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than research associates. In fact, they make a $9,518 higher salary per year.

    Using research associates and senior research fellows resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "research projects," "data analysis," and "cell culture," but the other skills required are 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 research associate is likely to be skilled in "procedures," "laboratory equipment," "lab equipment," and "flow cytometry," while a typical senior research fellow is skilled in "product development," "java," "project management," and "medicaid."

    Senior research fellows are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to research associates. Additionally, they're 5.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 6.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Graduate Research Student

    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.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than research associates. On average, graduate research students earn a difference of $20,706 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, research associates and graduate research students both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "research projects," "data analysis," and "cell culture. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "procedures," "flow cytometry," "analytical methods," and "data management" are skills that have shown up on research associates resumes. Additionally, graduate research student uses skills like research student, symposium, poster presentation, and gpa on their resumes.

    In general, graduate research students make a higher salary in the professional industry with an average of $52,185. The highest research associate annual salary stems from the finance industry.

    The average resume of graduate research students showed that they earn lower levels of education to research associates. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 7.2% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 8.1%.

    What a Research Associate Does FAQs

    What is the difference between a research assistant and a research associate?

    A research associate and a research assistant often perform similar duties. However, it is usually the case that a research assistant is a graduate student or is otherwise completing some education or training through their position. Research associates, though they have very similar responsibilities, usually function as normal salaries positions.

    Research assistants may be paid differently. Their positions may be arranged through an academic program. Often, the research performed by a research assistant is relevant to the area in which they are pursuing a graduate degree. For example, a PhD student may act as a research assistant while writing their PhD in a subject that aligns with their research assistant position.

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