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Job Description of a Research Assistant

Rujuta Borkar
Research assistants carry through a myriad of functions at any research center that include gathering and organizing data and executing varied other duties, thus making them an integral part of any research center.
Research plays a very important role in many fields. Some of these fields include education, medicine, pharmaceuticals and science. There are several components that the research process will include and it is in this regard that a research assistant becomes valuable, because he ensures the success of the process.
A research assistant will aid in several stages of research, of which, collection and formatting of the data are his basic functions. Along with these,he will perform many other duties which depend on the kind of field he is assisting in.
A research assistant works under, and aids a primary researcher. He does not initiate the research and as a result, cannot be an independent entity. He is therefore not responsible for the outcome of the research because he merely aids the facilitator of the project. Yet, he is an integral part of the research process because of his inputs.

Job Description (Research Assistant)

These are some of the duties and functions that a research assistant is expected to handle.
  • Go through the different research documents and edit them.
  • Submit protocols of edited documents.
  • Obtain consent documents from the subjects on whom the research is conducted or the guardians of those subjects.
  • Make tabular formats, fact sheets, graphs and reports on each of the research results in order to summarize them.
  • Prepare databases as well as manage and manipulate them whenever needed.
  • Assist in the designing of questionnaires and other survey methodologies.
  • Study and screen all the subjects that have registered as study subjects and determine their suitability for the research study that is to be conducted.
  • Handle the follow-up that is required after the study is conducted.
  • Track the research participants for the same.
  • Proofread the data and make corrections wherever necessary.
  • Take charge of the laboratory space and manage its day, timings and allocation schedule.
  • Prepare special programs for certain tasks like data entry and statistical analysis.
  • Perform assessment of the needs with the clients.
  • Exhibit the results of the research experiments to groups of people.
  • Assist in preparation of presentations, manuscripts and other project related topics.
  • Survey the tasks of survey interviewers.
  • Keep a track of the laboratory expenses incurred.
  • Handle matters of participant reimbursements.
  • Keep a check on all the materials needed in the laboratory and buy them as and when needed.
  • Look into the different requirements of the research experiments and collect whatever is needed.
  • Convert material into coded data for computer entry.
  • Formulate and bring into force varied research quality and control procedures.

Job Description (Clinical Research Assistant)

A clinical research assistant's job has him working in a clinical setup. He is responsible for setting up, monitoring and completing clinical traits. Some other duties that he has to look into include the following.
  • Developing and writing different trial protocols; thus specifying the purpose and the methodology of the trial.
  • Presenting trial protocols to a steering committee.
  • Designing forms for data collection.
  • Coordinating with the ethics committee to gather daily updates. This committee is responsible for the well-being of the subject's rights and safety.
  • Interacting with the doctors and consultants on matters of conducting the trial.
  • Keeping a check on all the approvals and applications that oversee the marketing and research of new and existing drugs.
  • Setting up the centers, complete with all the materials and facilities needed.
  • Training a staff according to the industrial standards and needs.
  • Monitoring and keeping an account of all the trials conducted.
  • Visiting the study centers to keep a check on the trials conducted, and their progress.
  • Verifying the data that has been supplied by the patients and the data that has been entered. Correcting errors, if found.
  • Discussing the results of the trial with a medical professional and converting it into a technical format.
  • Preparing the final report of the trial and handling the dispatching to various publishing houses, if the need be.
  • Making an archive of all the material studied and used for future reference.
A research assistant is an integral part of the research project because it is he who collects and formats the data required. Without his valuable inputs and assistance, the research can never be a success. Individuals who have an academic bent of mind and are interested in the duties mentioned above can definitely look into becoming a research assistant.