Research Associate Sample Position Duties

The duties listed for these may be used for any level, not just the specified level.

Research Associate 1

Position Summary: Functioning somewhat independently, incumbent assists with and conducts laboratory experiments on research projects within well-defined guidelines; keeps abreast of current publications relative to methods, techniques, and developments within area of research; collects, prepares, and analyzes specimens (or animal subjects); evaluates results of (or response to) process; summarizes data; may provide supervision and guidance to junior level technicians.

Specific examples of work (duties):

  • Collects, prepares, analyzes, dissects, and evaluates specimens and/or tissue cultures.
  • Assists in making chemical analyses of body fluids and tissues; performs venipuncture and obtains blood specimens.
  • Weighs and anesthetizes laboratory animals for experiments and maintains records on such animals relative to feeding and physical condition.
  • Operates laboratory equipment; contributes to laboratory maintenance.
  • Performs a variety of assays, tests, and studies of a routine nature.
  • Performs calculations to complete research test results; collates data; performs statistical analysis of lab results and maintain notes and log or computer database; performs basic procedures for computer assisted data analysis.
  • Assists in small animal surgery.
  • Prepares stock chemical solutions, offer solutions, radioisotope solutions.
  • Performs photography and dark room processing.
  • Performs electron microscopy, x-ray, and electrochemical techniques.
  • Performs library research.
  • Assists in screening and examining of patients/subjects.
  • Participates in training sessions and workshops.

Minimum Qualifications:  Bachelor's degree in a basic or health science.  (zero - three years relevant experience may be required by the department, in addition to the Bachelor's degree).

Research Associate 2

Position Summary: Similar to duties and responsibilities of Research Associate 1, but functions more independently, and work is more complex and specialized.  Often responsible for maintaining the efficient operation of the laboratory.  Assists principal investigator with summarization, analysis, and organization of data for publication; may assist with preparation of grant applications; assists and/or teaches graduate students and others rotating through the lab; often responsible for supervision and training of junior research personnel.

Specific examples of work (duties):

  • Calibrates, set up, and repairs laboratory equipment.
  • Devises methods for testing in the laboratory.
  • Maintains highly detailed records of the stages of development of tests and the final results thereof.
  • Performs specialized and complex experiments in such areas as molecular biology, cell culture, animal surgery, and pathological examination of specimens.
  • Performs small animal surgery.
  • Operates sensitive and highly complex laboratory equipment and/or perform computer applications.
  • Maintains safe and efficient procedures in the laboratory; handle radioactive and hazardous waste.
  • Collects, prepares, analyzes, dissects, and evaluates specimens and/or tissue cultures.
  • Performs a wide variety of assays, tests, and studies of non-routine nature.
  • Provides instruction and training to interns, residents, and medical students.
  • Interviews patients relative to health history and perform screening.
  • Performs library research and assist in the preparation of grants and manuscripts.

Minimum Qualifications:  Bachelor's degree in a basic or health science, plus three years of relevant experience.  (Department may require additional relevant experience, as long as the total years of experience is less than five years).  Or Master's degree in a basic or health science. (In addition to the Master's degree, the department may require zero to two years of relevant experience).

Research Associate 3

Position Summary:  Plans, organizes, and conducts highly independent research upon approval of the principal investigator; designs, tests, and evaluates methods and protocol for research projects; analyzes, summarizes, and organizes collected data; together with principal investigator, generally publishes results of investigations in professional journals.  Purchase and/or recommend purchase of new equipment for research projects; under the direction of the principal investigator, generally responsible for the scientific operations of the laboratory; may supervise laboratory/unit personnel.

Specific examples of work (duties):

  • Researches new products, tests, and methodological instruments and reports to the principal investigator relative to feasibility, quality, and benefits of such new developments.
  • Adapts procedures or methods relative to changes in research projects.
  • Designs and implements research protocols; designs safety procedures.
  • Collates and analyzes complex data.  Maintains microcomputer database.
  • Summarizes completed protocols and studies; writes scientific articles and manuscripts for publication and presentation.
  • Supervises the safe handling or radioactive and hazardous material; coordinates purchasing requests and writes specifications and justifications for equipment purchases.
  • Supervises junior research associates, graduate students, and student workers in the laboratory.
  • Prepares analytical reports relative to research data.
  • Monitors progress of research projects and coordinates information between departmental sections.
  • Performs a wide and complex variety of assays, test, and studies.
  • Performs highly specialized and advanced experiments.
  • Collects, prepares, analyzes, and evaluates specimens and/or tissue cultures.

Minimum Qualifications:  Bachelor's degree in a basic or health science, plus five or more years of relevant experience.  OR Master's degree in a basic or health science, plus two or more years of relevant experience.  OR Ph.D. in a basic or health science