There are many different kinds of research assistant jobs, typically depending on the area of research that someone wishes to work in and the person whom he or she is assisting. A large number of such jobs are typically involved in science or medical research, and within these categories there are also many different fields in which a person can perform research. There are also other types of research assistant jobs that can be found, though these are often pursued and offered on an individual basis and can include tasks such as assisting on research for an author or helping with research for a museum.
Research assistant jobs are typically done by someone who works with a primary researcher to assist in various tasks needed during the course of the research. These tasks can cover just about anything from pursuing particular avenues of specific research for a primary researcher to clerical work such as data entry and tracking down articles or periodicals for a researcher. Depending on the nature of the research assistant jobs an assistant finds, this work can involve hands-on research, such as work done in a medical research laboratory, or work that is more academic in nature, such as research done to verify data in an article prior to publication.
Many research assistant jobs involve research in scientific or medical research fields. The nature of such jobs can vary quite widely, and typically depend on the type of work a person is interested in, has a background in, or the work being done by a researcher who hires the assistant. Most work done in various research assistant jobs is directed by the primary researcher, but assistants may have some leeway as well regarding the type of work they want to do.
Common research assistant jobs include conducting research at hospitals, universities, and pharmaceutical laboratories. Such jobs can include work on developing treatments for diseases, analyzing the potential genetic causes of different illnesses, and testing drugs for possible side effects or negative reactions. Scientific work is also common among research assistants, and this work can involve academic work helping a primary researcher or laboratory work to run tests and simulations for a researcher. Other research assistant jobs can be found working for writers, performing research to find information for the author, and working with museum researchers to ensure the authenticity of various pieces.