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Research Assistant/Associate Job Description

Minimum qualifications/requirements

  • Academic and/or work experience related to the field of research, as defined by the supervisor/lead researcher
  • Experience with specialized software or datasets, as required by the supervisor
  • Satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the supervisor

Research Assistants/Associates are Academic Student Employees (ASEs) hired by faculty to assist in carrying out a particular research agenda. The payroll title for such employees varies from Research Assistant, Research Associate 1 and Research Associate 2. The title/pay level is determined based upon the ASE’s current academic status. (More information on titles and payrates.)

While a research assistant is expected to contribute in many ways to the research project, typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Prepare materials for submission to granting agencies and foundations
  • Prepare materials for UW Human Subjects Committee review
  • Prepare interview questions
  • Recruit and/or interview subjects
  • Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Summarize interviews
  • Provide ready access to all experimental data for the faculty researcher and/or supervisor
  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for the project
  • Manage and respond to project related email
  • Prepare, maintain, and update website materials
  • Supervise undergraduate students working on the research project (maintaining records on assignment completion, acting as liaison/mediator between the undergraduate students and the faculty researcher)
  • Attend project meetings
  • Attend area seminars and other meetings as necessary
  • Summarize project results
  • Prepare progress reports for the PI and funding agency
  • Prepare other articles, reports, and presentations
  • Monitor the project budget

Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned by individual researchers. Quarterly work requirements and schedules must be discussed with the Supervisor to ensure that the work priorities can be accomplished in the 220 work hours scheduled for the quarter (for a normal half-time appointment). Concerns about any additional responsibilities should be discussed first with the supervisor (faculty researcher), and then the Graduate Program Committee Chair or the Department Chair.

This position is subject to policies stated in the UW/UAW contract for Academic Student Employees (ASEs). The most recent information may be found at:

Policies on workload, vacation and paid leave are included in this contract. Vacation and paid leave must be approved by the supervisor. Documentation of leave approvals must be maintained per Department of Economics and UW Human Resources policy.