National Occupational Standard for Research Assistant

Definition of occupation

The Research Assistant is a trained professional who helps conduct investigative studies and original research on one or more projects simultaneously within a clear framework of accountability under the supervision of a research or lead scientist(s). They may work in a laboratory setting or conduct research externally in support of the work undertaken in a laboratory, e.g., compiling information on past research initiatives. The Research Assistant may perform literature reviews and set up, conduct, and document experiments or other facets of the research process, as well as interpret and communicate results. They may contribute to the development of protocols and operating procedures.

The Research Assistant may also supervise the work of other laboratory staff, including assisting with recruitment, coaching, and performance development. They are often the primary individual responsible for the quality control and regulatory compliance of the work conducted in the laboratory, as well as the physical state of the laboratory and its equipment. In an academic setting, the Research Assistant is often conducting research as a part of a graduate or post-graduate thesis.

This profile excludes work on clinical research studies, which are documented under specific clinical trial role profiles.

How to use a National Occupational Standard 

View summary NOS profile here: Research Assistant – National Occupational Standard Summary