what is a research associate?
A research associate is a professional who works in the field of research. In this role, you are responsible for conducting research, analysing data, and interpreting your research findings. You may work independently or as part of a team and will typically be employed by universities, research institutions, or private companies.
Research associates may have different titles depending on the organisation you work for and the specifics of your role, such as research assistant, research coordinator, or research scientist. You may also specialise in a particular field, such as biomedical research, social sciences, or engineering.
If this sounds like a career that appeals to your curious nature and analytical mind, read on to find out more about this profession, including the skills you need to thrive.find your job
average salary of a research associate
According to Payscale, the average salary of a research associate is around ₹394,111 per year. This salary comes with experience, however. Research associates in entry-level positions earn upwards of ₹176,000, while research assistants who are later in their careers can earn as much as ₹20,00,000.
factors that affect research associate’s pay
The salary of a research associate may vary depending on several factors, such as education, experience, location, and the industry you work within. If you have higher degrees, such as a PhD, you may earn a higher salary than if you have a bachelor's or master's degree. Similarly, research associates with more experience in the field they work in will often earn a higher salary than those who are just starting their careers.
types of research associate
There are several types of research associates, each with specific job responsibilities and requirements. Here are some of the most common types of research associates:
- clinical research associate (CRA): a CRA is responsible for monitoring clinical trials to ensure that they meet the ethical and regulatory standards set by the government. You work for pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organisations, or academic institutions.
- biomedical research associate: as a biomedical research associate, you work in the field of biomedical research, which involves studying the biology and diseases of living organisms. In this profession, you typically work in academic institutions, hospitals, or private companies.
- social science research associate: in this role, you conduct research in various fields, such as sociology, psychology, or anthropology. You will typically work in academic institutions, government agencies, or research organisations.
- environmental research associate: environmental research associates conduct research related to the environment and natural resources. In this role, you likely work in government agencies, environmental organisations, or research institutions.
working as a research associate
As a research associate, you are responsible for managing and conducting research projects, as well as collaborating with different stakeholders. Let us delve into the specific job responsibilities and expectations of this role.
research associate job description
The specific duties of a research associate include:
- conduct research: as the name implies, you are responsible for conducting research studies. This aspect of your job includes designing experiments, collecting and analysing data, and interpreting research findings.
- prepare research proposals: research associates may be responsible for developing research proposals and securing funding for their projects. Even if this is not one of your main responsibilities, you will likely be expected to help with proposals.
- collaborate with team members: you often work with other researchers, scientists, or technicians to conduct research and achieve project goals.
- prepare reports: preparing reports on your research findings and presenting them is an important part of your role. Your findings will need to be presented to a range of people, such as stakeholders, colleagues, and the public.
- ensure compliance: you ensure that any research carried out is conducted in compliance with ethical and regulatory standards set by the government or the organisation you work for.
- manage research projects: you may occasionally be responsible for managing research projects, including budgeting, scheduling, and coordinating activities.
Research associates work in a variety of environments, depending on the field of research they specialise in and the organisation they work for. Because of this, your environment may be laboratories, offices, or field sites.
In laboratories, you conduct experiments, analyse samples, and use specialised equipment. In offices, you work on developing research proposals, analysing data, and preparing reports. In field sites, you collect samples, observe natural phenomena, or conduct surveys.
who are your colleagues?
You work with a variety of colleagues, depending on the organisation you work for and the project you work on. You will likely be working with other research associates, as well as scientists, technicians, project managers, or administrative staff. You may also collaborate with external partners, such as government agencies, private companies, or community organisations.
Your work schedule as a research associate may vary, as it is a profession that has plenty of opportunities for both full-time and part-time work. It does require your schedule to be flexible, however.
This is because you may need to work outside of regular business hours, especially if you are conducting experiments or collecting data in the field. You also need to work under tight deadlines on occasion, such as when you work on time-sensitive projects.
The job outlook for research associates in India is positive, with increasing demand for research professionals in various fields, such as healthcare, technology, and environmental science.
According to the India Skills Report 2022, the demand for research professionals in India is expected to increase in 2023. This growth is driven by the increasing focus on innovation, technology, and sustainable development in India.
However, competition for research positions in India may be high, especially in the fields of engineering, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.
advantages of finding a research associate job through randstad
Finding your research associate job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as a research associate is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
Some of the academic qualifications for research associates include:
- bachelor's degree: a bachelor's degree in a relevant field (for example, microbiology or zoology to become a clinical research associate is typically the minimum requirement for a research associate position.
- master's degree: some research positions may require a master's degree in a relevant field, which may provide more advanced training in research methods and data analysis.
- doctorate degree: some research positions—especially those in academia—may require a PhD degree, which provides in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of research. Even if the role does not require a master's degree, it can help to have one when looking for a job.
- postdoctoral fellowship: occasionally, positions will require a postdoctoral fellowship, which provides additional training and research experience for individuals who have completed their PhD degree.
research associate skills and competencies
Some of the qualities of a research associate include:
- research skills: research associates need to have strong research skills, including the ability to design experiments, collect and analyse data, and interpret research findings.
- analytical skills: you demonstrate strong analytical skills, such as the ability to analyse and interpret data and draw conclusions from your findings.
- communication skills: you have strong communication skills that allow you to present research findings to stakeholders, write reports, and collaborate with team members.
- technical skills: technical skills are fundamental to being a research assistant. You have technical skills relevant to your field of research, such as knowledge of statistical analysis software, laboratory equipment, or programming languages.
- organisational skills: your organisational skills are essential in fulfilling your duties as a research associate. These include the ability to manage research projects, meet deadlines, and prioritise tasks.
- ethical awareness: ethical awareness is another important skill to have for a research associate, including the ability to conduct research in compliance with ethical and regulatory standards.
FAQs about working as a research associate
Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of research associate.
what is a research associate's salary in India?
A typical research associate’s salary in India will fall between ₹176,000 and ₹20,00,000 per year. The average salary is around ₹394,111 per year.
how can I become a research associate in India?
To become a research associate in India, you typically need to have a relevant degree, such as a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field and possess skills and competencies such as research skills, analytical skills, and technical skills.
what is the job role of a research associate?
The job role of a research associate is to conduct and manage research projects in various fields, analyse data, and interpret research findings.
do you need a PhD to be a research associate?
No, you do not need a PhD to become a research associate in India. However, every role has unique requirements, and you should research what qualifications will be expected for the specific role you wish to apply for.
can you be a research associate with a master's degree?
You can become a research associate with a master’s degree. You can also become a research associate with a bachelor’s degree. There are no guarantees, however. Some roles may require higher qualifications.
how do I apply for a research associate vacancy?
Applying for a research associate job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!