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Social Science Research Assistants Career

Career Description

Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

What Job Titles Social Science Research Assistants Might Have

  • Research Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Research Specialist

What Social Science Research Assistants Do

  • Prepare, manipulate, and manage extensive databases.
  • Provide assistance with the preparation of project-related reports, manuscripts, and presentations.
  • Obtain informed consent of research subjects or their guardians.
  • Perform descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses of data, using computer software.
  • Verify the accuracy and validity of data entered in databases, correcting any errors.
  • Prepare tables, graphs, fact sheets, and written reports summarizing research results.
  • Edit and submit protocols and other required research documentation.
  • Develop and implement research quality control procedures.
  • Conduct internet-based and library research.
  • Present research findings to groups of people.
  • Perform data entry and other clerical work as required for project completion.
  • Design and create special programs for tasks such as statistical analysis and data entry and cleaning.
  • Code data in preparation for computer entry.
  • Provide assistance in the design of survey instruments such as questionnaires.
  • Screen potential subjects to determine their suitability as study participants.
  • Administer standardized tests to research subjects, or interview them to collect research data.
  • Recruit and schedule research participants.
  • Track research participants, and perform any necessary follow-up tasks.
  • Allocate and manage laboratory space and resources.
  • Supervise the work of survey interviewers.
  • Track laboratory supplies, and expenses such as participant reimbursement.
  • Perform needs assessments or consult with clients to determine the types of research and information required.
  • Collect specimens such as blood samples, as required by research projects.

What Social Science Research Assistants Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Social Science Research Assistants Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Social Science Research Assistants Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Median Salary: $43,190

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.