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Details for Social Science Research Assistants


Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research. May perform publication activities, laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management. Normally these individuals work under the direct supervision of a social scientist and assist in those activities which are more routine.


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


  • 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.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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