Research Assistant Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

You can work the aliquots or do surveys like you were born to it. You’ve got indispensable labrat skills. Now prove it to the PI with this clear research assistant resume sample.

Research Assistant Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Picture this:

 

You’re doing vital research that feeds your passion.

 

I’m talking about Goodall, Derong, or Capecchi-level work.

 

But—

 

You won’t get there with an average research assistant resume.

 

You need to show how well you’ve done work just like this.

 

In this guide:

  • A research assistant resume sample better than most.
  • How to make a convincing research assistant job description for resumes.
  • How to write a resume for research assistant jobs that gets you hired.
  • Why you can’t just list research assistant skills (and what to do instead).

 

research assistant resume example

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Research Assistant Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use

 

Joyce Nakov

Research Assistant

 

Personal Info

 

Phone: 631-774-4363

E-mail: joyceznakov@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/joyceznakov

twitter.com/joyceznakov

 

Summary

 

Exacting research assistant with 2+ years of experience. Seeking to provide high-level lab assistance at Columbia University. At NYU Cancer Center, conducted 20+ experimental tests and used Google Docs to survey 1,000+ patients. Performed pipetting of over 300 ELISA and TIA assays with 99.9% accuracy.

 

Experience

 

Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Center

2018–2019

  • Conducted experimental tests and developed new research methods.
  • Used Google Docs to conduct online surveys of 1,000+ patients. Used automated reminders to ensure 95% participation.
  • Worked with electrophoretic separations and assays (ELISA, TIA, RIA). Performed pipetting with 99.9% accuracy. 
  • Scored 95% in on-the-job HIPAA compliance training evaluation. Followed rigorous protocols to ensure HIPAA compliance.
  • Created reports based on requested study statistics per orders of laboratory head. Graded at 97% for clarity and layout.
  • Scheduled staff and ensured work was performed to deadlines. Operated, cleaned, and maintained lab equipment.
  • Monitored and maintained inventory. Held costs 5% under budget.

 

Student Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Center

2017–2018

  • Performed and analyzed 50+ Western Blot tests with 95% accuracy.
  • Maintained mouse colony of 1,000+ cages and performed genotyping on 500+ specimens.

 

Education

 

BA Social Sciences, New York University

2014–2018

  • Maintained 4.0 GPA in 7 biology laboratory classes.
  • Conducted project to study efficacy of herbal Lyme treatments.

 

Publications

 

  • "Survival factors in metastatic pancreatic cancer." American Medical Student Research Journal 8, no. 3 (2018): 22-28.
  • "Multilineage in mammalian stem cells." Michigan State Medical Student Research Journal 3, no. 7 (2017): 17-23.

 

Volunteer Work

 

  • Volunteer lab researcher, Northeast Laboratory Services. Recognized by lead biologist for efficiency.

 

Research Project

 

  • Worked on project to study survival factors in metastatic pancreatic cancer under Dr. Gavin Lithman.
  • Performed meta-analysis of 35 studies on metastatic pancreatic cancer patients.
  • Collated results from 1,047 survivors.
  • Created data visualizations of results in the form of tables and charts. Commended by Dr. Lithman for attention to detail.

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Moderator, Facebook Research Assistant Group, 2,700+ members.
  • Leader of weekly spin group.

 

Hard Skills: overseeing experiments, report writing, strategic planning, data collection

 

Soft Skills: motivation, interpersonal skills, teamwork, communication

 

Want to open other doors in academe? See our guides:

 

Applying for a full-length research program? Need to write an academic CV instead of a brief resume? Switch over to Academic CV Sample & Guide

 

Here’s how to write a research assistant resume that works:

 

1. Choose the Right Research Assistant Resume Format

 

Don’t fail before you start.

 

A badly formatted resume looks lazy.

 

The flip side?

 

Dot your i’s and cross your t’s and they’ll know you’re a professional.

 

Follow these tips:

 

Research Assistant Resume Format

 

  • Format your resume in the reverse-chronological format.
  • Use a resume font like 10–12pt Helvetica or Verdana.
  • Leave breathing space between the words and set 1-inch margins.
  • Hold the length of your resume to one page.
  • Create these resume sections: Heading, Objective, Work Experience, Education, and Skills.
  • Save your resume as a PDF. They’re ATS-readable and look nice on all devices.

Expert Hint: Is it ever okay to write a 2-page research assistant resume? If you’ve got tons of great publications and experience, go ahead and stretch it to two pages!

2. Write a Research Assistant Resume Objective or Summary

 

Your research resume objective or career summary is vital.

 

It’s the one thing they’re guaranteed to read.

 

So—

 

Make it short and snappy. Fill it with details they care about.

 

Include:

 

  1. A single adjective (exacting, energetic)
  2. The words “research assistant”
  3. Years of experience (1+, 5+)
  4. Who & how you’ll help (provide high-level lab assistance at Columbia University)
  5. Your best research assistant achievements (surveyed 1,000+ patients...)

 

These biology research assistant resume examples show the way:

 

Research Assistant Resume Summary—Example

Good Example
Exacting research assistant with 2+ years of experience. Seeking to provide high-level lab assistance at Columbia University. At NYU Cancer Center, conducted 20+ experimental tests and used Google Docs to survey 1,000+ patients. Performed pipetting of over 300 ELISA and TIA assays with 99.9% accuracy.
Bad Example
Experienced research assistant, skilled in pipetting, ELISA, RIA, and TIA assays. Can conduct internet-based surveys and experimental tests. Seeking steady full-time research assistant position. Have established reputation as a hard worker with excellent attention to detail.

Both of those resumes for research assistant examples say the same thing. But one adds specifics that convince.

 

But what if you don’t have that much research experience?

 

See this example:

 

Entry-Level Research Assistant Resume Example—Objective

Good Example
Energetic NYU BSc in Biology student with skills in Google Docs survey creation and data collection. Seeking to provide tireless lab assistance at Columbia University Cancer Center. At NYU, performed and analyzed 50+ Western Blot tests with 95% accuracy. Maintained mouse colony of 1,000+ cages.
Bad Example
Biology student, seeking to participate in a major research project at high-level facility. Highly energetic and skilled in analyzing Western Blot tests and maintaining mouse colonies with multiple cohorts.

Same person. Same info. But the first of those two research assistant resume examples has details that show how well you did the job.

 

If you have zero experience, list academic achievements or non-research-assistant job accomplishments that show transferable skills.

 

For instance, teamwork, communication, and work ethic can come from any job.

Expert Hint: Can’t get hired? Networking is especially important to research assistants. Reach out to former profs and fellow students. Tell them what you’re looking for.

3. Make a Standout Research Assistant Job Description and Skills Section

 

Got experience?

 

There’s a right and wrong way to put it on resumes for research assistants.

 

Employers will want to know you did the kind of research they need done.

 

They’ll also want to see you did it well.

 

To list research experience on your resume:

 

  1. Find the exact skills for your resume in the job posting.
  2. Put those resume keywords in your bullet points.

 

Watch these undergraduate research assistant resume samples do it:

 

The job ad wants these research assistant skills: Google Docs surveys, ELISA assays, HIPAA, and creating reports.

 

Research Assistant Job Description for Resume [Sample]

Good Example

Experience

 

Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Center

2018–2019

  • Conducted experimental tests and developed new research methods.
  • Used Google Docs to conduct online surveys of 1,000+ patients. Used automated reminders to ensure 95% participation.
  • Worked with electrophoretic separations and assays (ELISA, TIA, RIA). Performed pipetting with 99.9% accuracy. 
  • Scored 95% in on-the-job HIPAA compliance training evaluation. Followed rigorous protocols to ensure HIPAA compliance.
  • Created reports based on requested study statistics per orders of laboratory head. Graded at 97% for clarity and layout.
Bad Example
  • Worked as key research assistant, conducting experimental tests and developing new research methods.
  • Scheduled staff and ensured work was performed to deadlines. Operated, cleaned, and maintained lab equipment.
  • Monitored and maintained inventory.
  • Maintained a clean and well-organized laboratory.

See that?

 

You’ve already got Google Docs survey experience. Plus you’ve done ELISA assays. You’re also good at report-writing and HIPAA compliance.

 

That’s everything they need.

 

And now they know it.

 

What about an entry-level resume for research assistant jobs?

 

The online posting wants these research assistant skills: Western blot tests, mouse colony maintenance, efficiency, and attention to detail.

 

Watch how these examples do it:

 

Entry-Level Research Assistant Resume Job Description [Sample]

Good Example

Student Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Center

2017–2018

  • Performed and analyzed 50+ Western Blot tests with 95% accuracy.
  • Maintained mouse colony and performed genotyping on specimens in 5 cohorts with 200 cages each.

 

Team Member

Denny’s Bike World

2015–2016

  • Recognized for efficiency and attention to detail.
Bad Example

Retail Associate

Denny’s Bike World

2017–2018

  • Worked in high-volume bike shop.
  • Repaired bikes and interacted with customers.

Miles apart.

 

But they’re the same person. The better example just lists the right skills.

 

The numbers make it pop.

 

Get started with this research assistant resume skills list:

 

Research Assistant Resume Skills

Hard Skills

Soft Skills

Internet and Phone Research

Interpersonal Skills

Overseeing Experiments

Teamwork

Report Writing

Communication

Data Collection

Attention to Detail

Online Surveys

Critical Thinking

Strategic Planning

Problem Solving

Conducting Experiments

Efficiency

MS Office

Organization

Data Analysis

Prioritizing

Laboratory Preparation

Presentation

Expert Hint: Proofread, proofread, proofread. Especially in a resume for a research assistant, typos will sink you. Nobody wants to hire a sloppy RA.

4. Let Your Education Section Make the Difference

 

Don’t have much research assistant experience?

 

Then your resume education section will be critical.

 

Use it to show how you’ve made a difference.

 

Check out this research assistant resume sample:

 

Research Assistant Resume Example—Education

Good Example

Education

 

BA Social Sciences, New York University

2014–2018

  • Maintained 4.0 GPA in 7 biology laboratory classes.
  • Conducted project to study efficacy of herbal Lyme treatments.
  • Commended by lab teacher for consistently following proper documentation and labeling procedures with frozen samples.

Not bad.

 

That shows your degree, school, dates, and some key accomplishments.

 

5. Add “Extra” Sections to Your Research Assistant Resume

 

Are publications important in a research assistant resume?

 

If you have them, yes.

 

But so are other extras like projects or certifications.

 

Try adding one or two of these resume sections:

  • Associations (such as SOCRA)
  • Certifications (like CCRA)
  • Publications
  • Conferences
  • Projects you’ve worked on
  • Volunteering
  • High grades or test scores in key areas
  • Academic awards or honors
  • Commendations from professors
  • Additional activities
  • Exercise

 

These graduate research assistant resume examples show how:

 

Research Assistant Resume—Extra Sections

Good Example

Publications

 

  • "Survival factors in metastatic pancreatic cancer." American Medical Student Research Journal 8, no. 3 (2018): 22-28.
  • "Multilineage in mammalian stem cells." Michigan State Medical Student Research Journal 3, no. 7 (2017): 17-23.

 

Volunteer Work

 

  • Volunteer lab researcher, Midnorth Laboratory Services. Recognized by lead biologist for efficiency.

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Moderator, Facebook Research Assistant Group, 2,700+ members.
  • Leader of weekly spin group.
Bad Example

Additional Activities

 

  • Hang gliding
  • Avid reader

Don’t get me wrong.

 

Hang gliding is great!

 

But that first research assistant resume example shows RA skills and passion.

Expert Hint: Write a cover letter to go with your research resume. The PI will be a lot more likely to read your resume closely if you do.

Key Points

 

For a research assistant resume that generates interest:

  • Use the research assistant resume template up top. It zeroes in on the right skills and achievements to get hired.
  • Fill your resume sections with accomplishments. That’s the only way to show you can do what they need done.
  • Include the right resume keywords from the online job posting.
  • Add some “extra” sections that show you’re passionate about research.

 

Got questions on how to write great resumes for research assistant jobs? Not sure how to show research assistant on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

 

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Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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