Research Assistant CV—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 CV sample.

Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Research Assistant CV—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 CV.

 

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

 

In this guide:

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

 

research assistant CV example

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Research Assistant CV 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 Centre, 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 Centre

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 Centre

2017–2018

  • Performed and analysed 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. Recognised 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 visualisations 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

 

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

 

1. Choose the Right Research Assistant CV Format

 

Don’t fail before you start.

 

A badly formatted CV 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 CV Format

 

  • Format your CV in the reverse-chronological format.
  • Use a CV font like 10–12pt Helvetica or Verdana.
  • Leave breathing space between the words and set 1-inch margins.
  • Hold the length of your CV to one page.
  • Create these CV sections: Heading, Objective, Work Experience, Education, and Skills.
  • Save your CV 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 CV? If you’ve got tonnes of great publications and experience, go ahead and stretch it to two pages!

2. Write a Research Assistant CV Objective or Summary

 

Your research CV 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 CV examples show the way:

 

Research Assistant CV 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 Centre, 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 CVs 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 CV 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 Centre. At NYU, performed and analysed 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 analysing Western Blot tests and maintaining mouse colonies with multiple cohorts.

Same person. Same info. But the first of those two research assistant CV 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 CVs 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 CV:

 

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

 

Watch these undergraduate research assistant CV 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 CV [Sample]

Good Example

Experience

 

Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Centre

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-organised 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 CV 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 CV Job Description [Sample]

Good Example

Student Research Assistant

New York University Cancer Centre

2017–2018

  • Performed and analysed 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

  • Recognised 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 CV skills list:

 

Research Assistant CV 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

Organisation

Data Analysis

Prioritising

Laboratory Preparation

Presentation

Expert Hint: Proofread, proofread, proofread. Especially in a CV 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 CV education section will be critical.

 

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

 

Check out this research assistant CV sample:

 

Research Assistant CV 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 labelling procedures with frozen samples.

Not bad.

 

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

 

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

 

Are publications important in a research assistant CV?

 

If you have them, yes.

 

But so are other extras like projects or certifications.

 

Try adding one or two of these CV 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 honours
  • Commendations from professors
  • Additional activities
  • Exercise

 

These graduate research assistant CV examples show how:

 

Research Assistant CV—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. Recognised 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 CV example shows RA skills and passion.

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

Key Points

 

For a research assistant CV that generates interest:

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

 

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

 

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Tom Gerencer
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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