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Research Assistant Resume Example & Skills for 2024

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When applying for research assistant positions, you’re up against highly motivated, ambitious, extremely talented, and well-educated scholars and scientists. But with a perfect resume for research assistant you can beat them all. 

You're about to see the most effective strategies for how to put a research assistant on a resume. Scroll down one fold, and you’ll see a perfect research assistant resume sample. Better yet? Keep reading, and you'll find out what research skills a resume might need, how to include your education, and how to make it whole so that it can easily impress your future employer.

In this guide, you’ll see:

  • A research assistant resume sample better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a resume for research assistant even if with no experience.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a resume for research assistant jobs.
  • How to describe your experience on a research assistant resume to get any job you want.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.

Check our other guides on writing a resume for research or science positions:

Here’s a sample research assistant resume you can copy, tweak, and use.

Research Assistant Resume Sample

Katherine Davenport

Lab Research Assistant


Summary of Qualifications

Columbia University MSc in Molecular Biology graduate (4.0 GPA, Graduated Magna Cum Laude) with 3+ years of experience assisting and overseeing research projects involving isolating and analyzing RNA, DNA, and protein. Seeking to join UPenn’s Myeloma Research Team to leverage my data entry and lab maintenance skills to help the research team deliver accurate results.

Work Experience

Laboratory Research Assistant I

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Leukemia Research Team


  • Maintained and established tissue culture cell lines
  • Identified cell changes under the microscope, determining cell counts on hemocytometers and coulter counters with 98% accuracy
  • Performed genotyping of mice in 4 cohorts (250 cages each)
  • Isolated, purified, and analyzed RNA, DNA, and protein using ECL staining and gel electrophoresis autoradiography

Key achievement: Introduced a new standard operating procedure for monitoring and shelving tissue culture supplies to increase efficiency by 33%.

Undergraduate Teacher Assistant

Columbia University


  • Conducted deep research into 15 unique project topics as directed by professors. Commended by 3 professors for quality of research.
  • Graded papers for two years, approximately 800 papers graded.
  • Performed regular data entry tasks on student project grades.
  • Provided feedback and guidance to 100+ students.

Research Assistant Experience



  • Worked as volunteer research assistant in local labs
  • Commended by the head professor for accuracy and communications skills.
  • Worked as part-time supervisor in local daycare for 6 months.


MSc in Molecular Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY


3.9 GPA

Favorite fields of study: Molecular Biology and Genetics, The RNA World: A Functional and Computational Analysis, Cancer Cell Biology, Immunobiology

Extracurricular activities and achievements:

  • President of the graduate student board 2015–2016
  • Started and oversaw a volunteer research project investigating human evolutionary genomics
  • Delivered an on-campus presentation on the impact of sex, conflict, and pathogens on modern genomes during the Annual Molecular Biology Conference

BSc in Biology, Penn State, Philadelphia, PABachelor of Fine Arts, Cornell University, Cum Laude

New York City, NY


Peer-reviewed Publications

"Bibliometric Analysis of Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology Research Output." Journal of Advancements in Library Sciences 2, no. 2 (2018): 18-24.

"Methods in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology."

Technical Skills

  • Data Entry
  • Lab Maintenance
  • ECL Staining
  • Autoradiography
  • DNA and RNA Analysis
  • Library Cataloging

Transferable Skills

  • Organization
  • Project Management
  • Teamwork
  • Public Speaking

That's a great example of a resume for a reseach assitant. But we're not here to look at samples, are we?Here's how to write your very own rearch assistant resume:

1. Use Best Research Assistant Resume Template

Think about this—

Research team supervisors and head professors have to review hundreds of research assistant applications. How much time do you think it would take them to read every single research assistant CV or resume, cover letter, proposal, or transcript of records?

Too much time.

That’s why decision makers don’t read every application document they get. They just skim them for most relevant information.

So—What should you do?

Make it easy for research recruiters to find what they’re looking for in a jiff.The best way to achieve that? Format your research assistant resume the right way and choose a clear, legible research assistant resume template.

Key thing is to divide your resume into sections and put them in the right order.

Writing an undergraduate research assistant resume or a research assistant resume with little experience? Here’s the proper template:

Sample Entry-Level Research Assistant Resume Template

  1. Contact Information
  2. Resume Objective
  3. Education
  4. Skills
  5. Awards and Honors
  6. Work Experience/Volunteer Experience

For a postgraduate or graduate research assistant resume with relevant research experience to showcase, move your research experience above the education section:

Sample Senior (Graduate or Postgraduate) Research Assistant Resume Template

  1. Contact Information
  2. Resume Summary
  3. Research Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Awards and Honors
  7. Additional Sections (Publications, Conferences Attended, Certifications)

In each section, list your experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent activities.

Make the section headings in bold and slightly larger than the rest of the text. Be consistent with your headings format and with the layout of each section.

Use clear, legible fonts. Make your research assistant CV or resume look scholarly. Don’t cram it with gimmicky graphics. White space is your friend—decision makers need some breathing room!

For more information on how to choose a good template and layout for your research assistant resume, read: Resume Layout Templates and Examples

Now, let’s break down how to write each section of an excellent research assistant resume and see some examples.

2. Write Research Assistant Resume Summary or Objective

Regardless of which one you choose, this section comes at the very top of your resume, just below your contact information.

A research assistant resume objective or summary is a short and snappy paragraph that explains why you’re an ideal candidate for this job. It serves as a “trailer” for the rest of your research assistant CV.

Get it right, and every research recruiter will actually read your whole resume with interest.

Should you write a research assistant resume objective or a summary?

That depends on your research experience.

  • If you’re writing an undergraduate, student, or entry-level resume for research assistant jobs, go for the resume objective. Mention your strong academic record, the skills you’ve learned so far and how you can leverage them to help the research team you’d like to join.
  • Got relevant research experience under your belt? Write a research assistant resume summary. Give an outline of your research career and show off your best achievements.

Either one you pick, remember about one thing—

Focus your research objective or summary on what you can offer your prospective employer, not what you want to get out of the job.

Alright, enough theory. Time for some examples.

Research Assistant Resume Objective Sample


Senior year biology student at Anytown University (current GPA: 3.9), looking to join XYZ State University Department of Marine Biology Research Team. Seeking to leverage strong data entry and lab maintenance skills gained through volunteer lab experience at the campus to ensure all research databases and libraries are easily accessible to XYZ State’s students.

See that? “I’ve learned a lot already, and I want to use this knowledge to make sure all your research projects run smoothly.”

That’s an offer no research recruiter could refuse.

Now, have a look at a not-so-great resume objective example to know what you should avoid.

Clinical Research Assistant Resume Objective Sample


Medicine student with strong academic record looking to join a research team to gain new skills in gathering, processing, and analyzing clinical data.

Why is it so bad?

First of all, it’s not specific. What exactly does “strong academic record” mean?

Secondly, it doesn’t refer to any particular research job or project. That’s a red flag for research recruiters—it means this candidate probably spams identical, generic research resumes out to all research institutions and doesn’t really care what job he gets. Every research team wants to recruit research assistants that are passionate about a given research position.

Finally, it makes no offer. The bottom line is “I want a research job so that I can learn more.” That’s what everyone else wants and it’s not enough.

Now, let’s review two very different research assistant resume summaries.

Research Assistant Resume Summary Example


Columbia University MA in Psychology graduate (3.8 GPA, Graduated Magna Cum Laude) with 3+ years of experience assisting and overseeing research projects involving 1000+ participants. Seeking to join UPenn’s “Transitional Housing Problems” Research Project to leverage expertise in screening participants, administering phone surveys, and collecting and entering data to help the research team deliver accurate results and meet deadlines.


MA in Psychology graduate experienced in interviewing, reviewing literature, recruiting subjects, and safeguarding data. Other skills include organization, personal networking, bookkeeping and complex problem-solving.

See the difference? The first example is full of details and lists hard numbers.

The second one barely mentions skills that any good research assistant must have. There’s nothing exceptional in “reviewing literature” or “safeguarding data,” is there?

It’s pretty obvious which of these two candidates will land the interview.

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, our easy resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

Writing the perfect research assistant resume objective or summary can be tricky. For more expert tips and real-life examples, check out our handy guides: How to Write a Resume Summary Statement and How to Write a Resume Career Objective.

3. Put Education on Your Research Assistant Resume

If you’ve got little or no research experience, the education section of your research assistant resume has to shine.

What do you put in an undergrad research assistant resume education section?

  • Your major
  • Your minors (if applicable)
  • Your graduation date, or expected graduation if you’re still studying
  • The name of your institution
  • Your GPA

All of the above are absolute must-haves. But you should also include the following to truly make your student research assistant resume stand out:

  • Favorite fields of study
  • Key academic achievements
  • Extracurricular activities

These will show that you’re passionate about the area of science you’re studying.

See what an excellent research assistant resume education section looks like in practice:

Sample Lab Research Assistant Resume—Education Section


BSc in Biology

Expected to graduate in 2019 

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

3.9 GPA

Favorite fields of study: Molecular Biology and Genetics, The RNA World: A Functional and Computational Analysis, Cancer Cell Biology, Immunobiology

Extracurricular activities and achievements:

  • President of the undergraduate student board since 2017
  • Started and oversaw a volunteer research project investigating human evolutionary genomics
  • Delivered an on-campus presentation on the impact of sex, conflict, and pathogens on modern genomes during the Annual Molecular Biology Conference

“She’s exactly the kind of dedicated research assistant we’re looking for!”

This academic experience section is guaranteed to bring this kind of response from the research team recruiters.

If you’re writing a senior research assistant resume and have oodles of relevant research experience, limit yourself only to the most important academic achievements and don’t include favorite fields of study in your resume education section. 

Also, put your education section below your research experience. 

Read on to see how to describe your past research assistant duties and responsibilities.

If you want to learn more about listing your education on a research assistant curriculum vitae or resume, check out this piece: How to Put Education on a Resume

4. Write An Excellent Research Assistant Job Description

Got professional research experience?

If so, you need to know exactly how to write about research you’ve done on your resume.

This section will be critical. For senior research assistant positions, recruiters will want to know how well you handled your past research assistant duties more than anything else.

The trick?

In your research experience section, don’t talk only about your duties and responsibilities. Highlight your achievements and accomplishments instead.

Take a look:

How to Put Research Experience on a Resume

  • Start with your current or most recent research job.
  • Follow it with your previous position and the one before that, and so on. In each entry, include your position name, the research institution, and the dates worked.
  • Add up to 5 bullet points describing your duties and, more importantly, your achievements.
  • Quantify whenever possible. Don’t say you “significantly reduced freezer maintenance time.” Say how much exactly. Numbers pop!
  • Use action verbs throughout your work experience section. “Coordinated,” “created,” “reviewed,” not “responsible for coordinating, creating, and reviewing.”
  • At the bottom, add a “Key achievement” subsection where you show off your most impressive success.
  • Last but not least—pick phrases from the job ad, and refer to them in your work experience section. List relevant duties, not every single task you’ve performed. It’s called tailoring or targeting a resume.

Again, let’s see some examples!

Research Assistant Job Description on a Resume 


Laboratory Research Assistant I

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Leukemia Research Team

Aug 2017–May 2018

  • Maintained and established tissue culture cell lines.
  • Identified cell changes under the microscope, determining cell counts on hemocytometers and coulter counters with 98% accuracy.
  • Performed genotyping of mice in 4 cohorts (250 cages each).
  • Isolated, purified, and analyzed RNA, DNA, and protein using ECL staining and gel electrophoresis autoradiography.

Key achievement: Introduced a new standard operating procedure for monitoring and shelving tissue culture supplies to increase efficiency by 33%. 


Research Assistant

The University of Texas, 2017-2018


  • Performing maintenance of freezers
  • Manually operating the lab equipment
  • Assisted PIs and postdocs in mouse experiments

The contrast is clear—

The right research assistant CV sample showcases quantifiable achievements and specific duties. Plus, it’s packed full of action words.

The wrong one? That reads like a re-written description of responsibilities listed in the job ad.

If you want to learn more useful tricks on how to put research duties and responsibilities on an excellent research assistant resume, see this handy guide: How to List Work Experience on Your Resume

5. Don’t Give Up If You Don't Have an Experience to Put on Your Resume for a Research Assistant

That’s okay.

In your student research assistant resume work experience section, list all your past professional experiences. 

Think you don’t have any? Think again. Even the smallest activities count.

Such as? Have a look.

Resume for Research Assistant Position with No Experience

  • Internships
  • Part-time jobs
  • Participation in work experience programs
  • Volunteering
  • Extracurricular student activities

Even if some of the gigs you’ve done in the past aren’t related to your area of research interest, you should still put them in the work experience section. 

This way, you’ll show that you’re dependable, well-organized, and responsible.

For more actionable student research assistant resume samples and ideas on how to make the most of your research assistant resume when you’ve got little or no experience, check out our guide: First Resume with No Work Experience Samples

6. List Your Skills on a Research Assistant Resume

When it comes to listing your skills, relevance is key.

What does it mean for you?

That you shouldn’t cram your resume with all research assistant skills you think you have, entered in whatever order you think is right.

Check the research job description and look for skills-related keywords.

Have these skills? I bet you do! So put them on your resume.

Let’s say, the professor put these skills in the job offer:

  • Research
  • Data entry
  • Physical strength

But how to put research skilsl on a resume?

In your skills list, prove you’ve got them, like this:

Research: conducted deep research into 15 unique project topics as directed by professors. Commended by 3 professors for quality of research.

Data entry: Performed regular data entry tasks on first-year student project grades for 400+ students.

Physical strength: Able to lift up to 70 pounds.

Want to add some additional researcher skills? Let me give you some inspiration.

This study suggests that 10 qualities essential for a prospective researcher to succeed are:

Best Research Skills for a Resume

  • Interest 
  • Motivation 
  • Inquisitiveness 
  • Commitment 
  • Sacrifice 
  • Excelling 
  • Knowledge 
  • Recognition 
  • Scholarly approach 
  • Integration

Want to dazzle every research committee? Make your skills list reflect those values.

Insights from 11 million resumes crafted with our builder show that:

  • On average, the typical resume for a Research Assistant includes 18 skills.
  • Skills such as data collection, research paper writing, collaboration, and Microsoft Office are top choices for Research Assistants.
  • The average resume length for Research Assistants is 2.9 pages.

Hungry for more examples of the best skills sets to put on your research assistant CV? Read: Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume

7. Add Awards, Honors, and Additional Sections for an Effective Research Assistant Resume

Got all of the above research assistant resume sections?

Great. Almost there.

Want to outshine other candidates? 

Add an additional section to your research assistant resume. Show recruiting professors that your skills and experiences have been awarded and appreciated by others.

Struggling for ideas on what’s worth putting on a research assistant CV?

Here’s a handy list of entries applicable for undergraduate, entry-level research assistant resumes:

Additional Sections to Include on a Junior Student Research Assistant Resume

  • Scholarships
  • Honor Rolls inclusions
  • Dean’s Lists
  • Subject-related awards
  • Science fair awards
  • Publications in student journals
  • Perfect attendance awards
  • Non-academic professional awards
  • Volunteer-related awards

If you’ve already worked as a researcher for some years, your resume can also benefit from an additional section listing your best accomplishments.

Have a look at some ideas:

Additional Sections to Include on a Senior Graduate Research Assistant Resume

  • Publications
  • Fellowships
  • Certifications
  • Industry awards
  • Conference talks and conference participation
  • Professional blog

Need more examples on achievements that can enhance your research resume? Read: Achievements and Accomplishments to Put on a Resume

8. Write a Cover Letter to Add to Your Resume for a Research Assistant

Optional cover letters aren’t optional.

See, 45 out of 100 recruiters won’t even be bothered to open your research assistant resume if there’s no cover letter attached.

Besides, cover letters can do what even best resumes can’t. They tell a story. And even researchers and scientists love stories a lot more than data sheets.

Think about applying for your first research assistant position. Daunting, isn’t it?

It’s your research assistant cover letter that can get you there!

In your cover letter, you can explain your passion for the science area you pursue, talk more about your skills and support them with solid evidence.

But it’s not only junior research assistants who should write a cover letter. 

Everyone should—Writing a cover letter basically doubles your chances of landing that interview.

There’s no arguing with stats, is there?

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

You can learn how to write a cover letter that gets every research professor excited to interview you from our beast of a guide: Write a Cover Letter in 8 Quick Steps

Key Takeaway

Now you know well how to put research assistant on resume. But to have a truly excellent research assistant resume follow the key steps we covered:

  • Open your research assistant resume with a resume objective or a resume summary. Say what makes you a great candidate and make an offer.
  • Highlight your strong academic record, extracurricular activities, and favorite fields of study if you’ve got no professional research experience.
  • In the research experience section, focus on your achievements, not just responsibilities. Use action verbs and quantify whenever possible.
  • Match your skills list with the skills required in the job offer.
  • Include additional sections such as honors and awards that prove your value as a candidate.
  • Personalize every resume you send. Use the name of the research institution you’re applying to and tailor the contents of your resume to the requirements in the job description.

All check? Well then—Good luck at your big interview!

Got any questions? Need further help? Want to chat about writing your research resume? That’s great cause I can’t wait to hear from you! Drop me a line in the comments. Let’s chat!

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Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. With his extensive knowledge of the job market, he provides practical advice and strategies for navigating the recruitment process and advancing your career.

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