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I am a recent bachelor of technology graduate from India and want to become a research assistant just after b.tech at any abroad university (USA,CANADA,UK, etc). If it is possible then what kind of qualifications, GPA, academics are required? Also for becoming an RA at these universities is the GRE exam necessary?

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    What do you mean by "research associate"? There isn't a standard position with this name in the U.S. Do you mean a graduate student? Another possibility could be working as a technician in a lab without being enrolled as a student. Sep 30, 2013 at 13:15
  • By research associate i mean to ask for working on projects in which the professor is working upon.
    – mia
    Sep 30, 2013 at 13:20
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    FYI "RA" typically stands for "Research Assistant", and refers to one way in which a PhD student might be funded. Certainly you can gain admission to a PhD program directly from an undergraduate program.
    – Aaron
    Sep 30, 2013 at 15:01
  • @Aaron: In the US, yes. In other countries—particularly in Europe—it is not so straightforward. First you have to get a master's.
    – aeismail
    Oct 1, 2013 at 8:09

4 Answers 4

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Yes.

First be admitted to graduate school.

Then convince a professor to hire you.

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  • .So if i want to apply for abroad for this position would i have to give GRE exam or directly i mail the professor in that particular field in which i want to apply.
    – mia
    Oct 1, 2013 at 8:06
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    @mia Please read the answer carefully. You need to get admitted to graduate school first.
    – Nobody
    Oct 1, 2013 at 8:48
  • so i have to follow the whole procedure of recommendation letters, SOP's, etc .
    – mia
    Oct 1, 2013 at 8:56
  • Yes. You have to follow the whole procedure.
    – JeffE
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:04
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    This is a bit misleading; it seems that the poster may be looking for a job as an employee, without wanting to study for a degree. I would call such a position "technician". Of course, the process to get such a job is completely different than applying for admission to a graduate program. Oct 1, 2013 at 19:08
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In my field is it quite common to hire recent graduates for a year or two as a research assistant. Typical duties of an RA include scheduling participants, collecting data, and doing preliminary data analysis. Depending on previous expertise and experience gained on the job RAs can also design and implement/program experiments. There is also a fair amount of house keeping work (e.g., sending equipment off to be calibrated and making sure the supply cupboard is stocked).

Most people hiring for these types of positions look at GPA and classes taken as well as practical skills. I have never heard of anyone requiring or looking at the GRE. As far as qualifications are concerned you will need to have whatever paperwork is required to allow you to work in that country. I don't know anyone who would go out of the way to get a work permit type visa for an RA.

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  • To be clear, a research assistant in your sense is an employee, but not a student? They are not necessarily enrolled in any educational program at your institution? Oct 1, 2013 at 16:47
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    @NateEldredge exactly. In my field an RA is an employee. Sometimes they are also doing a PhD, but not usually.
    – StrongBad
    Oct 1, 2013 at 17:26
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Yes it is possible to become a research assistant just after completing B-Tech. Qualifications needed for it could be categorized as:-

  • Good Academics
  • Research Papers published in International Conference that are indexed IEEE (required)
  • GPA of 3.6/4

Also for becoming an RA at these universities is the GRE exam necessary? The answer to this is Yes for some universities and NO for other universities. This is mainly because Not all the universities require GRE EXAM. It all depends upon university requirements. You need to check out their website for the details. Even they have Cut-off score for GRE and TOEFL Exam.

Advantages of becoming RA

  • Tuition Fee waiver

  • Increases chances for off-campus placement.

  • Exposure to Subject in depth.

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  • .I have a query that if suppose i have one year research experience in certain field with two international publications, will this increase my chance for getting off campus placement.Please let me know.Thanks.
    – mia
    Dec 19, 2013 at 17:09
  • Yes definitely it will increase your chances. Make sure that those two papers which you are talking about are indexed in IEEE ieeexplore.ieee.org
    – Ashish M
    Dec 20, 2013 at 12:38
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Unfortunately there's some ambiguity in language here that I think is causing a wide variety of different answers.

"Research Assistant" means many different things to many different people. Most commonly in the U.S., this invokes the idea of a funding mechanism for a graduate student that doesn't involve teaching. If this is what you mean, then the answers about getting into graduate school apply. And then yes, in that case, it is possible to get admitted to graduate school straight out of undergrad, and work for a professor doing research - the requirements of that will vary depending on the type of school, department, etc. you're looking at.

If you just mean "Someone who works on research projects", then I'm going to suggest another title - in the "wet lab" sciences I'd say "Lab Tech", and unfortunately most of the computational researchers I know come from a biological heritage, so use "Lab Tech" even when referring to programmers and the like.

If this is what you mean, then you're talking about being a research employee of the university, paid for likely by grant money and working for a particular professor. It's certainly possible to do this - a former group I worked for regularly hired people out of undergrad to work on programming projects that made like easier for other people in the department, and we've got a researcher now who came straight out of undergrad. As for what's required? Likely not a GRE, but your academics should be fairly strong, and you should have some evidence of the quality of your work. That can be publications and independent research, or it could be a portfolio of things you've done for other people - after all, the job is "Can you do things well for other people".

It's likely a particular professor you'll have to contact, and be warned - if you're looking to come in from another country, you have to be worth more than the visa and immigration hassle, and it's going to be an uphill climb when there's likely undergraduates at their own university who probably wouldn't mind a job after graduation either.

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