Public Health Research Assistant Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | December 15, 2023
Public Health Research Assistant Job Description
Public health research assistants may also assist statistical experts in analyzing data and interpreting its significance.

This post provides detailed information on the public health research assistant job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the public health research assistant role.

What Does a Public Health Research Assistant Do?

A public health research assistant supports scientists and health researchers by coordinating critical administrative and organizational aspects of studies and clinical trials.

They report directly to a senior researcher or principal investigator and work in university research centers, hospitals, government agencies, non-profit health organizations, and pharmaceutical/biotech research facilities.

The role requires a Bachelor’s degree in public health, health science, or biological science; some positions prefer or require a relevant master’s degree.

The public health research assistant job description involves literature review, participant recruitment, and data collection and analysis; project coordination and upholding rigorous ethical and regulatory standards.

Research assistants also assist with progress reporting, data cleaning, communicating protocols, and disseminating findings.

They enable large-scale health research critical for informing funding allocation, policies, and patient treatment guidelines across the globe.

Top employers look for stellar organization, communication, data skills, and attention to detail; critical thinking and ability to work under pressure with integrity.

Research assistants must ensure adherence to institutional review board protocols along with state and federal regulations guiding ethical human subject research.

The work of research assistants directly enables researchers and scientists to carry out impactful public health studies.

Their commitment to organization, detail-orientation, and upholding rigorous research methods contribute enormously to producing valid, reliable health research that guides funding and policy decisions to improve public well-being.

A public health research assistant is crucial for supporting day-to-day study activities, coordinating critical logistics, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Public Health Research Assistant Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The public health research assistant job description consists of the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:

  • Dive deep into reading all the existing research out there that’s relevant so as to design rock-solid studies and know which methods make the most sense
  • Recruit people who meet the criteria to take part in studies and clinical trials
  • Schedule and do the screening visits, interviews, and focus groups
  • Collect surveys, tests, questionnaires and other research materials from participants
  • Keep track of participants’ progress, ensuring completion and identifying any data
  • Record both qualitative and quantitative data accurately while interventions take place
  • Maintain a watch over safety promptly reporting any unusual occurrences
  • Manage the applications and databases used for storing study information
  • Thoroughly review datasets to identify and address any issues
  • Assist statistical experts in analyzing data and interpreting its significance
  • Oversee the inventory of supplies, materials and equipment for conducting the research
  • Coordinate scheduling with participants and team members
  • Independently solve problems and make decisions when necessary
  • Manage deadlines and adapt priorities as needed
  • Emphasize rigor and participant protection in all work undertaken
  • Pay attention to detail when managing studies
  • Prepare progress reports and organize data, for research papers
  • Update databases and systems to accurately reflect the status of projects
  • Coordinate project timelines with all parties
  • Contribute to the creation of presentations to share research findings
  • Provide support as needed to the team
  • Maintain confidentiality and adhere to research guidelines
  • Stay informed about guidelines and best practices in the field
  • Develop expertise in an area of research.

Public Health Research Assistant Job Description for Resume

If you have worked before as a public health research assistant or presently working in that role and are making a new resume or CV, then you can create a compelling Professional Experience section for your resume by applying the sample public health research assistant job description provided above.

You can highlight the major duties and responsibilities you have carried out or currently performing as a public health research assistant in your resume’s Professional Experience by utilizing the ones in the above public health research assistant job description example.

This will show that you have been successful performing the public health research assistant duties, which can boost your chances of being hired for the new job that you are applying for, especially if it requires someone with some public health research assistant work experience.

Public Health Research Assistant Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

To excel as a public health research assistant, individuals should possess and demonstrate the following:

  • Understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Literature review techniques
  • Questionnaire and survey design
  • Data collection, management, analysis methods
  • Research protocol adherence
  • Human subjects protections concepts
  • Clinical trials processes and phases
  • Strong oral and written skills
  • Ability to convey complex information clearly
  • Careful listener and question asker
  • Culturally-competent interactions
  • Multi-tasking and priority management
  • Timeline coordination
  • Meticulous record-keeping
  • Database management
  • Attention to detail
  • Identify issues and inconsistencies 
  • Resourcefully solve problems
  • Make sound decisions independently
  • Translate findings appropriately 
  • Research ethics and privacy laws
  • Basic understanding of life sciences and public health issues
  • Familiarity with data analysis software programs
  • Understanding of relevant medical terminology.

Public Health Research Assistants Salary

The typical yearly salary for public health research assistants in the U.S. was around $58,220 as of May 2022.

That’s according to the official government stats, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The pay really varies depending on which state you’re working in. The top 5 highest-paying states were: 

  • California, where the average pay was $75,230.
  • Massachusetts at $72,980
  • Maryland at about $67,850
  • Connecticut, also around $67,140
  • And New Jersey rounding it out at $66,320.

So, if you’re looking to get into this field, it might pay to look at jobs in states like California or Massachusetts because you’d have the chance to earn a nice paycheck.

Even at the lower end, $36,470 is still decent money for an entry-level job with good long term prospects.


Public health research assistants are the indispensable support system enabling impactful studies and clinical trials.

They perform literature reviews, manage participant coordination and follow-up, collect and analyze data, oversee logistics, prepare regulatory documentation, assist in disseminating findings, and facilitate smooth research operations.

This post is useful to individuals interested in the public health research assistant career. They will be able to learn all they need to know about the duties and responsibilities public health research assistants typically perform.

It is also useful to recruiters/employers seeking to hire for the public health research assistant position, for use in making a detailed job description for the role.