The research assistant: Silenced partner in Australia's knowledge production?

Jane Hobson*, Gar Jones, Elizabeth Deane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Research is at the forefront of knowledge and, hence, wealth generation, so it is timely to consider a neglected category of the research workforce, the research assistant. The research assistant has traditionally been part of the fabric, if not the structure, of university research efforts but despite the extent of the contribution, the breadth of skills and the depth of qualifications often brought to the position of research assistant, there is no overt professional pathway articulated for these research workers. Equally, there is an implicit, if not overt lack of recognition of the research assistant role in processes of knowledge generation. This lack of recognition is reflected in the difficulty of defining the research assistant role and articulating how it differs across disciplines. This paper considers the research assistant in the current research landscape and culture of Australian universities, providing background to a wide-ranging empirical study of the research assistant workforce exploring the experience of the research assistant and the significance of the research assistant role in knowledge generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


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