getting RA experience


Hi - am doing part-time psychology MSc. My actual paid job I do 3 days a week. It is almost completely irrelevant to my studies, is mind-numbing, but pays quite well per hour (nearly 15 quid - it is London!) and it's the devil I know.

But I think it would benefit my mind and my studies to seek casual RA work. Think I'd need to volunteer first to get some experience, but do any other forum members have opinions on this kind of work, its usefulness on an academic CV and what the hourly rate is like? I am aware it will be a pay cut for me, but it might be worth the sacrifice!

Cheers (up)


Do you mean Research Assistant work? the pay is good (about £24,000 per year, so about £12.30/hr before t ax etc) and this kind of experience looks brilliant on your CV (for many reasons, eg shows you are keen, willing, able to work in a lab etc) - though of course, this depends on the direction you are hoping to go in. (I worked as an RA for 3 yrs and this definitely helped me to secure a post doc position) hope this helps!


Thanks for your swift reply, Ju-Ju. Yes, I do mean Research Assistant work.

I'm using the MSc (esp. the dissertation) to see whether I want to go for PhD. So academia is certainly Plan A. I think even if I decide against that in the long run, it would still be more challenging than my current work, so it could open other doors, etc.

Glad to hear you think it would be useful for Plan A, though. Will keep my ear to the ground.


Hi there!
I finished an MSc in Psychology in September 08 through which I managed to secure funding for a PhD, which I started in October. Whilst a good first degree and an MSc should be enough to get you onto a PhD if you can find funding (which can be a bit hit and miss!), I know of several PhD students in my department who did RA work first and this led to them getting funding for a Phd either in the same area or a related one, so I think it would definitely improve your chances, although probably isn't essential. Good luck!


Thanks Keenbean

Very useful to know that it could also help with that all-important funding. (up)8-)

I will start asking around.