Requirements to participate as a research assistant
Are experiences abroad required?
We appreciate experiences abroad – preferably outside of Europe – but do not require them.
Which language skills are required?
Very good skills of the respective project language are essential – for instance English for projects in East African countries and on the Philippines and Spanish for projects in Mexico.
Do I have to be enrolled at a university to participate as a research assistant?
Enrollment is not required.
The application process
Which language should I use for my application?
Please submit your application in either German or English.
Which documents do I have to hand in?
Your application should include a short motivation letter, your CV, a current overview of your grades and further relevant certificates and documents.
Where can I send my application?
Please send your application digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please name the document as follows: STEP_Country_Name.
By when do I have to submit my application?
The application deadlines are provided on the STEP Website or on the job posting. If there are no application deadlines specified, please feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
Can I send you my application even if there are currently no fitting project postings?
If there are no fitting job postings, please feel free to submit an application anyway. You will be added to our STEP application pool and we will contact you as soon as a suitable position opens up. You can also regularly check our website or Facebook page for new positions.
How does the application process work?
The application process involves three stages. First, your application will be assessed. Second, if your application meets our criteria, we will invite you to an initial telephone or Skype interview so that we can get to know you and tell you more about the position. Afterwards, we will invite those applicants who are a very good fit for the position to a second Skype interview. In this interview, you will meet your prospective mentor and we will talk about your tasks in more detail.
The position as a research assistant
How long does a research stay last?
The duration of the research stay depends on the project. If the project involves a T1 or T2 evaluation, our research assistants are usually staying for 8 – 10 weeks. If it involves a long-term evaluation (T3, T4, T5), a stay usually lasts 10 – 12 weeks.
When will you announce the specific project duration?
Generally, you’ll find information on the approximate duration of a research stay in the project posting. Concrete dates will be determined as soon as we have selected the research assistants.
Will there be a contract between STEP and the research assistants?
No, there won’t be a formal contract between STEP and the research assistants. The cooperation is established on mutual trust. We have made very positive experiences with this approach.
Do the research assistants draw a salary?
The research assistants draw no salary but receive an expense allowance which varies depending on the country and project. This expense allowance will help you cover your accommodation and transportation costs.
Which costs can be reimbursed?
Generally, we can reimburse the costs of your flights, of your visa, the transportation to/from the airport and any costs directly connected to the project (phone bills, printing, etc.). Any additional reimbursements have to be discussed individually.
Which costs do I have to cover myself?
You will have to pay for any vaccinations and the travel insurance yourself.
What is the weekly working time?
There is no fixed weekly working time, it depends on the arising tasks. Research assistants are free to structure their week as they see fit. The following rule applies: Results count more than time invested.
How are the research assistants supervised?
The supervision varies from project to project and depends on the respective tasks, the project phase and further aspects. However, each team has their own mentor, who will be specifically assigned to their project and who will constantly stay in contact with them.
How are research assistants prepared for the research stay?
You will have a pre-meeting with your mentor via Skype about 2 weeks before your departure. There, you’ll discuss all of your tasks in detail, go through the specifics of the project and get additional information about the country, culture and living conditions.
Who is in charge of the organisation of my stay?
You will be responsible for the organization of your stay. This includes amongst others the outward and return trip, housing, visas, insurances and vaccinations. Your mentor will help you with any questions you have and provide suggestions.
How many research assistants are part of one team?
Usually, each project team consists of two research assistants.
When will I meet my team partner?
We will link the research assistants as soon as possible via Email. In this way, we hope you can become familiar with each other in advance and, if you like to, organize your stay together.
Will the research assistants have their own office on-site?
This depends on the project site. In some cases, the research assistants have their own office at the university. In other cases, there is no extra office. In those cases, alternative solutions are sought (and found).
Do I recieve a formal internship certificate?
Since the activity as a research assistant is not a formal internship, we will not issue a formal internship certificate. However, we do issue a certificate that confirms your participation in the STEP project and the tasks that you accomplished.
What will be my tasks during the project?
The tasks depend on the project itself and the evaluations it involves.
T1: Tasks include recruiting students who are interested in participating in the training, distributing questionnaires, randomising the applicants into a training group and a control group, assisting with organising the training, distributing starting capital to the training groups and checking the attendance of the trainees. The research assistants usually monitor the first half of the training.
T2: Research assistants for T2-Evaluations arrive to monitor the second half of the training. They check the trainees’ attendance and assist with organising the training. After the training, they collect the starting capital from the training groups and distribute the questionnaires for the post-evaluation. They write/film a case study about a particularly interesting STEP business.
T3-T5: Research assistants for long-term evaluations are tasked with contacting training and control group members of past trainings and asking them to fill in a questionnaire. They also write/film a case study about a particularly interesting group.
Can I write my final thesis during the project?
Yes, you can. Please klick here to get further information.