Virtual assistant interested in academic research

5-10 hours per week, $2-4 per hour
Part Time
Apr 22, 2018

Job Overview

Part-time position starting with 5-10 h per week. Long-term relation, flexible hours. Particularly suitable for a STEM student.

Job brief
I am looking for a virtual assistant to provide administrative support for my everyday activities at a research institute. Furthermore, you will help me with my research, proofreading scientific papers, data management, and web content management.

Job description and context
I am a senior research with a major research institute in Sweden, constantly juggling different projects and numerous bigger and smaller tasks related to worklife in academic research. My days consist mostly of managing and administrating research activities, service to the research community through organization of events and peer review of publications, teaching at a university, supervising students on PhD and MSc level, giving talks in industry and academia, and hunting new grants to fund my research. My days are hectic, already before I mention that I design and conduct studies, analyze data, and write scientific papers.

I am now looking for a virtual assistant to support me with my everyday activities. My goal is both to free up time for me to do more original research and to improve my currently non-sustainable work-life balance. I will pay my future assistant with personal funds rather than through my employer, thus my budget is limited. On the other hand, I offer something unique instead: a particularly skilled assistant would be invited as a co-author of scientific publications. It is truly important for me that my assistant learns and builds on his or her CV while working with me – and if you aim for a career in academic research, I guarantee that your experiences will be invaluable.

My academic research is related to software and systems engineering. I do both quantitative research (statistics, machine learning, data science, etc.) and qualitative research (interview studies, case studies, surveys, etc.). All my research is empirical in its nature, and I work in close collaboration with industry partners.
The ideal candidate for this position would be an engineering student with a passion for research and a plan to continue working in this field after graduation. Subject-wise, the best match would be a student studying software engineering, computer science, information technology or something related. However, I believe that any STEM student could meet my expectations. Excellent English is a requirement though, but beyond that we learn what is needed together.

Responsibilities (ordered by importance)

  • Manage and organize email. Overview mailbox to ensure nothing is missed. Vision: zero inbox.

  • Manage calendar. Maintain overview of day-to-day business and keep an eye on project deadlines and long-term targets. Vision: bird's eye view of calendar at all times – no surprises.

  • Proofreading and copy editing. Reading drafts and camera-ready copies of scientific papers, as well as other types of text related to research. Vision: remarkably few typos in text output.

  • Administration. Create documents for travel orders and compile receipts for reimbursement of travel costs. Vision: Quick clearance of any administrative tasks.

  • Data management. Various tasks related to managing research-related data, reference databases, survey results, and publication lists. Vision: Well-structured data everywhere.

  • Research assistance. Supporting various tasks related to original research, transcribing interviews, compiling data, and double-checking results. Vision: Quick turn-around time from data collection to publication with reliable results.

  • Web content management. Maintaining a WordPress-based blog for research activities. If you are a skilled writer, prepare blog posts. Vision: All research output followed by timely blog post.

  • Video editing. Creating short videos to present results from research projects. Vision: All important research results available as online videos.

  • Design of posters and presentation. Preparing presentation material based on quick sketches. If you are a skilled designer, creating logos and graphical profile. Vision: Impressive visual appearance of everything related to external communication.


  • Excellent English, especially reading and writing.

  • Interest in research and willingness to learn more.

  • Reliable Internet connection.

  • Familiarity with current technologies for online collaboration, desktop sharing, Google Drive and Dropbox, and Trello.

  • Proficiency with standard software, word-processing and spreadsheets.

Skills Required

  • Admin Assistant
  • Data Entry
  • Email Management
  • Writing
  • Editing Proofreading
  • Technical Writing

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