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wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

English translation: Lecturer (UK); Assistant Professor (US)

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12:42 Nov 8, 2009
German to English translations [PRO]
Science - Human Resources
German term or phrase: wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Hello everybody,

This question has been asked before, but the answers don't really satisfy me.

I'm asking myself how to properly translate the German job-description of "wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter" in English. It's a position at a university that usually involves research, lecturing as well as the writing of a doctoral thesis if the researcher has not achieved his/her Ph.D. yet.

In my understanding the correct translation might differ depending on the academic degree of the "wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter" (i.e. already achieved Ph.D. or not).

However, I think "Research Associate" might be a correct translation in any circumstance, whereas "Research Assistant" might be more suitable for "wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft".
Or how about "Researcher" "Research fellow"?

What do you guys think?

Best regards,
Franky
OT-Franky
English translation:Lecturer (UK); Assistant Professor (US)
Explanation:
These terms normally apply to the first step on the academic ladder. Nowadays a PhD is usually required, but not always - depending rather on the field of study. Kim's question on whether it is UK or US English is important, because the terminology differs between the UK (and Australia) and the US. In either case, both teaching and research would be expected - whereas in the case of a Research Fellow or Research Associate, teaching should not be a necessary part of the job description.
Selected response from:

David Tracey, PhD
Switzerland
Local time: 23:17
Grading comment
Thanks, David.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3Lecturer (UK); Assistant Professor (US)
David Tracey, PhD
3 +3research associate
Steffen Walter
4 +1Junior Lecturer
Donal Murphy-Bokern
4Post-doc research fellow/doctoral research assistant [ see expl.]lirka
3Research Fellow
British Diana
3 -1research scientistMarga Shaw
3 -1academic associate
Goldcoaster
Summary of reference entries provided
Info
Kim Metzger

Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
research associate


Explanation:
I agree with you that the above is a safe bet here whereas "research assistant" does not correspond at all with the relatively high level of a position heading towards a Ph.D. Is there anything that makes you hesitant using "research associate" (which was provided as an answer to previous questions, too)?

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 239

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Richard McGowan: Forget about "Researcher" or "Research fellow". "Research Associate" sounds much more distinct.
10 mins
  -> Did you mean to refer to "research associate"? I had ruled out the "assistant" in my answer for the reasons stated above.

agree  Ingrid Moore
1 hr

agree  John Speese: I too would say research associate; as indeed the exact Eng. lang. title would depend on the degree, whether or not the person is tenured, and on the country. The US and British systems are different. I might even add the Ger. title in brackets.
6 hrs

neutral  Kim Metzger: Wikipedia: Research assistants (in some institutions referred to as Research Officer) are often enrolled in a higher degree (e.g. Masters or Ph.D.) programme.
7 hrs
  -> You live and learn :-)
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49 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Junior Lecturer


Explanation:
Research Associate is appropriate if the job is a: research oriented and b: temporary funded by research grants etc. If the job is permanent, or even temporary but financed by core University funds and if it involves lecturing duties, then Junior Lecturer is appropriate. If the job is research, temporary and funded by the University's core funds, (in contrast to a research grant) then the term Research Fellow might suit.

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Note added at 50 mins (2009-11-08 13:33:38 GMT)
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I ashould add if this text is aimed at the US, then quite a different translation might be best around their system of Assistent and Associate Professorships etc.

Donal Murphy-Bokern
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nicole Backhaus
1 day8 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Post-doc research fellow/doctoral research assistant [ see expl.]


Explanation:
In the US, "post-doc fellowship" is a standard term; that is, research by people who ALREADY have their PhD.

I'd go with "doctoral research assistant" if working towards a PhD and "research fellow", possibly also "post-doc research fellow" if already a PhD.

lirka
Austria
Local time: 23:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SlovenianSlovenian
PRO pts in category: 13
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
research scientist


Explanation:

Typical work activities of a Research Scientist:

The exact nature of the work depends on the level of seniority of a research post, the specific area of life sciences studied and also whether the context is industrial or academic. However, most life science researchers are involved in the following:

* devising and conducting experiments;
* processing and analysing results and data;
* communicating results to the scientific community via published papers;
* collaborating with industry/academia to apply the results of research and develop new techniques, products or practices;
* presenting ongoing work and findings to colleagues at academic conferences, and producing academic posters which summarise the nature of their research, their methodology and their findings;
* carrying out field work to inform their research;
* teaching, demonstrating or supervising students (in academia) and training and supervising other members of staff;
* devising or helping to draw up new research proposals and applying for funding and grants;
* working in multidisciplinary teams (in academia, across different faculties or schools, and in industry, across different functions of the business).
http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:NkSoOERgxTYJ:www.prospe...

Almost every aspect of our lives, from medicine to mobile phone technology, is influenced by the work of research scientists. They work in a wide range of scientific fields including biology, biochemistry, chemistry, ecology, environmental biology, forensic science and genetics. In the course of their work they plan and conduct experiments, analysing results and making predictions based on their findings. They devise and test ways of applying new discoveries to make things faster, safer, more efficient, cheaper, more effective or more environmentally friendly. Scientists working in the natural world collect samples, monitor environmental factors such as sea levels or pollution and study plants and animals in their natural habitat.
http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:kxeqTXfbBf0J:www.connex...

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Cancer Metabolomics
The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

The Beatson Institute in Glasgow is one of Europe's leading cancer research centres. It is core funded by Cancer Research UK and supports cutting edge research into the molecular mechanisms of cancer development. The Institute has recently moved to a new facility that provides an outstanding research environment, underpinned by state-of-the-art core services and advanced technologies.
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Cancer Metabolomics
The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

Starting Salary from £25,500 to £33,000 (Depending on experience)

Initial 1 year fixed term contract

The Beatson Institute in Glasgow is one of Europe's leading cancer research centres. It is core funded by Cancer Research UK and supports cutting edge research into the molecular mechanisms of cancer development. The Institute has recently moved to a new facility that provides an outstanding research environment, underpinned by state-of-the-art core services and advanced technologies.

Marga Shaw
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:17
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Kim Metzger: This term would rule out the social sciences and other academic fields.
6 hrs
  -> As far as I am aware and what I found, this term would also cover social sciences and other academic fields.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
academic associate


Explanation:
this is a term which refers to the university level as well as being neutral in the type of science (economics, humanistic, technical), provided this meets your requirements

Goldcoaster
Switzerland
Local time: 23:17
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Kim Metzger: The term "academic associate" seems to be associated primarily with medicine http://www.answers.com/topic/academic-associates
5 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Lecturer (UK); Assistant Professor (US)


Explanation:
These terms normally apply to the first step on the academic ladder. Nowadays a PhD is usually required, but not always - depending rather on the field of study. Kim's question on whether it is UK or US English is important, because the terminology differs between the UK (and Australia) and the US. In either case, both teaching and research would be expected - whereas in the case of a Research Fellow or Research Associate, teaching should not be a necessary part of the job description.

David Tracey, PhD
Switzerland
Local time: 23:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 3
Grading comment
Thanks, David.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Harald.

agree  TonyTK: It all depends on the context. At the university here in Germany where I teach a few hours a week, these people are often simply full-time lecturers who do little or no research.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Tony.

agree  Na Nandhorn Clauder
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, njclauder.

neutral  sibsab: this term exludes all natural sciences
1 day8 hrs
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20 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Research Fellow


Explanation:
I have heard this term frequently, but admittedly don't know what it actually means...

British Diana
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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Reference comments


45 mins
Reference: Info

Reference information:
Research Associate
The title of research associate is used to denote an academic research position at a university or similar institution. A research associate usually conducts research under the supervision of a principal investigator. In contrast to a research assistant or research officer, a research associate often has a doctoral degree or carried out an equivalent work. In some cases it can be synonymous with postdoctoral research.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_associate

A Research Assistant is a junior graduate, employed on a temporary contract by a college or university or a research institute, for the purpose of academic research. Research assistants are not independent and not responsible for the out-come of the research and are responsible to a supervisor or Principal Investigator.
Research assistants (in some institutions referred to as Research Officer) are often enrolled in a higher degree (e.g. Masters or Ph.D.) programme. In research institutions without graduate programmes, research assistants positions are typically for graduates who are gaining research experience on short term contracts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_assistant

The title of research fellow is used to denote a research position at a university or similar institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act as independent investigator, or under the supervision of a principal investigator. In contrast to a research assistant or research officer, the position of research fellow, normally requires a doctoral degree or equivalent work.

In the United Kingdom, at many universities, this position is the first career grade of a Research Career Pathway and may be permanent, subject to normal probation regulations. Within such a path, the next two higher career grades are usually senior research fellow and professorial fellow. Although similar to the position of a research fellow, these two positions are research only posts, with the rise of the career grade there will normally be a formal requirement of a moderate amount of teaching and/or supervision (often at postgraduate level). These positions are for researchers with a proven track record of generating research income to fund themselves and producing high quality research output that is internationally recognised.

In North America, a research fellow is often a Post-doctoral fellow, who undertakes research in addition to doctoral research. Alternatively a research fellow may be a visiting research fellow from another institution, who tends to be at a more senior career level. There are also faculty research fellow (FRF), being a faculty member without tenure.

Germany
The English term research fellow is sometimes used to refer to the holder of a research fellowship from a public foundation that promotes research. Fellowships, form prestigous institutions such as Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, can be obtained by postdoctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic career, by experienced, established scholars and scientists, or even leading authorities in their discipline[1]. This means that the award holder may formally hold a specific title at his or her home institution (e.g. Privatdozent), but may in the context of the sponsor be refer to as research fellow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_fellow

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 431
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Changes made by editors
Nov 8, 2009 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
FieldOther » Science
Field (specific)Science (general) » Human Resources


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