Q. Can anybody tell me what the definition of a research assistant is and would my years as a postgraduate researcher working towards a PhD count as work experience?
Answer: Research assistant is no longer contained on the General Occupations List.
Work experience gained during positions of research during post-graduate research has been repeatedly been presented to immigration officers with success by our office. The work experience gained during such research most often fits the NOC or CCDO designations in question very well (more so than in most cases when the person has been employed elsewhere). The critical factor regarding whether or not our office would feel that post-graduate research experience is valid would be whether or not the level of education during which the research was conducted was in excess of that required to qualify for that position according to the CCDO (Canadian Classifications and Dictionary of Occupations) and the NOC (National Occupational Classification) manual.