Every research associate post I see advertised now has in large or small print, the requirement for the applicant to have a publishing record, preferably in three or four star journals. Now when you submit to a journal or a conference, you need to state your affiliation with a university, but if you haven’t got a post at a university, then you don’t have an affiliation, and you look less credible.
I’ve just submitted a paper for peer review at a conference where the uploading page required the name of my affliated university so I’ve put the name of the university where I completed my PhD and did the research that the paper is based on. But technically, I have no affiliation until I have a research associate post.
How do I get an research post without a publication when I can’t get a publication without an affiliation and I can’t have an affiliation without a post?