I love to do research. Each topic you read about leads you in directions you never thought of. Each person gives you dozens of little ideas while they are talking to you about the big idea. Every now and then I get contacted by people who want to do research for me - for pay. I know lots of big-name authors do have research assistants, but I would be afraid that what they would hand over would be too neatly packaged, cutting off tangents that could have led to great subplots, twists, or characters.
I'm happily gathering all my bricks and wood and windows and pipes and electrical wiring. And then I'll start to build.