What is the job of a Research Scientist?

What is the job of a Research Scientist

What is a research scientist?

As the name suggests, a research scientist is someone who continuously strives to expand scientific knowledge by experimenting and conducting trials in the lab. With the advance in technology and limitless scope of discovering so much more, there’s no stopping when it comes to the job of a research scientist. They spend their days researching, testing, and experimenting in several different areas. Some of these include:

  • Medical
  • Pharmacology
  • Computers
  • Geo-science
  • Physics
  • Bio-chemistry
  • Human psychology
  • Astrology and space

So, working as a research scientist, you can expect experts in the field to constantly peer-reviewing your findings. This will examine and determine the validity of your research. Then, after reviewing your work, you can opt to get it published in noteworthy research journals and share your accomplishments.

Skills required for the job of a research scientist

Firstly, working as a research scientist isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You need to have an inquisitive mind backed up by strong academia and a nerve of steel to continue working on research until you get your desired outcome. However, there are certain skills required to succeed at this job, despite your specialty. These include:

A research scientist at work
  • An open mind (to consider all possible outcomes) and patience (to achieve the desired results from an experiment)
  • Advanced research skills
  • Strong time management skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Painstaking attention to details
  • The ability to handle pressure
  • Sound communication skills
  • A precise and disciplined approach when it comes to data collection and analyzing
  • Work independently in a disciplined manner
  • Partnering up or collaborating with other fellow scientists (if required)
  • In-depth knowledge of various scientific approaches and methodologies
  • Knowledge in understanding, enforcing, and following safety protocols
  • Advanced insight into scientific research principles and practices

Duties of a research scientist

What’s more, the key tasks that you may be performing on the job as a research scientist include:

  • Planning and creating research proposals
  • Getting funded by submitting proposals to several institutions. Getting funded is extremely crucial to continue with your research.
  • Collecting samples for trials and experiments
  • Carrying out necessary fieldwork
  • Conducting and overseeing experiments
  • Maintaining all the scientific equipment and supplies. These are not only expensive but are usually funded by others. In case of any damage or mishandling, a research scientist will be responsible for explaining the reason why
  • Collaborating with other researchers and academia
  • Recording, analyzing, and documenting the data
  • Ensuring data integrity and quality control
  • Constantly trying to develop new research techniques and methods to improve your work
  • Reporting and working under your superiors or supervising those who work under you.
  • Monitoring environmental factors and other variables that may impact your research
  • Sharing your work for peer review
  • Writing and publishing research papers
  • Also, keeping yourself up to date with the latest developments in your field, and any technological advancement

Educational Requirements:

Man taking steps on books to reach success

To become a research scientist, one has to complete the following to begin their careers:
• A four-year bachelor’s degree
• A Master’s degree in the relevant field of interest
• A doctoral degree (PhD) (including a dissertation or thesis)

It is wise to use this time to write and publish as many research papers as possible. This will only help in building your resume, hence securing a well-paid job. Serving as a research assistant or TA for your professor is another way to get early exposure to the field.

Next, once you complete your doctorate program, you can now start working as a research scientist. Research scientists can choose any of the three working options:

  • Working independently or
  • as an academic research scientist for universities or government agencies or
  • An industrial research scientist (for big organizations and cooperation)

So what about the salary of a research scientist?

What’s more, given the amount of effort and the number of hours put into this job, a research scientist gets paid handsomely for it. On average, you can expect to earn around $82,000 annually. However, this may go as high as $120,000. 

Future Prospects

To conclude, working as a research scientist is true quite a lucrative one. There are new avenues of research opening up regularly. The future of this job is undeniably quite bright and is expected to grow by 8% in the US alone within the next five years. Given the facts, the job of a research scientist is indeed one of the most promising and fulfilling career paths.

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