What is the job of a Research Scientist?

Research scientist


The major purpose of a research scientist is proffering solutions to existing problems. Their job revolves around all fields of Science. This means that a degree in a Science course is necessary for practice. In addition, a Bachelor’s degree and an M.Sc are required.

The major aspect of their job is research. To take up a career in this field, one must therefore be a lover of research. The profession also requires patience. They usually carry out lots of laboratory experiments. Sometimes, all experiments may fail.

The importance of these professionals can never be overemphasized. They are also the people behind every positive discovery in Science.

What is a Research Scientist?

A research scientist is a professional who conducts laboratory-based experiments and clinical trials. This is to aid the manufacture of new products. It can also be to offer proven explanations for occurrences.

Their work description depends on the facility where they work. Moreover, they can work in any field of Science. These include, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacology, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, etc. However, their duties center on one focus: research.

The working environment for research scientists is the laboratory and also the office setting. All experiments are conducted in the laboratory. Typically, reagents, computers, microscopes, and other gadgets are found here. The type of laboratory also depends on the field of research. However, in the Office setting, results from experiments are recorded and other documentation is done.

Responsibilities of a Research Scientist

The duties of a Research Scientist include but are not limited to:

  • Writing research proposals.
  • Planning experiments.
  • Conducting experiments.
  • Testing of research materials, reagents, and also gadgets.
  • They also analyze data to produce results.
  • Supervising junior staff.
  • Teaching junior staff.
  • Presenting results of research.
  • Publishing research work.
  • Research scientist also ensure good documentation.
  • Staying updated on new research trends.

Qualifications for practice as a Research Scientist

To practice as a Research Scientist in the United States, the following are necessary:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a significant Science field. This should be with a minimum of Second Class Upper Division (2:1).
  • An MSc or another postgraduate degree in a relevant Science field.
  • A Doctorate, but this is not necessary. However, employees are encouraged to have plans to pursue this.

Relevant science fields in this context are:

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine
  • Environmental Science
  • Computer Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Natural Science, etc.

Other requirements for practice as a Research Scientist also include:

  • Passion for research
  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Data collection skills
  • Sampling skills
  • Critical thinking is also a vital skill
  • Ability to pay careful attention to details
  • Time management skills
  • Team spirit
A research scientist at work


In the United States, a Research Scientist earns about $111,444 per annum. This is dependent on the facility where he or she works. It also depends on his or her qualification and experience.

Also, those in the private sector earn much more than those in the public sector.

The working schedule is 35 to 40 hours a week, Mondays to Fridays. However, the nature of research can require working on Saturdays.

Job Opportunities

Because of the versatility of Science, a Research Scientist can work in several places. These include:

  • Institutions for learning
  • They also work in pharmaceutical industries
  • Hospitals
  • Research Councils
  • Government laboratories
  • Research scientists can also work in food companies, etc.

Career Path

In the public sector, 

  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Laboratory Manager

Also in academia, after publishing a research work, you can become a,

  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Professor.

Some Institutions also offer certifications for Research Scientists. These include:

  • Association of Clinical Research Professionals Certified Professional (ACRP-CP).
  • Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP).
  • Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC).


Research Scientists are important people in the world today. They are wonderful risk-takers. They make themselves available for work despite the risks involved. Because of them, we now have vaccines against deadly diseases. They are also greatly involved in Drug Manufacturing processes. 

What about food? They are responsible for providing information on the nutritional components of different foods.

A career in Research is a great choice. It opens one up to pleasant surprises in the world of Science. It also avails the opportunity to be at the forefront in terms of discoveries. In addition, it is a profession that can never go extinct as long as Science exists. 

If you have a passion for research, you should consider this role. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

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