Research scientists are highly educated individuals with logical, independent minds that can study and investigate the world around us to increase the breadth of human knowledge. Their realm of work is in understanding the world, making new discoveries and developing new products based on these breakthroughs. There is a lot of education and hard work that goes into becoming a research scientist. Most employers expect at least a bachelor's degree in a scientific field. Most will pursue a master's or doctoral degree in their field. Employers seeking individuals to work in a laboratory are looking for experience with laboratory procedures, computer analysis, and setting up and implementing experiments. For those seeking research scientists for field work, it is good to have classwork experience with field techniques, data collection and observational studies. All candidates should possess excellent analytical skills, meticulous attention to detail, patience and determination. Because research scientists are responsible for writing research papers, reports, reviews and completing funding applications and bids, they should have excellent writing skills and an ability to clearly present their findings. The location where research scientists work depends on their field of expertise: Most will work in a laboratory conducting experiments and studying samples. Some candidates will work in the field collecting specimens and observing wildlife. There are some who will work in an office environment using computers to analyze and study their subjects. Research scientists can be hired by government labs, environmental agencies, specialized research organizations and consultancies and pharmaceutical companies just to name a few.
Research Scientist Tasks
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Keep abreast of developments in their field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge, and publish findings in professional journals, books, and/or electronic media.