The work of a scientific researcher can vary widely, depending on the area in which he or she is acting, but his or her main duties are to do research on a given topic in his or her chosen field. Quite often, once a scientific researcher's research is done, his or her findings may be published in journals, online, or even in full book form.
Beyond the actual scientific research that typically takes place in a laboratory or on-site where samples are collected, a researcher often has to find funding and support for projects. This support may come from grants or from sponsors who happen to be interested in the possible results of his or her work.
Most research scientists must hold an advanced degree in their area and most often work for government laboratories, universities, pharmaceutical companies, material producers or even public research facilities. Their hours may vary depending on how time-sensitive the procedures are.
Because doing research is a detail-oriented task, a person who does this job must also be not only highly adept at finding details, but must also be organized, logical, flexible, and determined, and must have a great deal of patience. Seeing as how many researchers must work with others, it is also important for them to have good communication skills and interact well as a team member.
While this job may be particularly interesting due to discoveries that the researchers will make, it all takes a toll on the body. Long hours behind a computer or staring through the lenses of a microscope are almost always a major part of this job. On the other hand, the job requires that the scientist keep up to date with the research of others around the world. In order to do that, they may attend conferences, read professional journals, or even use their personal contacts with others in the same field.
Researcher, Scientific 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.