Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Salary
Laboratory Research Principal Investigators in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $106K) surpassing six figures annually. While the company and location impact pay for this group, experience level is the most influential factor. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. For the most part, people in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction.
Job Description for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research
Generally, principal investigators of laboratory research take the lead in conducting scientific investigations in controlled environments. They set the parameters of what questions or hypotheses will be explored, and then create the outlines of how the research and investigation will look. The latter, and the execution of experiments, data analysis, and documentation of findings, are typically conducted with input from research and laboratory associates, so some principal investigators also serve as supervisory employees.Read More...
The most important aspect of this job involves defining the extent and parameters of research which will be conducted. Parameters that are too wide may bog a project down with too much data, while vague parameters lack sufficient focus; if the question is too narrow, the investigators risk conducting research with limited usefulness or application. It is not unusual for principal investigators to change the scope and focus of research and lab work after it has commenced, but, of course, most in this position strive to find the best balance in advance.
After setting parameters of laboratory research hypotheses and postulates, these investigators then define the best means of study and the ultimate execution of research for that particular project. This typically involves some input from a research team, which may consist of students and graduate assistants to whom principal investigators may delegate tasks such as assisting with analyses/experiments and collecting data.
Principal investigators in laboratory research are employed primarily by university science departments, private laboratories, medical research companies, and pharmaceutical companies. A post-graduate degree, if not a doctorate degree with professional certification, may be required by some employers. Most investigators work in both office and laboratory environments during traditional business hours, though the research they conduct may occasionally alter their own work-place or schedule.
Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Tasks
- Supervise, coordinate, direct and ensure research is completed on deadline.
- Write and submit grant proposals and secure other funding.
- Write and present reports and papers.
- Serve as point of contact for the laboratory and/or project.
- Oversee and train research assistants on procedures and protocol specific to the project.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research
Laboratory Research Principal Investigators seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), where the average salary comes to $133K.
Pay by Experience Level for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Folks with fewer than five years of experience earn around $99K on average, but respondents who have racked up five to 10 years benefit from a six-figure median of $106K. Laboratory Research Principal Investigators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $129K. Laboratory Research Principal Investigators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are no higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years.
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