A research director oversees an organization's research and development department. The research director drives team members to use the scientific method to push the boundaries of human knowledge and develop new technologies that expand the frontier of an industry.
The research director uses their scientific and technical knowledge to aid team members in their specific tasks, ranging from data collection to data analysis to product design to manufacturing. They must also perform the essential functions of senior management, such as acquiring new team members, training staff, monitoring team performance, and terminating personnel as necessary. The research director must also endure that adequate records are kept and write detailed reports on research project progress and outcomes. The research director regularly meets with executives to make reports; they usually work in technical offices and are rarely required to travel.
Due to the highly technical nature of the position, companies usually require a research director candidate to possess a Ph.D. in a scientific field. The position also usually requires five to seven years of management experience. Furthermore, the candidate often must demonstrate exceptional communication and presentation skills.
Research Director Tasks
Developing research objectives and writing proposals.
Manage the research budget and the allocation of funds.
Design methods for evaluating the effectiveness of research programs.
Oversee the operation of laboratories and research sites and ensure compliance with institutional and government regulations.